The night kicked off with The Katayanagi Twins, Montell2099 then San Holo. But sadly I missed those few acts due to work etc. So I would love to hear what you thought of them all because personally I only knew of those acts and I’ve always enjoyed The Katayanagi Twins. So let me know! But now let me tell you about the acts that followed.
The crowd staggered in throughout the night and was still trickling in as Kali Uchis took the stage. The crowd had packed in a bit and the main thing I noticed was how diverse it was.there were a range of nationalities, ages, and sexes. It was awesome. Kali took the stage in what looked to be a PVC 2-piece. It looked stunning on her but I wonder if it was a good call with her constantly having to pull the top up.
The stage was a wash of strong red and blue light with a bit of white strobe to break it up. Dream-like visuals played out on the screen behind her that mixed between the sky and ocean. I didn’t really know her music before now but I have to say I enjoyed it. Kali has beautiful smooth vocals that even she couldn’t help but move to herself.
“Y’all alright? Are you still having fun? I have a few more songs”. She put on a coat that matched her outfit and played the rest of her set. It was a very simple set, the crowd seemed to love. There were definitely some Kali Uchis fans in the crowd.
Next up was an artist that I was actually looking forward to, Aminé. The crowd had packed in even more as DJ madisonLST kicked things off to get the crowd ready for him. The crowd was loving the tracks he was playing but then suddenly it went dark. A video intro played out of a guy being sassy and giving an intro to Aminé. He came out with a lot of energy and dove straight in.
Aminé set the crowd up for the night. He let everyone know “if you haven’t been to an Aminé show, I like to make everyone feel beautiful. So when I say You’re Beautiful, I want you to say I know”. As he ran back and fourth across the stage DJ madisonLST was there to help add to the hype, jumping in on the mic here and there. Visuals of messages, streets, lyrics and overlapping bananas accompanied each track.
As he performed the crowd clapped along and bounced their hands. His music was more well known than I thought. Aminé has strong clear vocals which flowed well. One particular thing I noticed was when one of his songs used the word “n*gga”, a quick message came up on the screen “if you ain’t black, don’t say it”. Occasionally as he performed some slower parts he either used a mic stand or sat on a stool but he’d be back up pretty quickly. No doubt he was buzzing. Aminé vibes so hard to his own music and was all smiles as he danced around the stage. He repeated the beautiful shout out throughout his set and it just added to the positive vibe that came off his music and attitude.
The screen read “Dreams are easy to achieve, believing is the hard part” at one point and his set eventually came to an end “My name’s Aminé. I love you. Good night”. I really thought his set was the best of the night (apart from Nicki’s of course).
The crowd had really packed in as Mura Masa took the stage next. I feel like it’s a bit hard for me to enjoy these types of artists, as essentially the artist has created the music which they play and either vocals play over or someone comes out and performs them. He chose the latter. Two women performed with him, Cosha & Fliss. I have to say Fliss stood out for me the most. It seemed as though she performed more out of the two but her energy was insane. She was constantly dancing as she sang, even jumping down on the lower speakers to get closer to the crowd. She just made you want to move.
Mura Masa himself played his music but with some authentic sounds of keys & guitar. The tracks were accompanied by visuals on the screen behind him. They included images of Mura Masa as well as lyrics & music videos. But with a quick thank you, he was off the stage. He really didn’t say much but I don’t think the crowd cared as the stage began changing for the Queen herself.
The crowd screamed as the back curtains parted ways and the staging came forward. The word Queen was lowered down above the staging. It was quite an elaborate set that really suited the aesthetic of her new album Queen. To get things going, DJ Boof who was “representing Nicki Minaj” got the crowd hyped and moving. He told the crowd as Nicki took the stage, to light up your phones and they did just that.
Nicki and her dancers emerged and took the stage draped in hoods. As the music began building, the dancers de-robed and Nicki and the dancers kicked things off with Feelin’ Myself. Though it was only her part and a bit of the chorus. Nicki was wearing a stunning yellow bodysuit that hugged her body very well. The translucent yellow coat draped over the top.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. Every time I come out I have a really good fucking time”. Nicki’s dancers weren’t holding back and they were definitely not just simple routines. Nicki knew this and acknowledged it with the occasional spotlight on one of the dancers. I must admit I was wondering, after seeing videos, if Nicki would just be using a lot of backing tracks but she wasn’t. And she proved she’s still got it when she had an Acappella moment and performed classics such as Save Me. Though the part that got me was when she said: “I say 6, you say 9”. Though I suppose it depends on where you sit with your opinion on him. But Nicki dove into a bit of FEFE.
Some of the other tracks she’d perform are Beez In The Trap, Pound The Alarm, Starships & Moment For Life. And obviously a few tracks off Queen.
Nicki went on to grab a NZ flag from the front which she couldn’t stop smiling over. She waved it around and kissed and hugged it. But she had to put it down before taking the show in a different direction “Did you come with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Oh, you’re single? And ready to mingle?! Well, I want to get a bit nasty with you. Not a lot, just a little bit”. Then the iconic track Anaconda went off, with Nicki and her dancers busting out moves from the video. They also did that for the following track Swalla. The only fault in her set would have to be one of the dancers performing using the unicorn staging and the unicorn took a dive towards the end of Side to Side. She managed to save it and Nicki’s team popped in quickly to sort it.
The one moment a couple of fans won’t forget is when Nicki bought Manu from Rewa on stage to give a lap dance too. With the permission of his girlfriend who Nicki also brought up. Though the girlfriend decided to take the moment to ask the crowd if she should marry him? Nicki asked how long they had been together and she said 10 years. With that Nicki and the crowd all agreed that she should.
After a few more songs Nicki really deterred from the marriage talk, telling everyone it took her “about 17 hours to get here. Follow your dreams. Don’t let anybody take your shine. Ladies get your own job etc. Don’t depend on a man but also don’t let them get a thing for free”. Wise words. But she wanted to “let NZ know how special they are” and ended the night on high, fun energy with Super Bass.
I feel like you really have to see the photos and videos from the night to really know what went down. Though I gave you quite a bit, you really can’t feel the fun vibes, the ridiculously loud bass and the good night that FOMO was.