Tash Sultana – Live @ Spark Arena, Auckland 2019
It’s two nights in a row of reviewing amazing talented young people and I am struggling to keep up. Spark Arena was on point again with a packed crowd to see how incredible Tash Sultana is. Not only that, we were about to experience a night of LSD through sound and sight.
WORDS BY KJ PANUI | PHOTOS BY DAVID WATSON
Tash is the Australian version of New Zealand’s own Tiki Taane. They are both incredibly talented and are known for their one-man-band looping. A credit to Tash however, is she is half his age and has the same ability to blow the minds of the crowds.
Tash is seen among many (myself included) as a role model and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Identifying as nonbinary where the pronouns they are used, Tash really shows they are proud to be themselves. In today’s society, having these positive role models can really attribute to many who struggle to find the confidence.
When Tash comes out the crowd goes wild. A confetti cannon goes off and rains down on the audience as the LSD trip begins. And it is about to go down.
Their recent hit “Can’t buy happiness” gets you in the feels. Actually most of their music does. They all carry the similar vibes of chilled out high-energy performance. I didn’t even know that was possible. Ron Burgundy puts it best for my reaction. ‘I’m not even mad. That’s amazing’.
Their confidence shows in their attire. I haven’t seen a skater chain since Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boy in ’03. Their hair, however, is everything that I want. Long luscious curls are the dream. And don’t even get me started on having bare feet. It is my favourite kind of footwear.
It isn’t just what she is playing that makes them stand out, but it is also the way they play the music. If you look at Tash, you know what they’re feeling. Coming out barefoot and hipster. You know they don’t care about anything else but playing music.
Tash is real. Not dark. Some songs bring a sense of pain. But it is real. Relatable. They have the ability to produce music that triggers emotions and past experiences. And it is rare to find a musician who has that ability.
The looping that goes on is incredible. It’s half the entertainment. Their most popular song “Jungle” shows how it works in their music video. I remember the first time I watched it I was blown away. So to see it happen in real life was wowsers. Like wowsers, wowsers.
There were times during the trip where you would be lost in the music and forget that every sound that was coming on stage had been created then and there. The visuals also didn’t help get out of the trance. The whole night felt like a rollercoaster. You just got sucked in and enjoyed the ride.
As soon as we hear those first beats the crowd loses it. “Jungle” is their most well-known song. The build-up is ridiculous. Watching them do their shizzle making the music come together is like being at the world Rubik’s cube competition and watching them all be solved at once. Mesmerizing.
Tash is pretty handy at the ol musical instruments. Gifted their first guitar at the age of three, they show their ability goes way beyond the four-chord medley.
Tash shows their knowledge and talent playing multiple instruments, including a sick pan flute beatbox. Tash also has multiple guitars that she plays throughout the night.
I feel myself going deeper into the rabbit hole. Then boom, another confetti cannon explodes and they go to level extreme and throws their guitar onto the ground. My sense are way too hyped for this.
What makes the night so special is the announcement Tash made recently about retiring from their solo career. What that means for the future is anticipated with questions on who they will start the next chapter of their music career.
As I finish the review almost 12hours later than the deadline due, I realise its due to the comedown of a Tash Sultana experience. What makes it a bit more acceptable is I find out my friend knows someone who personally knows Tash. I explain myself and my situation and ask them to pass on the message. So Tash, if you are reading this, know that the experience really messed me up and can’t wait for your future works.