I will admit that I walked into The Powerstation with my pals from The Speakeasy not really knowing what to expect of what we were about to witness. I had seen Kiwi born, Ladyhawke‘s set earlier in the year at Auckland City Limits but I’m seasoned enough to know that there are always huge discrepancies between festival sets and headline shows. Bands feed off the energy of the crowd and this is always much higher when the audience isn’t just there because that act happens to be before the band they really want to see.
Regardless of my expectations, however, it was the last show of a two month long tour and I was determined to have a good time.
What followed was one of the best nights I have had in a very long time.
The support for the evening was Openside, a band that I’ve followed for the past year or so and one that has come to inspire me endlessly. Despite the fairly small crowd that had formed at this point, Possum, George, PJ and Harry seemed to be having a ball playing songs from their upcoming EP – including their new track Letting It Out. The four band members have an incredible stage presence and Possum is a natural born performer, giving off such a wonderful aura that you can’t help but dance along. With Possum making eye contact with many members of the audience during their set, it’s easy to see why the fans feel such a close and personal connection to Openside. It’s also possible that Possum’s smile literally fuels the sun, I’m just sayin’.
After a 30 minute break between acts (in which we excitedly discussed our New Year’s plans), Ladyhawke took to the stage. There were neon lights covering every surface, making it immediately feel like a dance party to which the crowd responded accordingly. It is quite clear that Pip doesn’t feel entirely comfortable in front of a crowd, something that was only reiterated when she stated, “I’m not too good at this talking in between songs thing”. Somehow, though, as the set went on, the crowd continued to get more into the show and the amount of positive energy floating around only increased. Pip certainly fed off this, looking more at ease behind the microphone and, every now and then, telling the crowd how much of a great time she was having. I think for me, when the artist is blatantly having a good time, it seeps into you and it’s impossible to be indifferent. As I looked around me, everyone was patently enjoying themselves as much as I was and this only fuelled the fire further.
I wouldn’t say that Ladyhawke’s music is striking, but regardless of that fact, Pip and her band put on a really wonderful show. The music is repetitive, it’s fun, and it’s unapologetically catchy. It has all the ingredients of a dance party and by half way through the set, that is exactly what The Powerstation had turned into. With crowd favourites such as Paris is Burning, A Love Song and, finally, My Delirium, I had long since forgotten any reservations I had about Ladyhawke and was having the best time of my life with some of my best friends. It feels really lovely to know that we were a part of the last show on the two month Wild Things tour and to know that the enjoyment we felt was reciprocated by those on stage. Whilst music to me is generally about lyrics and meaning, it made a welcome change to come out of a gig without tear stained cheeks and I realised that sometimes there really is nothing wrong with just accepting it for exactly what it is.
Back of the Van
Love Don’t Live Here
Dusk Til Dawn
Let It Roll
A Love Song
Paris Is Burning