20 August 2007

Concerts

What a week last week was! The week that was involved: 2 days in Wellington, 2 concerts, drinks with a friend... and much sleeping!
After so much happening during the week, but the time the weekend arrived I was ready to crash.And crash I did! Early nights Fri and Sat; watched a couple of DVDs (not worth mentioning), heaps of cleaning/tidying; walked down K'road and did a wee bit o'shopping (plus traded some poxy DVDs in at RG and got 2 decent CDs in return!). Sunday out was rounded off with family dinner.
All in all, GREAT!!

Concert 1: Jose Gonzalez
We arrived at Hopetoun Alpha around 8pm - doors open at 7:30pm. It's a venue I'd never been to before - a fantastic, small, old church!The seating was GA (i.e. first in best served!). There was the ground floor (chairs laid out in rows) or upstairs (almost a U-shaped balcony looking down at the stage and the ground floor, complete with built in wooden pews). We choose upstairs - back row (it was tiered seating... and there were only 4 or so rows in front of us!).
The opening act was ok... cute I guess, but we were hanging out for Jose.
The man himself came out at 9:30pm, and by this time seats had filled, but not to max-capacity. I was pleasantly surprised how intimate it felt - a small group of people on the edge of their seats (or pews), sipping wine, and listening to Jose's mellow sound.
It was just him on the small stage, with a mic and guitar - that didn't stop it from sounding like he had a whole band up there for some songs. He played all the favourites, and wowed us with some covers - notably Heartbeats (on is album 'Veneer', by The Knife), Teardrops (Massive Attack), and Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division).He was finished, complete with encore, by just after 10:30pm - 1 hour of playing. Honestly, it felt like longer - most of his songs aren't even 3 minutes... some only just over 1 minute, so it was an impressive and comprehensive set.
Our walk about down K'Road was full with buzz :)

Concert 2: Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
After a couple of hiccups (we caught a 7:30pm ferry in the end, not the planned 6pm!) and disgusting weather (which made for an "interesting" ferry ride), we ended up in Devonport wet BUT excited!
After a quick bite to eat it was off to the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna - I tell you, I was excited just to see the Cardinals symbol (the rose) and the drums on the stage!
Again with wine in hand we waited for the opening act - I had no idea who it was to be... and to my surprise Anika Moa walked out on stage! Not quite the kind of music I would've thought to open Ryan... but she was great! Just her and her guitar, accompanied by an electric guitarist for 2 tracks, she joked between songs and sang beautifully. By the time she was finished I couldn't think of anyone *better* to open for Ryan :)
Ryan came on at 9:30pm and I was in awe (couldn't keep the grin off my face!). They played 2 songs, before a 10 minute break due to technical problems. Before exiting Ryan promised to play a loooong concert, included 2 sets. And here I was worried that he'd throw some sort of rock'n'roll hissy-fit and only play for 1/2 hour.
When they came back on... *sigh*... incredible. New songs, older songs, awesome instrumentals - a 4 minute song suddenly became 8 or 9 minutes. BLISS!!!!All up they played for 2 hours... that high kept me smiling well into Friday at work :)
I knew he wouldn't play any of this solo work (I would love to hear him sing songs from Gold, Heartbreaker, Love is Hell etc), but what he did play made me love his music all over again.

08 August 2007

Bloc Party

Reviews:

- Stuff

- NZ Herald

Ok, can I just say: AWESOME!!! Wow wow wow! New songs, old songs, interaction with the audience... this concert was waaaaay up there! If you get the chance to see Bloc Party live, TAKE IT. I came out of the venue with the bass still throbbing in my head and the strob lights still pulsing behind my eyes. When I listen to their CDs now - whole new experience :)

Ah happy days

05 August 2007

Conference over and out

My first ever corporate conference - I lived through it and, surprisingly, had an absolute blast!

I was full of trepidation and nervousness about the whole thing. It would have been incredibly easy to just not go; RSVP with some bogus excuse. That way I wouldn't be pushed into 2 full days of company weirdness, including having to give a presentation myself.

As it turned out, I went to Taupo on Wednesday night. This was earlier than most as I said I'd help out with registration at the resort etc. Thursday lunchtime is when everything officially kicked off. By then I had already "chaired" an impromptu Q&A session (yikes! But it seemed to go ok).

After official welcome speeches, videos etc, it was off to our sessions, where I presented to my group. That also seemed to go well - I was so relieved when it was all over though, and I could just sit back and relax.

That night we had a scrummy buffet dinner (much better than I thought) and a guest speaker (also much better than I thought - really interesting and funny). Annnnnd too much wine! For me anyways! I drank steadily - I guess I didn't realise how much I had until I got back to my room around 1:30am and crashed out; completely zonked until the alarm went off Friday morning.

Friday was our "activity day". I had a few clues as to what it would be. It turned out to be an Amazing Race all around the area - we were in teams (22 altogether) competing against each other to solve clues, complete tasks, take photos etc.

I didn't know many of my team mates at the start (9 including me), but by the end of the day we were a real team! Some of the tasks we did included: rowing a life raft, kayaking, prawn fishing, riding in a jet boat, quad bikes, walking on stilts, and my highlight = helicopter ride!! (I'd never been in one before).

It was a looooog and tiring day (not helped by hangovers!). There was a couple hours reprieve, before a gala dinner - beautiful food, hilarious entertainment (courtesy of some outgoing staff members performing lip syncs in costume... highlight = all male Spice Girls in drag!), and more wine.

Then much booging ensued, more wine, before I crashed out around midnight. What can I say?! I was a light-weight!

If I had RSVPed 'no', I would've missed the whole experience! No networking, helicopter ride, no making friends or boozing up on free wine! The conference was just plain cool. To think I could've been stuck at normal work... *shudders*

And just to finish this post off: helicopter ride!! (Yes, I was very very excited about my helicopter ride!)

04 August 2007