Win tickets to the NZSO and The Phoenix Foundation – Celebrate!

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra joins forces with The Phoenix Foundation, one of the country’s most lauded bands, for a remarkable concert experience in August.

The NZSO and The Phoenix Foundation – Celebrate! marks 20 years since the popular band was founded in Wellington.

Top New Zealand composers and arrangers Gareth Farr, Claire Cowan, Chris Gendall and Hamish Oliver have been working with The Phoenix Foundation and NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich to create orchestral versions of the band’s much-loved works.

The Phoenix Foundation’s Chris O’Connor, NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich, Lukasz Buda, Will Ricketts, Tom Callwood, Samuel Scott and Conrad Wedde. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court

The Phoenix Foundation – Samuel Scott, Lukasz Buda, Conrad Wedde, Will Ricketts, Tom Callwood and Chris O’Connor – won the New Zealand Music Award for best group in 2010 for the album Buffalo. The band also contributed to several movie soundtracks, including film-maker Taika Waititi’s box office hits Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

We have two double passes to give away to the Christchurch concert on Thursday 30 August at the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Fill out the entry form on our website to be in with a chance to win. Entries close 5pm Wednesday 22 August. Winners will be announced on our website on Thursday 23 August.

The Killers bring Vegas to Christchurch

On Tuesday night at a sold out Horncastle Arena, the Killers took the stage in the most spectacular, Vegas-style fashion. They started off with their first single Mr Brightside (cue several audience members paying up on their bet that this would be the last number), the audience got to their feet, and remained there for the rest of the night. Immediately after, the arena went dark, a fantastic show of lights began, and the band launched into a fantastic repertoire of old favourites’ like ‘Human’, and ‘Read My Mind’, along with some great new songs such as ‘The Man’ and ‘Run For Cover’.

Brandon Flowers owned the stage, firstly in a fabulous pink jacket, then in the most glittering of gold suits that Elvis himself would have envied. If you were worried you wouldn’t be able to hear the show over the loud suits – never fear. Brandon Flowers voice was as powerful and on form as ever.

He was also backed up with a great band including 2 guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and 3 backing vocals. To be very technical about it, the noise was loud, and the Killers sounded bigger and better than ever. There were some great touches of flamboyancy too with giant confetti and streamers pouring from the ceiling at a couple of opportune moments. The band seemed to be stoked to be there, and Brandon Flowers smiled, pranced, and made love to us all. He said it had taken fourteen years for the band to get to Christchurch but assured us  it wouldn’t take that long again. The entire audience will no doubt hold him to that.

The programme was truly packed, and pauses for applause were very small, almost as though the band were worried we wouldn’t applaud. There was a nice hat tip to Kiwi music, with a rendition of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and the band went out with a true bang, on ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’.

Not all of the Killers were there as guitarist Dave Keuning has left touring to spend more time with his family, and bassist Mark Stoermer has likewise paused touring to take up study (as my brother in law observed, this is ‘in true rock star fashion’). How unusual is it to hear of rock stars halting their careers not for rehab reasons but rather for study and their bubs? This is just another reason to love this band. Brandon Flowers in particular just comes across as a heck of a nice guy, thrilled to bits that you’re having a good time.

If you’re gutted you missed the concert, well, this blog probably hasn’t helped. Happily though, the library does have plenty of Killers albums you can borrow, and like Brandon Flowers said, it won’t take fourteen years for the group to come back. Judging by the love for Brandon Flowers bursting from fans on Tuesday night, the group are no doubt aware that Christchurch has already started the countdown.

The Gig Guide: December 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Music

Christmas

Special performances incorporating festive music.

Popular music

Theatre & Dance

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: November 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Kids

Music

Theatre

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: October 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Kids

Music

Theatre

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: September 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

For more performances this month see the Christchurch Arts Festival website

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Theatre

Other

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: August 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Theatre

Other

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: July 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Other

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: June 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Comedy

Dance

Kids

Music

Theatre

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.

The Gig Guide: May 2017

Planning on attending a concert, show, or gig in Christchurch? Then why not take a look at what we’ve got of that artist’s back catalogue?

Music

May presents many more opportunities to listen to music than usual in Christchurch with New Zealand Music Month performances at a library near you including Adam McGrath of The Eastern, as well as the Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival.

What gigs are you looking forward to in the near future? Anything we’ve missed? Do let us know in the comments.