Words by Shelley Te Haara, photography by Chony Musson
Opening for The Vamps were Christchurch natives Nomad. They came out on to the stage, greeted the crowd with a quick “How are you doing, Auckland?” and got straight into it. The 3-piece started their set off slow and it really allowed the crowd to appreciate their vocals and instruments in a more intimate way. But, of course, they had to get the crowd ready for The Vamps and lead vocalist Will McGillivray made sure the crowd knew that they weren’t going to take it lightly, telling the crowd that they were “stoked” and that it was “an honour for them to open for The Vamps”.
Nomad then treated the crowd to a new song titled If I Could Fly, and it was exciting to know that they are clearly working on some new material, but I don’t think the crowd was prepared for what was to follow. The guys broke out into a cover of Dave Dobbyn’s Slice of Heaven which felt a bit strange at first but then became so fun and familiar. It turns out the cover was more of an opening as they suddenly broke out into their hit single Oh My My which really got the crowd off their feet. But the crowd’s energy didn’t falter as they jumped right into another cover of Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley. Although it seemed like their set was just kicking off, they let the crowd know it was time for their last song, ending their set with another new track called All Of My Heart. They thanked the crowd, handed out their setlists to a whirlwind of screaming fans and departed the stage. Nomad definitely left an impression on the crowd and I’m sure we will be seeing more of them with all this new music.
You would think that with the intermission, the crowd would have somewhat died down, but if anything, it seemed like the anticipation was growing, and there were screams at every sign of movement. Finally, the lights went off and out came The Vamps. The first thing I noticed, apart from the loud screams, were the colours all over the stage from the colourful lighting – Tristan Evans’ orange drumsticks, Connor Balls’ green guitar + LEDs. Without any hesitation, they got straight into it and the crowd seemed to become one mess of crazy movement. As if the British pop rock band weren’t winning over the hearts of the crowd already, lead vocalist Brad Simpson finally spoke to the crowd: “Auckland, you beautiful bunch of people, you”. The 4-piece acknowledging that they “like NZ so far”, though I don’t think the crowd reacted as much to that as they did to Brad asking the crowd “Who wants to be my girlfriend?”, before performing an acoustic rendition of Same To You from their album Night & Day.
The Vamps interacted a lot with the crowd, mentioning how far they have travelled, sharing tales from their experiences at the airport, and then had a brief chat with a girl in the front who was from Wales. The band then performed an acoustic version of Sad Song which Brad got the crowd to participate in, getting one half of the room to sing “hold on baby” and the other half to sing “know you drive me crazy”. The energy was sustained during well-know tracks Oh Cecilia and Middle of the Night, and after this, they went on to tell the crowd that it was the end of the set, saying, “let’s have a dance”. This led into the new single Staying Up, as the crowd went crazy and jumped along with the band.
After an expected chant of “encore”, The Vamps emerged once again, and took the crowd out with two of their well-known tracks Can We Dance and All Night. Both were received very well and it was like the energy never left the room as the crowd was once again bouncing and singing at the top of their lungs. The Vamps thanked the crowd once again, said they’d be back one day, and then they were gone.