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Live Photos + Review: Courtney Barnett - The Powerstation, Auckland

Live Photos + Review: Courtney Barnett - The Powerstation, Auckland

Photography by Connor Crawford / Review by Fluffy / Wednesday 29th August, 2018 9:49AM

Australian songwriter Courtney Barnett brought her heartfelt tunes to Auckland's Powerstation last night, accompanied by her band, and supported by fellow Melburnians East Brunswick All Girls Choir. The attentive crowd hung on her every word - punters who were lucky enough to nab a ticket can head along to their second Auckland show tonight, while Wellingtonians can experience both acts at The Opera House on Thursday. Roving reviewer Fluffy and photographer extraordinaire Connor Crawford headed along to capture the vibes, check out the review and gaze upon Crawford's photos below...

East Brunswick All Girls Choir were, contrary to their name, made up of people from multiple spots on the gender spectrum (thought I’m not one to question geography, what with my limited grasp and familiarity on such concepts). What they did possess however, was a honed command of their vocal chords and some impressive harmonies. They marvellously managed to compact impressive dynamic shifts into not only single songs but, at times into single sections of their music. My compatriots mentioned before the show that they were favourites at Camp A Low Hum festivals gone by and I could see why: an expert combination of traditional songcraft met with chaotic, building, feedback-laden interludes.

There was thunderous applause from the enthusiastic, age-varied and all around wholesome crowd as Courtney Barnett and co entered the stage. As she kicked into her first tune, it swiftly became apparent that that this evening’s set would be an upbeat, rockier contrast to her solo appearance earlier in the day at sterling Auckland record store Flying Out.

Fairy lights accenting the stage set reminded me of the casual setting of a house show, accented of course by expert lighting in startling hues, especially during stark tempo changes which approached the peripheries of hardcore punk in contrasting nature. Her set was littered with cheeky moments of grabbing your old mates and belting out the majestically crafted hooks or looking over a seeing a new friend whistling back-up vocal lines. Much like a midnight feast on Dominion Rd, this was an aural dish best consumed in good company.

I chucked to myself as, at one point, the green uplighting conjured images of spooky halloween storytelling ala The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes, just before Barnett outlined the difficulties of gaining points with the cool kids by smoking weed with the wonderfully titled and thoroughly relatable ‘Avant Gardener’.

The evening saw a more raucous and energetic side of Barnett, with bFM high-rotation hits such as ‘Nameless, Faceless’ being given the comprehensive rock band treatment. The collection of tunes managed to retain enough cheerful nihilism to reassure fans that she was not removed entirely from reality in our harsh modern day world. Truly the City Of Sails has been blessed in the last week by antipodean goddesses, and no doubt the audience at Thursday night’s Wellington show will be the latest batch of disciples.


Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett

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Links
courtneybarnett.com.au
ebagc.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/CrawfordxPhotography/

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Wed 29th Aug
The Powerstation, Auckland
Thu 30th Aug
The Opera House, Wellington





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