live review

Anika Moa, Galatos, Auckland

Anika Moa, Galatos, Auckland

Reviewed by Karyn Cushen
7th June 2010

June 4th 2010

With four unique albums, umpteenth tours and twelve years as a professional musician under her belt, Anika Moa is an inescapable force. A force that manifests as a fantastic night of entertainment, whether it’s due to her raw lyrics, her tightly honed musicianship, her comic-timing or random chicks pashing in the shadows, and last night at Galatos was no exception.

For the evening, Moa was supported by the newly formed Nightchoir, a former side-project that stemmed from the creative nucleus of Pluto. Fronted by Mike Hall, this alt-indie five-piece created beautiful melodies tinged with a steel guitar twang, reminiscent of the latest Band of Horses release and a perfect complement to Moa’s back-catalogue.

With little delay and fanfare, Moa and her seasoned three-piece band, comprising Goldenhorse’s Geoff Maddock, Cairo Knife Fight’s Nick Gaffaney, Opensouls’ Chip Matthews, took the stage. Immediately apparent was that Moa’s sound had altered from the standard singer-songwriter blueprint, featuring less pop, less blues and less country influences. Instead adopting a punchier edge, through juxtaposing uncluttered intros and tight riffs with explosive builds, instrumentals and chorus lines, illustrated by Two Hearts, Blame it on the Rain and her latest single, Running through the Fire (Storm).

Despite this distinct shift in musical influence, Moa’s subject matter - ‘lost love’, ‘found love’, ‘unrequited love’, sooooo ‘love’ – has remained constant, as has her ability to write fantastic, yet vulnerable, lyrics. Evident as her set captured material from her latest album Love in Motion (2010) as well as singles from her previous releases, like 'In the Morning', 'Mother', 'Dreams in my Head' and a reggae-massacred version of 'Youthful'.

Moa wears her new musical influence well and her lyrics suit the heightened energy and musical tapestry created by her top-ranking session musicians. The night was a refreshing change.



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