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Review: Shapeshifter + Friends 2017

Kiwi drum and bass act Shapeshifter have been playing sold out shows worldwide since 1999, and making New Zealand proud ever since. Their delicious blend of heavy soul with drum and bass makes for one hell of a concert – which Auckland was lucky enough to experience on March 3rd.

Tickets for the show at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland’s CBD were sold out in a number of days. The promise of an appearance from Kiwi icon Tiki Taane made the urge to buy the slightly overpriced tickets even harder to resist.

Shapeshifter play yet another sold out show in Auckland. Photo: Clinic Talent

The venue was certainly interesting; with the walls made of glass and the ceilings ever so high, it didn’t really seem like an appropriate place to hold a drum and bass gig at first. I was quickly proved wrong upon entry, as a huge amount of space lay before me in front of a rather large stage.

Tiki Taane appeared first up, playing some of his classic tracks such as Summertime and Always on My Mind. His stage presence was interesting to say the least – with the majority of his set containing random guitar solos and spoken word poetry. He did express his appreciation for the crowd turning up early to see him though, after laughing about how “slack” Aucklanders are at showing up early.

Tiki Taane performed his iconic hit singles at Shapeshifter + Friends. Photo: Steve Dykes

There were a couple of hours to spare after Tiki’s set before Shapeshifter were scheduled to appear – so instinctively the masses flocked to the drinks line. It was literal insanity, with only six or seven bartenders up against hundreds of thirsty party-goers. The extremely large amount of intimidating security guards made quite the difference as well.

DJs K+Lab and Dylan C filled the gaps between the two main performances very well, creating a hyped up crowd for Shapeshifter. Even though some of the songs played were slightly generic, the multiple mosh pits proved that the audience were still enjoying themselves.

When Shapeshifter finally made their much anticipated presence known, it was most certainly heard as well. The monstrous room echoed and shook under the heavy bass, with the screams and shouts from the crowd contributing to the madness. Their hour and a half long set was incredible to say the least – one of the highlights definitely being the beautiful visuals and colourful lights projecting through the room.

Overall, the concert was organised almost perfectly, with barely any incidents occurring and a very pleased audience at the end of it all. I personally only sustained minor bruises and had one of the best nights of my life.

Watch Shapeshifter opening their show below:

Claudia Cranch
Claudia is a young, budding journalist that can be found working at the NZ Radio Training School in Auckland.
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