Recent Reviews

Review: Burt Bacharach, Vector Arena

[NZ HERALD]
It seemed that every three-wheel rickshaw of the Britomart Bikemen was piping the songs of Burt Bacharach on the way to the Vector Arena for what must be the 87-year-old songwriter's last visit Downunder.

The format hadn't changed much since his first 2007 concert and, once again, a usually forbidding space was overlooked in what became an unforgettable night in the music lounge of your dreams.

Bacharach's elegant tunes streamed out for well over two hours, after a rousing What the World Needs Now is Love had reminded us that what is really in short supply today is the good old-fashioned songcraft that this man represents...

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BUrt Bacharach Vector Arena

[13thfloor.co.nz]
I was born too late to see Irving Berlin or Cole Porter or Duke Ellington or George Gershwin perform their own songs, but last night I was fortunate enough to witness another of the great American composers play and sing his own songs. And if you don't believe Burt Bacharach's name belongs alongside those other legendary names, take a look at the set list from last night's show at Auckland's Vector Arena and think again.

The show was billed as "An Evening With Burt Bacharach", and that's what we got…two hours of Burt at the piano along with his 7-piece band, three vocalists and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

As the 87-year-old composer made his way to his Steinway grand piano if was clear that the years had taken a toll on his body, but when he sat down to play, it was immediately clear that his spirit and talent had not diminished in the slightest...

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Michael Bolton reviews: fans have their say


A Class Act
by Beatlefan9091
I only went because my wife wanted to go but I have to say that this guy is an entertainer from the minute he walked on to the moment he walked off. Supported by brilliant musicians he produced a brilliant show. I knew his name but would have struggled to tell you any of his songs before the event but they all came back as he delivered them with a very smooth and effortless ease. What a nice and humble guy too. Apart from marrying me it's one of the best decisions my wife has made!!
Favourite moment: Hard to pick - so good.


An Evening with Michael Bolton was a great evening
by Anonymous
An Evening with Michael Bolton was a whole evening with him. The show was superb and a great trip down memory lane. Was a great show and I would not hesitate to recommend the show to anyone and I would certainly go and see Michael Bolton again.
Favourite moment: When he came out amongst the audience and sang his legendry song, When a Man Loves a Woman
Setlist: Everything


Awesome show
by Janjay
Fabulous concert from the opening number. The band were so entertaining esp. the saxophonist. Amanda Brown had a beautiful voice & Michael Bolton was so relaxed & sounded just like he did in the 80s. Everyone around us had a great night :)
Favourite moment: All of it
Opening act(s): NZ has some great talent

Kenny Rogers review: Music fans happy to take a gamble on Kenny Rogers

[Stuff.co.nz]

I closed my eyes and listened to him sing and I imagined Kenny Rogers in his white shirt, black vest, Colonel Sanders tie and a top hat staring at me, as the most recognisable cords are plucked on the guitar.

He slowly removes his hat and his dulcet tones reverberate across the room: "On a warm summer's eve, on a train bound for nowhere."

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Kenny Rogers review: Claudelands Arena

[13th Floor]

At age 76, Kenny Rogers may be about to fold 'em, but not before one last show in New Zealand. That show took place at Hamilton's Claudelands Arena where a few thousand life-long fans turned up to see The Gambler one last time...

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Billy Connolly review: Many genuinely side-splitting moments

[Otago Daily Times]

Sold-out signs usually accompany Billy Connolly shows in this neck of the woods. And last night was no exception at the Dunedin Town Hall.

There is something joyous and intoxicating about the irrepressible Scot New Zealanders find irresistible.

Connolly doesn't so much give sacred cows a nudge as lead them out on stage by the nose and ritualistically slaughter them.

The Big Yin rode into town yesterday on his High Horse Tour with a swag of new yarns.

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Review: Big Yin shows little sign of passing years

[Stuff.co.nz]

What: Billy Connolly's High Horse Tour
Where: Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000, Blenheim
When: Friday, May 9, 2014

Billy Connolly sauntered on to the stage on Friday night oozing his usual confidence, like someone who had popped out to grab the milk - a swagger that comes from 40 years of experience.

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Review: The Hollies Live in Wellington

The Hollies Live in WellingtonThe Hollies 22/02/2014
Michael Fowler Centre
[Positively Wellington]

It all started in the parking building.

A small group of people worried about whether the sign saying 'building will close at 9pm' was true – The Hollies would not be finished by then. One of the party rang the parking people and were told, no, the building would stay open till midnight.

That sounded more like it.

In the foyer of the Michael Fowler Centre other concert goers were nicely relaxed; we were waiting to catch up with some old friends. We are all waiting to get on with a shared journey that started for many of us 50 years ago...

