Upon walking into the venue I was astonished by the sheer beauty of this building. It was electric, warm and cozy. Intimate dine-in restaurant style seating along the outside (wrapping around the circular shape of the building) and bar tables were dotted along the middle and sides as well. It truly created a calm and sophisticated mood when first walking in. Kudos must go to the lighting and sound crew as they really created some vibrant scenes with warm colours, funky effects and crisp sound.
The main highlight for me, however, was the pure talent from Reb Fountain. A ‘genre fluid’ band (as stated by themselves) that got the crowd ‘whooping’ and cheering. The music was inspiring, calming and soulful; a true testament to classic, rugged kiwi music. There’s something different about listening to a song performed live. It’s raw, emotional, in your face and you can see the passion in the musician’s eyes. Reb Fountain was exactly that. The lead singer reminded me of a beautiful soul singer, like Lana Del Rey in her purest form. From songs that pulled on the heart strings, and songs that got the crowd rocking out. Reb Fountain had it all.
The bar and the merchandise selling were also quite unique and really added to the atmosphere.
For someone who usually doesn’t go to live music gigs, this has changed my mind. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there and wished the night wasn’t over so quickly. I highly recommend going to see this amazing band and seeing for yourself how truly special the night is. A truly spectacular opening to an exciting 2019 Tauranga Arts Festival.
- review written by Hamish Gleeson