After arriving just as Brendon Thomas and the Vibes took the stage and narrowly avoiding several awkward encounters with people that I know, I was finally able to appreciate the vastness of the crowd at Galatos – a surprisingly intimate venue despite its high ceilings and odd layout.
BT and the Vibes treated the audience to a number of old favourites, but the highlight of their set was, by far, their rendition of Flowers, a track from their EP, aptly titled Wrap You In The Sun. As soon as BT crooned, I will wait for your flowers to grow, the audience was captivated, and the room was filled with a warmth and a sweetness that remained the entire night. But such is the reputation of BT and the Vibes – they have been commended for their stellar live sets and eclectic style. This was reinforced by hearing people next to me excitedly exclaim that they were “unbelievably good live”, and I couldn’t help but feel proud to live in a place that has been churning out so many incredible, homegrown artists. Soon after, Summer Thieves kept the good vibes going (with bucket hat in tow), treating the audience to a number of tracks off their latest album, Warped.
And finally, after we had dashed out to grab an exorbitant amount of food from Lord of the Fries (and I saw Tom from Survivor NZ on K Road!), we returned to find that Strangely Arousing would be taking over the night – but not before we all endured the cringeworthy yet hilarious antics of the MC (who would also jump on the tambourine later, and was hyping us up with his choice dance moves all night).
Despite What Do having only been released that morning, the crowd were well-acquainted with a number of SA’s tunes. It also helps that most of the band’s songs make you want to throw back your glass of rum and start dancing as wildly as possible. Kicking off their set with the reggae-soaked I Don’t Give A, the energy was up, and stayed that way all through to their rendition of old favourites, Lincoln Parks and then Kupenga – which were so near and dear to the crowd, in fact, that I heard people around me singing along in Te Reo. When the jazzy Talk A Walk came around, and the closer, Groove Shooter, the crowd was far from ready for the gig to be over.
After a short interlude, in which we experienced Liam working some light-up poi, SA launched into their encore – which came about after the audience started chanting “one more song! Ten more songs!” (I was emotional at this point). After playing the smooth and compelling Live to Live, SA threw the last of their energy into the final song of the evening, the cheeky Rebound – which is packed with a sweet, catchy riff, and a welcome overdose of the horn section. As the song neared its end, they sped it up to the point where everyone lost their concept of anything except the collective thought of “this is so fucking fun.”
In short – we are lucky to live in a place that has seen a resurgence in creative talent, because it is these talented and passionate musicians (and the chaos of happy, dancing people that they inspire), that makes this city bright, brilliant and full of life.
I Don’t Give A
Caught My Eye
Covers / What Do
Lincoln Parks / Kupenga
Take A Walk
Live to Live