Review: Auckland City Limits - Western Springs, March 2018.

After taking a hiatus in 2017, Auckland City Limits returned this year to Western Springs with an array of names - higher profile legendary artists Grace Jones and Beck sat amongst up-and-coming talent like Sigrid and Jon Lemmon.

Check out some of our thoughts on our highlights from the day below…

SIGRID

Following in the footsteps of fellow Norwegians Aurora and Astrid S who’ve visited New Zealand over the past 12 months, the recently crowned BBC Sound Of 2018 winner Sigrid saw an early afternoon slot with an audience size that suggested a later slot would have been more suitable.

Opening with ‘Plot Twist’ from her ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ EP, her energetic set showcased both the known and the unknown - with unreleased songs ‘Raw’, ‘Credit’, and ‘Go To War’ a sign of things to come in Sigrid’s career.

 

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GEORGE EZRA

It’s hard to believe that Auckland City Limits was George Ezra’s first ever live public performance in New Zealand - with a platinum certified debut album ‘Wanted On Voyage’ and double-platinum certified single ’Budapest’ making it supremely obvious that New Zealand is in fact, very fond of Gezra.

Ezra was undeniably charming on stage - launching into ‘Cassy O’ with a truly overjoyed expression on his face. Pausing to acknowledge the audience with a “It’s lovely to see so many of you,” Ezra continued with a newer release ‘Paradise’, lifted from his upcoming sophomore album.

As with Sigrid, his set contained both the familiar and the unfamiliar - singalongs ensued in ‘Barcelona’ and ‘Listen To The Man’, and upcoming album cuts like ‘Hold My Girl’ and ‘Shotgun’ saw the audience enthralled by future fan-favourites.

 

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PHOENIX

With six albums under their belt, Phoenix’s frontman Thomas Mars explained to the audience mid-way through their one hour set that “because we have to get through six albums” there was no time to stop and chat.

Opening with ‘J-Boy’ from their ‘Ti Amo’ album, the four-piece band (who tour live as a six-piece) were without a doubt the highlight of the festival - with their slick live performance, which was matched with a visual production that changed nearly every song.

Nostalgia was felt throughout the crowd in older cuts ‘Lisztomania’ and ‘1901’, with the extended instrumental of ‘Love Like A Sunset Part I’ showcasing each and every member on-stage. The band closed with ‘1901’, but not before Mars threw himself into the audience for a stage-dive that carried himself mid-way out into the sea of people - where he toasted the crowd with a drink handed to him by someone in the crowd. After this truly unforgettable set, let’s hope Phoenix don’t take another 18 years to return to New Zealand.

 

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