Live: Jake Bugg at Auckland Town Hall

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Jake Bugg
Thursday April 10
Auckland Town Hall

Last night I attended Jake Bugg’s show at the Auckland Town Hall.

Opening act Eli Driftwood played a set of country folk twisters. An aggressive and refreshing take on a well over played style. I especially fancied their last song which had a great sense of soul.

I tried quite hard not to like Jake Bugg, but in the end he won me over. This was a rock n’ roll show executed to perfection. Backed by a drummer and bassist, Bugg opened with a number of Elvis esque acoustic strummers. ‘Trouble Town’ and ‘Seen It All’ were highlights. About eight songs in, the band left stage and Jake did some solo numbers. I was blown away by his tenderness and ability to feel a song out through dynamics and subtle rhythmic changes. The crowd were in awe especially during ‘Broken’ which was my favourite track all night.

From here on Jake rocked out on the guitars, demonstrating clear ability as a lead player. When I wasn’t admiring the many Gibson’s and Fenders he was using, I noticed that he made everything seem effortless. Where the opening songs had a sense of rockabilly, these songs were loud and raw. The show was like a journey; it took you up and down and then built to a point where I thought the room might explode. It’s clear that a lot of work had gone into it.

With a massive record deal, a dollar or two in promotions, two albums and many many shows, I conclude that Jake Bugg is a fine investment, a brilliant performer and an artist worthy of all his success.

Setlist

1. Kentucky
2. There’s A Beast And We All Feed It
3. Trouble Town
4. Seen It All
5. Me And You
6. Storm Passes Away
7. Two Fingers
8. Messed Up Kids
9. Ballad Of Mr Jones
10. Pine Trees
11. Broken
12. Simple Pleasures
13. Green Man
14. Taste It
15. Kingpin
16. Slumville Sunrise
17. What Doesn’t Kill You
18. A Song About Love
19. My My Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)
20. Lightning Bolt

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