“We’re Home”: Live Music from Beths, Whammy Bar and Auckland is back
REVIEW: The pink and blue lights of the stage at the end of the pandemic tunnel shone on the faces of punters in Auckland on Tuesday evening, as Whammy Bar hosted its first live concert since August 2021.
Despite its maximum capacity, the Karangahape Road concert hall was the cleanest, coolest and most tidy I have ever seen.
The bouncer checks vaccines with one hand and uses the other to ventilate the moisture in his face at the top of the stairs. But the interior is cool, thanks to a beastly air conditioning unit that was installed to help ventilate the underground space.
Fresh air is something Whammy regulars have been asking for for years. It only took a global pandemic.
* After confinement, the Beths return to their roots with concerts in San Fran and Whammy
* Covid-19: Auckland concert halls remain closed despite the city passing a red light
* “Everything flew away”: how did small concert halls survive the lockdown?
* Coronavirus: Auckland bars and clubs cautiously optimistic, industry may recover
* The Beths begin New Zealand tour, their biggest to date, as music begins recovery from Covid
“I think we’ve hit room temperature now,” said Johnathan Pearce, after the quartet debuted with new material they worked on ahead of the release of their third album.
“It’s so good to be back home,” said guitarist and singer Elizabeth Stokes. “The view is exactly the same.
The Beths made their debut at Whammy Bar, the beating heart of Auckland’s indie music scene, and return to their roots in a five-night residency to help the bar get back on its feet after two years behind closed doors and loss of income.
Like many small businesses, Whammy struggled to stay afloat during Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3, and had to bear the cost of forced shutdowns, with the bar having to take around $ 10,000 per week to reach the break even.
“I am absolutely delighted,” said owner Lucy Macrae.
“Five sold-out shows will bring in 1,000 people this week, our first week since August. It’s a pretty amazing way to reopen, and we’re really grateful. “
Whammy’s capacity is 210, but Macrae sold the gigs at 170 to “keep things more comfortable for the punters.”
Auckland is currently operating at “amber” in the traffic light system. There is no number limit for collecting numbers if participants use vaccine passes and no social distancing is required.
“It is a privilege and a total honor,” said each member of the group as they humbly stepped forward to introduce themselves at the midpoint, as your high school mates might, rather than a group that has. won the Aotearoa Music Awards, traveling the world, and winning rave reviews in the likes of Rolling stone.
Beths’ Homecoming shows have been rescheduled three times since their first ticket office, and Australia’s Stella Donnelly was unable to attend.
Stokes mentions this: “F … Covid!” someone is screaming back.
In tribute to her, Stokes learned one of Donnelly’s songs the day before. She pulls out a piece of paper with lyrics and music, and asks people in the crowd to hold it.
“It’s such a strong music scene here in Auckland, and it’s good that there are spaces and places like the Whammy Bar where you can keep that going. This is where we were nurtured and this is why we love it so much, ”Stokes said. Things.
Before the show, she posted on her Instagram Story asking fans to bring their masks and wear them as much as possible. That post appears to have stuck, with one-third to one-half of the crowd wearing their masks throughout the show.
“I think the concert attendees are more careful this time around,” Macrae said. “After 2020, it felt like we had collectively saved the world.
“Now people keep more distance, they are aware of their well-being, wash their hands and hide themselves. These are all good things.
Masks can make it difficult to see expressions, but not at this show. Everyone is delighted to be back.
The Beths are giving five sold-out concerts at the Whammy Bar through January 15, before launching a month-long tour of the United States and Canada in late January, with further dates in Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe in March and April.