MARTIN DE RUYTER
The 2017 Winery Tour audiences try to stay dry in the light rain at Neudorf Vineyards.
This is the tenth year of The Winery Tour. Beautiful vineyard locations and top New Zealand musicians. It’s a winning combination.
The show at Neudorf Vineyard opened with Benny Tipene. It placed third on New Zealand’s 2013 X Factor show and is proof that the TV talent show format can catapult relatively unknown musicians onto the national touring circuit. The crowd recognized the happy Walking On Water and the evening’s first dancers gathered in front of it.
It was an evening reminiscent of the British summer, meaning it was wet and cold. But the Neudorf crowd had not been deterred. In rain ponchos and under umbrellas, they were determined to party.
Bic Runga was next. It was the search for a place for a national stopover for her in 2006 that gave birth to the concept of The Winery Tour. But his set for this show intrigued me. She seemed unconfident, almost like a novice performer, certainly not like a multi-award winning artist who was inducted into New Zealand’s Music Hall of Fame.
The majority of Runga’s set list were old favorites and it was wonderful to hear these beautifully crafted songs: Something Good, Precious Things, Get Some Sleep and Sway. But her minimal band, lack of significant lighting and by-product sound, made it seem like she was really just another supporting act.
By comparison, Brooke Fraser exploded on stage, appearing as the seasoned pro star. Her fans flocked to the stage and hundreds soon danced under the rainy night sky. Kings and Queens and Something In The Water were clearly audience favorites, as was his latest single Therapy.
It was a family event and despite the rain it was a magical night.