Upon arriving to The Tuning Fork, the venue was already buzzing with people inside and out. I had just missed Soraya LaPread’s set which was a bummer because I really enjoy her mixes. But Leaping Tiger was due to take the stage next.
As Leaping Tiger took to the stage, the people that were outside made their way in and the Tuning Fork began to pack in. I had heard of Leaping Tiger before but I had never actually seen him live or heard any of his music. But I was quite glad I hadn’t as I believe hearing it live and being amongst the crowds energy really gave it a stronger impact and it felt like I was experiencing it the way it was meant to be experienced. The crowd were loving it and the energy was high. Leaping Tiger, at one point, got the crowd to squat down and jump when the beat hit, which they happily obliged. He even jumped into the crowd to have a dance with everyone. It really was a great set and there was a real positive energy amongst everyone. It felt like it was just a fun night to have a dance with friends, not there to just stand and watch someone perform. I definitely look forward to seeing him perform again.
Next to take the stage was PollyHill with Half Queen on the decks. I always love seeing these 2 on the stage. In the few times I’ve seen PollyHill live, I’ve never been able to fault her delivery. Half Queen knows how to flow with he performers she works with and she just adds awesome element to the performance. PollyHill really is a great performer and her words speaks volumes to me. I think you really have to appreciate an artist that really just speaks their mind and speaks facts. The crowd had really packed in, were vibing hard and reacting to all her words as well. She told the story about how she first came across Imugi and now she was opening for them. It was a nice reminder on how small the music scene is but also how awesome it to see artists grow. I look forward to seeing PollyHill again at R&V.
Now speaking of how awesome the crowd was, I also noticed how diverse it was and I wasn’t the only one. As I went to the bathroom I overheard a couple of women discussing how diverse the crowd was and how they were having a great night. They also mentioned that they wish there was these types of spaces all the time. That is very true and though it has been a big discussion lately, it is nice that there are still some spaces that really make someone feel comfortable and happy.
But finally the time had come for Imugi to take the stage and the crowd was packed in all the way to the back and super excited. Yery was all smiles as she looked out to the crowd and seemed almost shocked and you couldn’t take the smile off Carl’s face. Not to mention their awesome outfits – I forgot to note down the person who designed them but I’m sure if you reach out to Imugi they will tell you. Joining them onstage was drummer & producer Dan Waterson who also seemed to be feeling the same energy. They performed a mix of old tracks, tracks off the new Dragonfruit EP and even some unreleased new music. The crowd were loving it and their energy felt like another level. It felt like a room of their friends and family who were there to just celebrate their release and have a good night. Imugi also bought PollyHill onstage to perform a track with them. Yery shouted out all the “girls and gays” and made a few more statements about capitalism etc. Nothing anyone would disagree with and it was awesome of her to do that and then have the crowd proudly shout it all back.
It really was an incredible show and the best way you could spend a Thursday night in Auckland! Imugi will be performing at R&V so I highly recommend going to see their set if you are attending. Otherwise be sure to check out their music and see them live when you get the chance!