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The Hollies - CBS Canterbury Arena - February 21, 2014
[Stuff.co.nz]

Amongst the first words from British band The Hollies was "Didn't fancy the rugby then?"

Two major events in close proximity led to some parking frustrations in Addington last night. When I arrived at CBS Arena two parking attendants were yelling frantically at each other as groups carrying beer wandered past, on their way to watch the Crusaders lose to the Chiefs.

With more hit singles than The Beatles in the 1960s The Hollies performed last night to mark both their 50th anniversary celebrations and their latest live album...

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Seven Sharp Interviews The Hollies

Seven Sharp's Brodie Kane
interviews The Hollies

Extended Interview here..

Review: Air Supply work their audience

Air Supply work their audienceAir Supply
St James Theatre, Wellington

Considering that Australia is so close I'm surprised that Air Supply have never played the Capital before, and given the rapturous applause it would come as no surprise to see them here again in the near future.

Of course, over the years, thanks to a combination of MOR radio stations and the constant re-issues of their greatest hits, I had them pegged for a soft-rock combo along the line of America and Seals and Croft, but what we got was one of the loudest concerts of the year which delighted the three-quarter full venue.

Make no mistake, they know how to work an audience thanks to 150 gigs a year, and if you think about it, with date-line changes and in-between travelling they are probably on the road about 200 days of the year, a punishing schedule for any artists and these guys are in their sixties!

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Review: Michael Winslow

Michale WinslowPositivley Wellington - Michael Winslow, Wellington Town Hall 14/08/2013

Michael Winslow proves to be a huge, commanding stage presence. The tall 54-year-old moves around like a puma, with large expressive eyes that he uses to great effect. He’s known mainly for making his own sound effects using only his voice. He does this brilliantly in the Police Academy films. In this show, he plunges into the past and re-creates the sound effects of films like Star Wars and Mary Poppins... 
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Review: Glenn Frey – Vector Arena

Glenn Frey, Vector Areana, Auckland, March 10, 201313th Floor -Glenn Frey, Vector Areana, Auckland, March 10, 2013

With a week of live and loud shows from the likes of Jon Spencer, Dinosaur Jr and Bloc Party, I was looking for a peaceful easy feeling and that’s exactly what solo Eagle Glenn Frey served up at the Vector Arena.

Frey is out on the road touring behind his After Hours album, a collection of easy-listening tunes that date back to the 1940s…song like For Sentimental Reasons, Route 66, The Shadow Of Your Smile and The Look Of Love. As he mentioned during the show, he made this record in part for his parents who are still alive and kicking. So, if you were looking for Life In The Fast Lane, well, you were in the wrong place.

Frey and his nine-piece band showed up looking dapper in the suits and ties, ready to lay down a little cocktail music. First though came a trio of Eagles songs…Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise and Lyin’ Eyes all let the audience know that there would be hearing old favourites from the band. read more»

Review: When an Eagle soars

Glenn Frey - CBS Areana, ChristchurchThe Press Christchurch - Glenn Frey could easily put his feet up after such a stellar career but last night he delivered a fresh and vibrant show.

Performing songs at CBS Arena that make up the soundtrack of our lives, he never lost a beat, had the small but enthusiastic crowd in the palm of his hand and never let them go.

Best known for co-founding The Eagles, Frey has carved out a successful solo career but also, in more recent times, diversified into jazz, blues and music from the early parts of the 20th century.

His latest album, After Hours, is a tribute to his elderly parents and the music they grew up with.

Offerings from the likes of Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and even the Beach Boys were performed with gusto, respect and passion.

But this crowd wanted his trademark Eagles songs and there were plenty of those on offer...  read more»

Review: The Hollies in Napier

The HolliesHawke's Bay Today - The Hollies concert at Church Rd Winery, Napier. Feb 3, 2013.

"Hello Napier!" The Hollies lead singer Peter Howarth roared to a vast crowd at last night's Church Road concert. The air was electric with anticipation as the first notes rang out across the venue. Would the band sound the same as they did 50 year's ago?

Certainly all the elements were there - smooth, perfectly polished harmonies, toe tapping tunes and immaculate instrumentals.

Even the band themselves were pristine, dressed for the first half of the show in matching crisp white shirts and striped ties, before appearing in an identical set of All Black's rugby jerseys.   read more»

Review:Elaine Paige's show a treat

Stuff.co.nz - Elaine Paige, Claudelands Event Centre October 14.

From the opening bars of "Don't cry for me Argentina" to the closing numbers from Sunset Boulevard, this night was a treat for fans of music theatre.

