The Astor Theatre 14/09/2012
Written for Drum Media (The Music)
It didn’t take long for the Astor Theatre to fill up and be consumed by an optimistic and vibrant mood. Whilst not the greatest venue for dancing space, especially for headlining act’s first sold out tour to WA, its sound certainly catered well for the familiar tasty grooves of some renowned NZ talent. Jahmoko opened up the evening by thanking the already pumped and growing crowd for supporting the NZ music scene.
As the smell of electric puha seeped through the air, the newly formed reggae band heated up the room with their energy and well-crafted vocals and instrumentals. Dedicating their second song to all those people back home going through the struggle, the 6-piece give you a performance that is real, installed by offbeat sounds that fit perfectly and wastes no time spreading their culture and good vibes.
With the crowd now backed up from the stage, through the isles, and all the way to the end of the room and top balcony – it was a dead giveaway that headlining act Katchafire has a huge following here. The all Maori 8-piece reggae roots inspired band move you seamlessly into their stimulating solos and breathtaking vocals, telling their stories through songs to an uninterrupted grooving crowd. Lead vocalist Logan Bell, along with lead guitarist Grenville Bell and the rest of the boys give off such a natural approach, involving the crowd the entire time, you get the impression you’ve just been included in an exclusive jam session. Jamey Ferguson does a spectacular job of juggling both the sexy sax sounds and keys, whilst together the band rolls in and out of infectious harmonies.
Tracks Sweet As and One Stop Shop played from their latest platinum album On the Road Again were guaranteed hits, progressing from romantic tunes through to pure funk in Groove Again. Got your Back and Who you With were just a few of the crowd favourites and a cover of Bob Marley – Don’t Worry went off flawlessly before finishing the set with two encores. Both bands gave an unforgettable live experience, to a crowd that was bursting with relaxed and happy pulsations, and a room filled with aroha (love), united together as one.