Location: Spark Arena, Auckland
Date: March 28th, 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Reviewed by HAZEL REID
Auckland’s Spark Arena lit up with the sound of music last night as UK pop star Anne-Marie rolled into town. Kiwi group Openside jumped on stage at 8 o’clock sharp to seriously warm up the crowd (vocal cords and all) and drummed their way into the opening track, Character Flaws.
The Auckland-based band performed their new tune, Waiting for Love, and rocked the new suits recently seen in their new music video and it proved to be a hit with the crowd. As did the drum battles between George, Harry, and PJ while Possum kept the ship sailing at the helm.
Anne-Marie bounced on to the stage full of energy and rightly so, it was the first show she had done in months – the very first show of the Speak Your Mind tour in fact. Yes, New Zealand was the first stop for once! Launching into her track Bad Girlfriend, Anne-Marie was keen to let everyone know that she was truly hyped for her first show.
It’s pretty easy to pick up on someone’s energy and how the atmosphere can change when they arrive and that’s exactly what happened – Anne-Marie was visibly comfortable and instantly relatable. She quickly built a bond of sorts with the audience as they jumped and sung along throughout.
The audience was a mixture of ages and I’m not sure about them, but as the evening went on, Anne-Marie’s storytelling and wisdom felt like big sister advice. She shared that she too had been hurt in the past (and written songs about it, hello Alarm and Then about a horrible experience in Ibiza with an ex-boyfriend) and that even when you feel weak at the time, you’ll come out “stronger than you were before.” Preach gal.
It’s not often you see a performer like Anne-Marie who shows such raw emotion and really connects with the crowd without the glitz and glam of backup singers, dancers, pyro and special effects – just pure talent on a modest stage with her three-piece band. She’s the type who stops the music just to jump down into the crowd barrier to high five the screaming front rowers – “sorry, I got distracted. That was so lovely, thank you so much”.
As Anne-Marie rolls into the next song she lets the fans know that being away from friends and family is hard while on tour, but ‘moments like those make it all better.’ I think that made the intimate crowd connect even more with the British singer.
Bypassing the normal ‘fake encore’ thing, Anne-Marie announced after singing her hit Rockabye that the show was almost at a close – but that couldn’t happen without a crowd sing-along to 2002 and Friends! Anne-Marie and her band really put on a show last night, a memorable Thursday night out for many and we can only hope she keeps NZ as the first stop on her future tours.
- Bad Girlfriend
- Do It Right
5. Perfect To Me
7. Ciao Adios
8. Can I Get Your Number
9. Don’t Leave Me Alone
From tour managing boybands to working massive events and interviewing international talent, HAZEL REID is in love with the craziness that is the entertainment industry.
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