Monthly Archives: April 2014

Steve Earle & The Dukes + The Mastersons @ The Powerstation : 26 Apr 2014

Steve EarleIt’s a long way from Copperhead Road to The Low Highway, and for Steve Earle the journey has been filled with satisfying highs (3 Grammys and marriage to Allison Moorer).

Now, at age 58, Steve Earle is firing on all cylinders. His latest album, The Low Highway has garnered rave reviews, he’s just published his first novel, I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, and he has acted on some of the best television shows of the past decade including The Wire and Treme.

But Steve Earle’s main focus is his music…especially performing live.

Over the years, New Zealand audiences have been treated to some of Steve Earle’s most stunning shows, both as a solo artist and with his band. Last time he was here he jammed with Lucinda Williams. And with 15 studio albums under his belt, there’s never any danger of hearing the same set twice.

“I tried not to repeat myself,” Earle has said. “I can’t think of anything less interesting than making the same album twice.”

Now Steve Earle and The Dukes return to New Zealand for two shows, featuring long-time drummer Will Rigby along with Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore of The Mastersons, who will also serve as the opening act. In addition to backing Steve Earle on The Low Highway, The Mastersons have entranced audiences with songs from their own album, Birds Fly South. Earle has described this version of the band as “the best I’ve ever stood in front of”.

From all reports, Steve Earle and The Dukes are on fire…performing razor-sharp versions of songs that span his entire career.

Kim Hill from Radio New Zealand talks to Steve Earle about his life,  then, and now. By all accounts a fascinating interview – so good in fact that they ignored the fire alarm that went off mid interview and kept rolling.

Concert Review

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John Mayer @ Vector : 26 April 2014

John Mayer

Following the release of his new record and the announcement of upcoming Australian festival performances, blues guitar legend John Mayer has confirmed one very special concert at Vector Arena in April 2014, his first NZ performance since his Battle Studies World Tour in April 2010.

Mayer’s latest studio offering, Paradise Valley, was released here in late August and shot straight to #1 on the New Zealand iTunes chart. The Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician produced Paradise Valley with longtime collaborator Don Was, who also co-produced Mayer’s #1 charting Gold-certified 2012 release Born and Raised, and has worked on albums for acts such as the Rolling Stones, B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt.

2013 has seen Mayer kick off his first tour in three years, just two months ago, with a 40-date world tour, marking his return to the live stage after the recurrence of a throat granuloma forced him to cancel his tour in support of Born and Raised and take an indefinite hiatus from performing.  Mayer also performed alongside the likes of Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon and Alicia Keys last month in New York as part of the Global Citizen Festival.  The concert drew 60,000 people to Central Park’s Great Lawn with the aim of raising awareness and funds to end global extreme poverty by 2030.

Joining Mayer on these headline dates will be Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. The release of their latest album The Lion The Beast The Beat sees Grace and this Vermont rock outfit streamline their vintage signature sound, with a bunch of songs that are, just as the title suggests, powerful, pitch perfect stories.  The album was produced by Potter as well as Jim Scott (Wilco, Tedeschi Trucks band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), and Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) who also co-wrote three songs, the swampy “Loneliest Soul” and the album’s most melodic sing-along tracks and first single “Runaway” as well as “Never Go Back”.  Live, Potter’s sultry vocals, rock chic flying V guitar and keys combine the vintage sound that reminds you of songs you listened to on your parents’ car radio, with electric energy that makes you  want to get on the soles of their feet and dance til dawn. This unbeatable combination has lead to USA Today calling her; “The best female rock singer in the country.”

Concert Review

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Elvis Costello & The Imposters @ The Civic : 27 Apr 2014

Elvis Costello

New Zealand continues its lengthy love affair when Elvis Costello, the acclaimed singer-songwriter, returns to New Zealand in April 2014 bringing with him The Imposters.

For a long time Costello, has been a favoured son of New Zealand, having toured here around dozen times since the late 70’s.

Elvis and The Imposters (Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher) will present an incredible night of entertainment taking audiences through the Costello musical encyclopedia refresher course with a selection of songs from the past, present and future.

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Doobie Brothers @ The Civic : 25 April 2014

Dobbie BrothersA touch of blues, plus a lot of soul and rock and roll equal the nostalgic sound of California rock band The Doobie Brothers, who’ll be takin’ it to the streets in Auckland this coming Easter.

One of the enduring worldwide favourites of the 1970s, The Doobie Brothers, will bring their celebrated catalogue of rock music back to our shores this Easter for a headline show at The Civic on Friday 25th April, after visiting Australia for a run of headline shows and festival appearances.

With founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and Michael Hossack, the Doobies will be performing with a bunch of esteemed musicians as an eight-piece band.

There’s no disputing the unparalleled legacy of The Doobie Brothers.

This show is not to be missed.

Confirmed to open for legendary 1970s California pop/rock outfit, the Doobie Brothers, is Pat Simmons Jr. Son of founding member for the Doobie Brothers Pat Simmons, he is a multi-instrumentalist from Maui whose music is a teapot of activism and cultural teachings, invoking Aloha spirit with an open heart.

Running Time
Doors open 7.30pm
Support Act 8.00pm
Interval 8.30pm
Finish 10.30pm
(Times are approximate and are subject to change)

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Joss Stone & India Arie @ Vector : 25 Apr 2014

Joss Stone

In a rare musical double bill, two global “song-stresses” will share one very special night at Vector Arena this April.

From the moment that India.Arie released her very first single “Video”, and her multi-platinum debut album Acoustic Soul  in 2001, her music established an extraordinary bond of trust, affection and communication with lovers of music throughout the world. She has since been nominated for a massive 21 Grammy Awards, won four, and has sold over 10 million albums.

Her new album SongVersation, like the three before it, debuted in the Top Ten on the Billboard Album Chart and it’s a compelling snapshot of her hard-won breakthrough to simultaneous personal and artistic growth.

The minute she comes on stage, she owns it with her spiritual and empowering presence, heartfelt and engaging lyrics and smooth as silk voice. Reviews of her current tour are overwhelming in their praise: “Amazing experience’, ‘India speaks to my heart’, ‘spiritually moving … I cried a lot’, ‘Best concert I have EVER been to’.

Joss Stone has won a Grammy Award and two BRIT Awards, and her anthemic hit songs, such as “Super Duper Love”, “You Had Me”, “Fell In Love With A Boy” and “Right To Be Wrong”, have elevated her to global stardom – and she’s still only 26 years old !!

Her six best-selling albums (the first, The Soul Sessions, released when she was just 16 !!) have notched up over 11 million album sales – and titles like ‘Mind, Body & Soul’, ‘Introducing Joss Stone’, ‘Colour Me Free!’, ‘LP1’ and, most recently, ‘The Soul Sessions Vol II’,  have become ‘staples’ in record collections the world over.

In turn, her enthusiasm and obsession (almost), with music has led her on to collaborations with industry heavyweights such as James Brown, Gladys Knight, Solomon Burke, Blondie, Smokey Robinson , John Legend,  Melissa Etheridge, Lauryn Hill, Raphael Saadiq and the rapper Common, among many others.

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