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March 22, 2010 | by  | in Music |
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Orientation Review

Music

For what has been quoted as the best Orientation lineup in almost a decade, attendance told a different story at far too many events. Particularly Cool Town, which was brutally sodomised by apathy. Ten acts, playing for free, at your local student bar, with drinks specials. Yet, despite best efforts, these shows went largely ignored. The same went for gallery openings, with Kazaam Blam playing to a number of people that was countable on two hands. Roger Shepherd, founder of Flying Nun, drew a maximum of 30 people. And while the quality of these events was somewhat debatable (an overbearingly loud slide projector drowned out Shepherd in the Adam Art Gallery, Cool Town drawcards Nevernudes were far too sloppy/drunk on their last show ever with original lineup), there was a plethora of quality acts that were missed: The Body Lyre, Seth Frightening, and Vaults, to name a few.

Of course, it wasn’t all bad. In the wake of Martin Phillips’ inability to make his flight to play with The Chills, Die! Die! Die! stepped in to play a free show at SFBH alongside Joe Blossom and Secret Knives. And while my fourth experience of Secret Knives already feels same-y, Die! Die! Die! inverted their Campus A Low Hum setlist and proceeded to tear the stage a new exit. They then repeated this performance on the Friday at the VBC 3rd birthday party—pretty impressive that they can pack out and annihilate the Bath House twice in a week, with near-identical sets. Birthday billmates Bang! Bang! Eche! seem to be edging ever closer to poppy bangers, but their live show carried more than enough bite to justify their presence alongside Die! Die! Die! and headliners The Mint Chicks. For what retrospectively may be their last ever show in Wellington (only time will tell), it was certainly the most interesting set I’d seen them play. With two bassists (including the sorely missed Michael Logie), and Kody Nielson hacking at a second drum kit while singing “shit got real”. There were Fuck The Golden Youth hits galore, and the ‘Enemies / Life Will Get Better Some Day’ combo towards the night’s end completely sealed the deal as well.

Deerhoof fell victim to a hugely apathetic crowd, despite putting on an incredible show. Opening with ‘Panda Panda Panda’, Sutomi is officially the babe to end all babes. Combine the awkward pointing at crowd then self, cutesy shuffling, juxtaposed with the Need For Speed-paced riffs, the drummer who was giving off more energy than the sold-out crowd put together, and you have a fantastic show that, unfortunately, seemed to fall upon 500 passive sets of ears. At the other end of the spectrum was Hawnay Troof, who whipped a decidedly smaller Mighty Mighty crowd into a frenzy, culminating in an incarnate version of ‘This Is Our Invite’, his collaboration with LA punkettes Mika Miko.

Overall, the calibre of acts involved in Orientation 2010 was phenomenal. Wanganui’s Sets performed two shows in one night, writing entirely new material for each show, incorporating a telephone and a stereo speaker as instruments. Street Chant played one of their last New Zealand shows before opening for the fucking Dead Weather. DEERHOOF PLAYED FOR TEN DOLLARS. It was certainly an indie-leaning lineup, but the sellout crowds at the VBC Birthday Party and Deerhoof completely justified fleeing another Katchafire O-Week set. Hopefully the lazy among you actually get out there next time. Orientation: Because you’re worth it.

Oh. Ladyhawke played a one-hour iTunes Genius DJ set too. ‘Lovecats’. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. ‘This Charming Man’. ‘Human After All’. I think the same songs might have been playing at Mighty Mighty for about $25 less, actually.

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  1. kelvin says:

    lol so glad i didnt pay 25 dolllars for da hawk dj set. awesome week though.

    HOWEVER in regards to deerhoof, to be completely honest i thought they LACKED energy, not just the crowd lacking energy. they are an energetic BAND but i was so disappointed at how boring their set was. im a fan, i love their songs, i thought it was gonna go off. it didnt.

    the difference between this show and the health show (which was to wayyyyy less people but in the same venue) was huggggge. health rocked it, deerhoof just kinda played it.

    so you know, give me a break james, i didnt like it… LOL

  2. juliet says:

    You’re cool.

  3. Daaaaaaaaaaan says:

    Totes agree Kelvin. Deerhoof bored da fucks out of me. It felt like they were just going through the motions.

  4. J says:

    perhaps they should provide entertainment / events that people actually want. the student bars around town hit the nail on the head and gave the 1st years (and then some) what they wanted. why doesnt vuwsa just hook up with them and co-promote events that students will actually attend and add value to them.

  5. kelvin says:

    because vuwsa understands that orientation week is a good oppourtunity for awesome shit to happen that doesnt normally…not to just go to the big k on a wednesday…dick

  6. J says:

    thats my point, bands that 50% of the student population has never heard of is not a good example of ‘awersome shit’. you only need to look at orientation around the country to see that vuw is missing out.

  7. James Beavis says:

    Dear J,
    The Big K will put on your shitty Toga Parties every fucking year. Instead of bagging on the choice of O-Week acts (which was pretty amazing this year imo, like, actually the best in years), why don’t you leave it to VBC and VUWSA to put on a series of shows which are a little different, and a whole lot better than some standard MOR NZ band.
    Also, things ‘that people actually want’? If you read the piece properly, you’d see that Deerhoof and The VBC 3rd birthday both sold out. VBC show had nearly 100 people queueing up outside for tickets that got turned away. Die Die Die played two packed out shows in 3 days.
    Also, Kid Kenobi played. JUST 4 U. So, I dunno, shut the fuck up? lol

    James

  8. Hank Scorpio says:

    i agree with james, but bad image for a mag for its co-arts editor to be telling people to shut the fuck up

  9. kelvin says:

    im sorry dude but who played somewhere else in the country that wellington missed??? midnight youth in auckland?

  10. Jono says:

    haha I would have to agree with you about the crowd of deerhoof… But I would say that crowd extends to most gigs attended by the indie populous, as The Rapture say “People don’t dance no more, they just stand around like this, They cross their arms, stare you down and drink and moan and piss!”

    And I also completely agree that it was fuckn cool, not having to endure another Katchafire-esque O-week line up. There was a good balance as well, as James pointed out…. acts like Kid Kenobi and Ladyhawke; and events like the Toga party catered for the ‘whoo! rowdy fresher type’ accompanied by a dose of refreshing acts along the lines of Deerhoof (and I mean $10 wtf!)….. They even met half way for fucksake with acts such as the mint chicks.. who most people know and can appreciate, so tbh I think someone needed to tell ‘J’ to fuck off and attend one of the other uni’s so he can enjoy their oh so amazing line up’s…

  11. k dawg says:

    dont you just wanna punch that ‘j’ dude!? lol

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