Concert Review: King Princess live in Auckland

I arrived at The Powerstation around 8:15 as I thought the opening act was on at 20:30. It turns out there were 2.

Medulla Oblongata was slaying the stage as I get in. As she whipped off her gloves, glitter flew all over the stage and the crowd. Both gloves providing a fun and sparkly moment. She was beautiful in her 2-piece and she just had so much energy. Medulla lip-sung perfectly and the crowd loved it. The kicks she did in such high heels were insane. Drag Queens definitely handle heels better than most of us ladies, lets be honest. I definitely loved seeing a drag queen open a show at The Powerstation – Iconic.

Next to the stage was Australian songstress Clea. The Brisbane local took the stage in a 2-piece red blazer and pants, which suited her so well. I also loved that she paired it with foiled boots. Clea was joined by a 3-piece who were sporting full-sized boiler suits. It definitely provided a very cool aesthetic. The tones of what they wore matched with the lighting really well as the lights seemed to stay in hot tones for the whole set. She had good vibes and moved along to the music. Clea’s movements were very flowy but occasionally quite sporadic. She even took to the acoustic guitar for a couple of songs as well. The crowd seemed to really enjoy her and her them. It was a great set and a great intro for me to an artist I didn’t know.

Finally came the time for King Princess to take the stage. I didn’t know what to expect from her set as I didn’t know her music or who she was. But I did notice the crowd was majority LGBTQ and quite young. There were also a few rainbow flags flying around. As the stage techs set up the crowd screamed when they used the mic. So the techs took advantage and encouraged the crowd to make more noise, to which they obliged. The music playing in-between sets also seemed to be quite curated and included some epic sing-a-long tracks such as Avril Lavigne’s Complicated. When King Princess and her 4-piece band took the stage the crowd went crazy and she took it all in. She paced the stage giving off a sassy pose and swigging away at her beer.

The crowd continued to occasionally shout stuff at their as well with one female in the crowd asking why there’s no merch and King Princess bluntly letting her know “I’m broke! We’re working on it. You’ll be able to get it on my website”. But then she seemingly distracted everyone by unzipping her boiler suit a bit lower to reveal a white bralette underneath. King Princess told the crowd it was the last night of the tour and their probably going to go out. As she performed she had such energy and I don’t know if she was just feeding off the crowd, loving what she is doing or all of the above. I loved the fact she was so sassy but also quite punk. She even hit the drums with her guitar at one point. But then it was down to business. She mentioned that about 115 women that were put into government and continued with “Fuck Trump. He’s not going to last long”. We got bad bitches in government. I’m hopeful”. She must have felt a bit like she was ranting as she clarified “Bitch it’s important. We’re making a big comeback”. The crowd went crazy as she then dived into the track Talia. Touching back on the prior conversation she asked the crowd to give a “fucking hand to my openers! How cool is it to see a drag queen opening a show.

The queens paved the way for us!”. She then moved on to the track Homegirl and asked people to grab someone to slow dance with. I loved how sassy and blunt she was, asking the crowd if they slow danced. Then going on to point at a girl at the front “I know you did bitch!”. Then came what she said would be a song she “plays until she dies” 1950. The whole band then departed the stage. The crowd then began to chant and it was incredible “Pussy. Is. God!”. To that King Princess came running back out and grabbed a couple of things from the crowd such as a rainbow boa, rainbow sash, rainbow flags and even a bra which she draped on the guitarists guitar head. She chose the boa for herself. Going out with a bang King Princess then told the crowd they’ve been rocking out at about 80% but she needs 100%. “You better fucking thrash. Show me how you rock out New Zealand!”. And that they did.

I must admit it was an incredible show. All acts really owned the stage and it was just a great and accepting environment where everyone clearly felt comfortable being themselves. I felt a lot of love in the room but then King Princess also made me feel like I’m still the bad ass yet sassy punk I like to think I am. If you don’t know her or haven’t seen her live, you should do both those things!

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– Reviewed and Photographed by Shelley Te Haara
www.instagram.com/art.by.shelley

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