Paige is a great entertainer, a sensational star, an accomplished actress who after over 40 years since her West End debut, can still tingle the spine with her rendition of "Je ne regrette rien" and "Sur ma vie" from Piaf, or "I know him so well", from Chess.  read more»

Review: Paige 'a supernova among stars'

Elaine PaigeStuff.co.nz - Elaine Paige, CBS Canterbury Arena on Tuesday, October 16.

What more could possibly be said about Her Diva-ness, the First Lady of Musical Theatre, Elaine Paige? She is legend, and despite having trod the boards for 42 years, she still very much has the pipes, the moves, the elegant glamour - and the frocks and the lighting to boot.  read more»

Review:Elaine Paige's show a treat

Stuff.co.nz - Elaine Paige, Claudelands Event Centre October 14.

From the opening bars of "Don't cry for me Argentina" to the closing numbers from Sunset Boulevard, this night was a treat for fans of music theatre.

Paige is a great entertainer, a sensational star, an accomplished actress who after over 40 years since her West End debut, can still tingle the spine with her rendition of "Je ne regrette rien" and "Sur ma vie" from Piaf, or "I know him so well", from Chess.  read more»

Review: Kenny Rogers seals his legendary status

Kenny RogersStuff.co.nz - Kenny Rogers has nothing left to prove.

But despite some minor technical hitches, a dodgy knee and more than 50 years performing history, he gave it his all to an almost full house at CBS Arena.

But first, mention must go to the other stars of the show.

The warmup band performed a set dedicated to Glen Campbell who was to have shared the bill with Rogers until his failing health stopped him making the trip to Christchurch.

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Other reviews»

Review: Don McLean, Christchurch Town Hall

Don McLean in fine form at city show

Don McLeanStuff.co.nz  -  American singer/songwriter Don McLean's songs have been covered by everyone from Madonna to Weird Al Yankovic, Fred Astaire, George Michael, Elvis Presley, Shirley Bassey, Glen Campbell and Engelbert Humperdinck.

Arriving on stage in blue jeans with his guitar slung around his neck, McLean, 66, said he'd start with a few ''oldies''.

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Review: Don McLean: Aotea Centre

Don McLeanThe 13th Floor  -  It's rather incredible to think that it's been 40 years since Don McLean's American Pie was released on the public, instantly becoming one of the iconic songs of the 1970s and coining the phrase, "the day the music died". I first saw McLean play live in 1976 when I was at University. He was an engaging storyteller who quickly connected with his audience. In 2011, not much has changed. At age 65 Don McLean is still enjoying his time playing and singing his songs and others'.

The show got underway with a version of Buddy Holly's Everyday, followed by two tunes from my favourite McLean album, 1974's Homeless Brother. Don played La La Love You and the album's title track...

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Bowl of Brooklands rocks to the lively Hollies

the HolliesStuff.co.nz  -  Die-hard Hollies fans spread their picnics and revelled in the music of the Hall of Fame hit sensations last night.

TSB Bowl of Brooklands wasn't bursting at the seams (the official tally was 3250) but there was plenty of spring in the joints of those who chose to dance to the hits that first made the charts 40 odd years ago.

Many at last night's show praised the calibre of musicians playing at the New Plymouth venue in recent years and most spoken to had been at the Joe Cocker/George Thorogood concert two weeks ago.

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Rejigged Hollies prove they still ain't heavy

the HolliesDominion Post  -  BRITISH pop act The Hollies were one of the most successful bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

In recent times, Peter Howarth has assumed the lead-singer role, with Hicks and guitarist Steve Lauri sharing the vocals. Bassist Ray Stiles and keyboardist Ian Parker supply some harmonies also.
A sold-out crowd waited to hear the hits. It didn't take long – Jennifer Eccles, Just One Look and Sorry Suzanne were all early inclusions, the sunny harmonies still sounding fresh.

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Kenny Rogers delivers in Auckland

Kenny RogersStuff.co.nz  -  The cool kids may have been on the other side of Auckland at the Big Day Out but the crowd at last night's sold-out Kenny Rogers concert were the ones having all the fun.

Rogers didn't need pyrotechnics or a flying-fox to win this audience over at Vector Arena. From the moment Rogers walked on stage the crowd was all his, with fans eager to hear him sing...

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Concert Review: Kenny Rogers, Vector Arena

Kenny RogersNZ Herald  -  Kenny Rogers has an adoring and well-earned fanbase and there were few empty seats at Vector Arena on Friday.

The Topp Twins provided a nifty warm-up set. Garbed in gung-ho gingham and then changing to dashing denim while they dished out their sharp mix of heartland country and rollicking satire, they might have been a challenge to follow.

But with the support of his slick house band and the swooning strings and punchy horns of Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the man did not disappoint...

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