Two local acts who've earned themselves pretty substantial international profiles are returning for New Zealand tours this July.
Genre-bending festival favourites Shapeshifter have long been one of the biggest live local acts, routinely selling out national summer tours and drawing huge crowds at festivals, so they can expect a warm reception when they head out to celebrate the release of their new album Delta (which comes out on May 31).
They've spent many months recording the album between Wellington, Auckland, and Berlin, and it sees them experimenting further with their blend of drum 'n' bass, jazz, funk, heavy soul, and rock.
They kick off their national six-date tour in their old hometown of Christchurch on July 12 at the Bedford, and include shows at the Powerstation in Auckland, July 19, at Altitude in Hamilton, July 25, and the Mayfair, New Plymouth, July 26.
AHoriBuzz will be supporting, and tickets will be on sale on May 20 at Ticketmaster. Go to shapeshifter.co.nz for more info.
And Portland-based Unknown Mortal Orchestra, led by ex-Mint Chick Ruban Nielson, will also be back to play their first live shows here since releasing their top-notch second album II in January.
Having impressed critics with their self-titled debut (it won the 2012 Taite Prize), and dazzled even further with the intoxicating II, they've been on a non-stop tour ever since, supporting Grizzly Bear and Weezer, and performing sold-out shows across the US, UK, Europe and Japan, along with appearances at SXSW, All Tomorrow's Parties, and on The Jimmy Fallon Show, so having them home for three dates in a coup.
UMO play Refuel, Dunedin, July 18, Kings Arms, Auckland, July 19, and Bodega, Wellington, July 20.
Tickets from undertheradar.co.nz and Real Groovy
Return of the axe
Guitar hero and all-round show-off Steve Vai returns to New Zealand for two shows in July.
The virtuoso axeman, last here as part of the G3 guitar extravaganza with Joe Satriani and Steve Lukather in March last year, plays Wellington Town Hall on July 18 and Auckland's ASB Theatre on July 20.
With a career spanning three decades, eight albums - including last year's The Story of Light - and more than 15 million record sales, Vai is one of the masters of virtuoso guitar, playing alongside blokes like Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen.
On this current tour he will be joined by his four-piece band and play for more than two hours.
The Live Nation pre-sale starts at noon on Wednesday, May 22. Pre-sales through Ticketmaster and buytickets.co.nz start on May 24 with general tickets on sale May 28.
Also returning are dance pop innovators Passion Pit, who play the Powerstation in Auckland on July 25. Led by electronic music visionary Michael Angelakos, the band are playing in support of latest album Gossamer from last year. Tickets on sale today from Ticketmaster.co.nz.