Review & Header Photo by Heather McMillan
Opening a set is never easy but Geoff Ong stepped onstage with such a passion and confidence, ensuring the audience would have a hard time not enjoying his set! Not only was he a positive burst of energy, but his sound was mesmerising as he sang original after original with great poise and impressive vocal range. This positivity was mirrored back to him, from the crowd, mid songs as an incredible kudos to his talent. There was no doubting that by the end of his set he had gained an entire room of new Geoff Ong fans because his talent and good vibes.
Still just a teenage Indyah’s voice and image is mature beyond her years. Denim jumpsuit with a half up half down space bun look; she definitely has a sound and look that is future proof for success. Nobody would have known if she hadn’t said that it was her first performance as Indyah as she sung out with confidence and great control in her vocals through her new single ‘Truth or Dare.‘ Her pop sound was both catchy and feel good telling the stories of teenage love.
After a long time wait local fans were hyped and ready for Massad to step forth on stage. Dressed in black, eyes gazing out, was a performer with the most gracious of smiles. Massad’s positivity was felt in the room immediately as he took the stage. The room was packed with people eager to hear his new sound. He begun commenting on his thoughts the previous day that nobody would turn up. Thankfully he was wrong, as every person in that room was buzzing with excitement to see him on a New Zealand stage again.
Not wanting to hold back Massad began singing a set of mostly new but also nostalgic and fan favourites. For most the melodies and lyrics were brand new, coming fresh from the UK; where he has spent the majority of the past five years living and growing his music. The audience, a mix of younger and old fans, was absorbed by his raw lryics and flawless voice as he sung out his ‘need for someone to tel him he’s going to be okay,’
It was humbling to be part of such a personal moment of shared feelings from artist to audience. The warming silence to support the ending of the first song conveyed the happiness that everyone felt. Hearing not only new music but also words being sung so sincerely as Massad’s voice projected his vulnerabilities of being alone; not only was it the relatability of his new lyrics but also the confidence in his passion to unfold one of the most personal feelings a human could tell that shaped the rest of the evening.
Massad spoke passionately between songs about getting out there and just living and exploring. He admitted upon not really relating to his older music when he wrote about love and heartbreak but shared now he has a new perspective on such topics having grown up and experiencing more. His words were filled with inspiration when he spoke of; meeting new people and seeing new places all of which had allowed a new honesty in his art. Besides being a sensational lyricist it was clear through his well-spoken manner that his time living abroad has allowed him to grow, not only into himself, but into a sound that he is proud and comfortable with.
It is hard not to forget the audience’s excitement as he got behind the keyboard to perform ‘Tear My Heart Out’ a song in which his fans had to support him in singing as it had been so long since he last performed it that a few words went astray. If that was not enough to make fans adore him despite a five year wait; then the sweetness behind the words that he shared about his Nana (who was front row for most of the show) and her birthday were. All in all the show was mesmerising from the audiences contribution to the joy that Massad beamed out to his friends, fans and family.