When Tash Sultana first announced they were playing Spark Arena, I was wondering if that was an ambitious step, it wasn’t. It definitely paid off as around 6,000 people made their way inside. The crowd was quite mixed in regards to age, race and sexual orientation. But it was also awesome to see that one person and can clearly create music for all people. Though the majority were there to see Tash, it was a Wellington group that kicked off the show.

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Tunes of I are a 6-piece from Wellington, NZ. The 6-piece consists of a vocalist/guitarist, drummer, saxophone/tambourine, trumpet, bassist and guitarist. They performed a mixture of originals and covers. I think they were a perfect choice for an opening act as they provided they were fun and had good energy which the crowd seemed to enjoy too.

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The stage went dark, a pair of eyes blinked on the screen behind where Tash Sultana was set up. The neon statues lit up as the incense burned. They kicked off the set with ‘Seed’ and just really set the night as colourful confetti sprayed out over the crowd during ‘Big Smoke’. Tash may have played a short setlist but it was a long set, about 2 hours.

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Seeing Tash play live is an experience. The way they build each track allows you to not only appreciate it as a whole but how it was originally built. And seeing the passion in that just really allows you to feel it. After the confetti rained out during ‘Big Smoke’ Tash smashed their guitar on the stage and played it Flat on the stage. They did this a couple of times and even jumped down to the barrier to play right with the crowd. There may have been more instrumental moments then vocals but when there was vocals, they really pushed it out. The rawness and individual notes really hit you and combined with the instrumental build, it was emotional.

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“Thank you very much. I feel like I popped a lung. Thank you. It’s insane how many people are here. I will be back. Maybe next time with a band”.

The crowd screamed for an encore as the show came to an end with ‘Jungle’ and another shot of confetti. There was quite a wait as the crowd continued to scream. But Tash returned and ended the night on ‘Blackbird’. Some of the crowd had left at this point, however I think it was due to traffic because it was a late Friday night, the queues after the show definitely proved it may have been a good call.

I am glad I stayed for the full set. I left that show feeling emotional and inspired. There was something motivating in seeing someone so passionate about what they are doing. But also in saying that, if you appreciate music, you can appreciate Tash Sultana and what goes into everything they create.

As I said above, it is an experience, one we all need!

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@tashsultanaofficial 😭 Notion vocals

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Tunes of I

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Tash Sultana

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