9 March 2018
Stellar* for me are part of the year I married Kate, back in 2000. We'd just bought our flash stereo system, pride of place in our Huntly Avenue flat, one we kept alive until just recently. That year the Mix album was on regular play, Violent and Part of Me were constant and welcome earworms - not that they were a soundtrack to our marriage. I remember also the following year seeing the unmistakable Boh Runga with her reddest of red hair at Christchurch Airport after we'd had a week of hiking in Arthur's Pass, and thinking cool, a pop star!
Lexxa opened. Twin sisters, Maude and Julia with infectious enthusiasm performing mainly their own pop originals. Their songs are a mix of Katy Perry and Amy Shark in style, written from the reflections of teenage years. Highlight for me was a catchy and heartfelt song for the socially awkward - 'Should I give up? I think so much. I run out of words and I don't know what to say.' Fun, energetic performance, they perhaps just need to settle on a comfortable vocal range. The Auckland crowd gave them their due, a warm reception and good wishes.
No red hair anymore, but no matter. Stellar opened with Slow Burn, and a cheer came up for the classic riff from Chris van de Geer. And by god Boh has a vocal range to be proud of.
They produced their driving rhythm with overriding electric guitars throughout. It's about the drive, the pop rock band sound and the totally cool vocal lead.
While they wrestled with a few sound issues Kurt indulged in some self-deprecating kiwi humour. 'We just hoped that by playing nothing new you'd finally like our third album... Is anyone here from overseas? See, that's the problem!'
What's not to love?