Photography by Faith Hazel
Review by Samantha Davies
After releasing his debut album ‘Where Polly People Go to Read’ in April this year, Gus Dapperton made his way to New Zealand to play an intimate show at The Tuning Fork with B as support. Upon arriving at the Tuning Fork, I was unsure of what to expect from both Dapperton and BEING, but the atmosphere was companionable, and I could tell I was in for a fun night.
BEING. (Jessica Balmer) is a guitar pop artist who brought punchy tunes and soulful vocals which instantly had the audience on their feet and dancing along. BEING set the tone of the night with catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics which were complemented by soft pink and blue lighting, creating a warm and intimate atmosphere. The lively young artist played ‘Lucy’ which she described as “the most polite ‘F You’ song” before she asked “wait, am I allowed to swear?” to which she received a chorus of cheers from the audience. Proving to be a talented musician as well as a poet, BEING slowed it down with some spoken word; I have never witnessed a musician reciting poetry during their set, but it seemed to accentuate the intimacy in the room. BEING finished her set, leaving the audience feeling euphoric.
The tension was building up in the Tuning Fork as eager fans waited for Gus Dapperton to take the stage. It wasn’t long before the band was in place, starting the set with a catchy beat which made bobbing your head hard to resist. American singer, Dapperton, made his way on stage to join his band as the ecstatic crowd welcomed him with an eruption of screams. Dapperton and his band created indie synth-pop sounds which were quirky and fun, and with his vocals, they created a unique sound which I can’t say I’ve ever heard before. Dapperton moved on to play ‘Moodna, Once With Grace’, a song about his first love and the evolution of their relationship. This song exuded a feeling of melancholy which only added to the intimacy of the show. Throughout the set, the band seemed to be very comfortable with each other on stage as they pulled faces at each other, danced in sync, and overall had a fun time while executing their performance perfectly.
The 22-year-old pumped up the audience with his charisma, eccentric dance moves, and rough vocals as he played banger after banger. After playing just the first chord of ‘Prune, You Talk Funny’, I could tell this song would be a crowd favourite as everyone screamed and cheered. As I had expected, this song was the highlight of the night- with upbeat melodies and fun lyrics, everyone in the Tuning Fork danced and sang along in bliss. Dapperton announced that he would be playing his last song, ‘Fill Me Up Anthem’, to which the crowd responded with many “awws” and “boos”. The moment was bittersweet as the fans sang their hearts out, knowing the night was coming to an end. Dapperton and his band said their goodbyes, leaving the stage, only to be called back instantly by a loud chant of “Encore!”. The audience was more than delighted when Dapperton made his way back on to the stage to perform ‘World Class Cinema’, ending his hearty performance with one last catchy tune.