More FM Summer Vineyard Tour 2012

Auckland surprised everyone on Saturday by cracking out a stunning summer’s afternoon for the More FM Summer Vineyard Tour. And there’s nothing like good weather to accompany some great music from home and abroad.

Local Annabel Fay kicked things off at Turanga Creek Winery, patrons enjoying her hits like River and Home. She stepped up a gear and got the mini mosh pit moving with dubstep styles like Last Night and Show Me The Right Way.

 What essentially was another warm up act (which he freely admitted) turned out to be one of the highlights of the gig. Tiki Taane’s energetic acoustic set warmed all up with his easy banter and diverse set list. Ranging from crowd favourite Always On My Mind, Salmonella Dub’s Love Your Ways and a brilliant reggae version of Use Somebody by Kings of Leon.

Tiki also recalled his misadventures with the ‘po-lice’ in Tauranga with good humour. After ‘hurting a cop’s feelings’ with some rap, Tiki ended up in a holding cell for five hours. Lucky for us he thought up Freedom To Sing a song he developed with fellow spirit Michael Franti. The crowd lapped it up, especially when it segued into I Shot The Sheriff, Bad Boys and I Fought The Law.

Then after two sellout gigs in Auckland last year Aloe Blacc, and his backing band the Grand Scheme, were welcomed back with open arms. The sharp dressed man from the O.C. called out to the crowd “Are you ready to get down?” and we surely did.

Blacc was a true pro with singles Green Lights and Good Things getting the patrons’ groove on. And what everyone was waiting to here, I Need A Dollar, was worth every cent of admission, especially when he slipped into a reggae version Tiki would have been proud of. Loving You Is Killing Me, was an epic finale, with each of the Grand Scheme’s slick performers getting their solo in the setting sun.

Australia’s laidback lads, the John Butler Trio, soon settled in for a rootsy end to the night. They began with one of the catchiest tracks off last year’s April Uprising, Don’t Wanna See Your Face. Belting out foot stomping tracks on a range of instruments, they only stopped for a not unexpected political discussion. Which lead nicely into their protest song Revolution.

Their biggest hit didn’t disappoint either. ‘You ready to sing?’ was Mr Butler’s intro to Zebra. And we were lucky enough to have The Grand Scheme’s horn section come on stage to really jazz things up.

After a very wet Saturday morning, the day was a welcome return to what summer is all about, cold drinks on a hot day with some great music.

On a completely random sidenote, check out John Butler Trio’s chance of a Super Bowl windfall:

text & photos by Clayton Barnett