Walking into the Powerstation the crowd was a buzz; couples and funky shirts were united across the venue. Upbeat vibes and cheerful energy was the joint feeling not only for the start of a long weekend but awaiting the good night ahead. A slice of sequins flaunted from the back with a safari feeling all around. There were definitely notable fashion statements made perhaps inspired by the sound of Jungle. Spotted at the bar two women in tin foil hats. An unexpected sighting for a soon to be Jungle loud lit room.
Soon enough Imugi the opening act for the evening walked onstage Carl on the electronic ambient sounds and Yery with her powerful voice both spoken and sung to us; with empowering words of her reality. The soft tone of the group matched with Yery’s oversized t-shirt dress set a casual beginning, but audibly confronting message of personal and poetic storytelling’s of the reality of a woman of colour. Their onstage presence was one of flow and feeling as every word and sound put out to the crowd was one of purpose and had a life of its own. I watched as song by song the crowd dropped into a muse of bopping back and forth to the ambient sound. Hand movements going along with Yery’s Asian immigrant words spoken the audience are given time to reflect on their privilege. Taking us away to an exchange of worlds and realism. Under red light, the room vibrates from the boost of energy of sound. Two dancers come onstage flowing with the sound interpretative dancing to the soul of the song. I don’t think seeing this group perform could get old. As every time they take the stage they share such personal life experiences and sound that is meditative to the mind.
An ocean of alternates mixed with leopard skin print. Crowd a busting ready for the onstage arrival of the nights main act Jungle. On the eve of the long weekend the crowd was definitely wide eyed for their set to start. Even the likes of Dominic Bowden were in the crowd. Lights and sirens began as they entered onstage to a roar from the crowd. The four-piece group were joined by their three-piece accompanying band. The perfectly harmonised, side to side moving with uncontrollable momentum to their talent. Electrifying the crowd with passionately crafted sound not just for the aural but also for the soul. As the crowd’s connectivity to the music grew as the set went on I watched as everyone was moving to the groove of the beat. Jungle’s vocals covered every ground possible to suit their sound to the amusement and pleasure of the audience. Despite being dressed in matching browns there was nothing but bright radiant sound that came from the group. Happily they would put their hands together to the main vocals beat the crowd was really following action with not just a drunken joy but with a gratuitous nirvana. Rudi Salmon’s (front woman) voice really shone brightly as the highs she hit vocally drew further excitement to the ground making the groups performance even more outstanding. Sirens ringing again from their set; drinks were raised to celebrate just getting and being there in that moment. Loud appraisal was had by the end of each and every song making it a consistently winning set from the group at the Powerstation. Pausing between songs front man Tom McFarland spoke about Auckland and New Zealand as both beautiful and lovely and their gratitude for us hosting them. Between two drummers, tambourines, a guitarist, keyboardist and powerful vocals Jungle was definitely an instrumental dream was warmly welcomed by each and every soul.