Kiwis groove to Six60 soulful numbers

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50000 fans at Eden Park concert Image: Six60

Music buffs thronged Eden Park (New Zealand) on April 24th to listen to the five-piece New Zealand band Six60 and the latter boasted more fans than perhaps any other band in a live setting in the world since the COVID-19 tragedy unfolded in 2019. And Eden Park throbbed with live music while the crowd went ecstatic.

‘RNZ’ stated that the crowd came by the drove – 50,000 people packed Eden Park at the sold-out concert to watch Six60 perform live. It was the first time ever a New Zealand group had headlined a concert at the venue.

The 50,000-capacity Eden Park is New Zealand’s largest sports stadium. Located in Central Auckland, New Zealand’s largest City, it is three kilometres Southwest of the central business district (CBD), on the boundary between the suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland.

Eden Park Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Sautner said concerts held in the facility provide a shot in the arm to the economy.

‘RNZ’ further stated that in January, Eden Park was given the nod to play host to up to six concerts a year without having to gain resource consent for each, despite nearby residents opposing the move tooth and nail citing noise pollution.

But Sautner said he did a recce of the area skirting the venue and noticed several neighbors getting into the spirit of the gig, despite the fractious history – “A number of them were having parties in the front before attending the concert. A number of them were having parties and listening to the concert. The feedback has been – from our neighbors – extremely positive. I’m just so thankful that we’ve worked over the last three years side-by-side.”

The concert was also the first to be broadcast live to 11 Pacific Island countries through Pasifika TV, which is the flagship of a media initiative funded by the New Zealand Government. The show was then beamed live via 19 broadcasters in Pacific Island countries, as well as the Veeps online live music site.

Pasifika TV is part of Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting, and Chief Executive Natasha Meleisia commented that the event was an exciting first – “Te Moana-nui-a-kiwa [the Pacific Ocean] is what bonds Aotearoa (Māori name for New Zealand) and the Pacific, so it is quite fitting that this historic occasion for Six60 at Eden Park is also met with an historic first for broadcasting a concert live from Tāmaki Makaurau into the Pacific.”

She added, “Six60 have been great to work with, and their embedded values of culture, language and whānau (extended family) resonate well with Pasifika… Six60’s kind gesture to share their concert with more than 10.5 million people across 11 Pacific Islands – makes them natural ambassadors of music for Aotearoa.”

‘New Zealand Herald’ stated that though a small but vocal group of Mt Eden residents was fiercely against letting music events take place at the central Auckland stadium, but the scene on Saturday evening was totally different – even the cynics were grooving to the mesmerizing music of Six60.

The 50,000 fans had flocked the venue to see Marlon Gerbes, Matiu Walters, Ji Fraser, Chris Mac, and Eli Paewai – the musical artistes of Six60.

‘New Zealand Herald’ quoted Walters telling the crowd with a big grin on his face, “What’s up Eden Park, you don’t know how long we’ve been waiting to say that, but we’re finally here.”

It was a moment for New Zealand music that will be remembered for years to come.

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