It was 2013 when local covers band Mid Life Crisis last headlined as the main act at the Black Barn Amphitheatre, but seven years later on Saturday February 29, the ageing rockers are back there again and event organisers are expecting another huge turnout for the much-loved Hawke's Bay group.

"The 2013 show came about as Mid Life Crisis had decided to stop gigging. We were all getting older and it felt like the right time to hang up our instruments and spend more of our weekends with our families and friends," band leader Howard Padman said.

"When someone suggested that we go out with a bang at the Black Barn Amphitheatre, we thought they were crazy. No one would turn up.

"Well, we couldn't have been more wrong. The event came close to selling out and new booking requests for the band started flooding in. Any thoughts of retiring went out the window immediately. We've been busy playing every since."


Black Barn events manager Francis de Jager admitted to some initial scepticism about putting a covers band in a venue that normally plays host to New Zealand's premier touring acts and international bands.

"It was a pretty audacious idea but tickets sales were strong from the start and we were thrilled with how the night went. It was a gorgeous evening in the amphitheatre and the crowd had a ball. It started off as a really laid back sing along but as the night progressed everyone really got into it. The dance floor was absolutely full and the whole place was going off at the end of the night. It was a really memorable occasion in the amphitheatre."

It's easy to understand why such a simple formula worked so well. Mid Life Crisis plays well known covers from the '60s '70s and '80s. They're the songs their audiences have grown up with; classic anthems where you know every word and have spent your life singing along to in the car.

Throw in a fully rigged Black Barn sound and light experience, well-priced tickets, and the beauty of New Zealand's premier outdoor concert venue and it's going to be hard not have a good time at the upcoming leap day event. If you are community minded, you'll also be pleased to know that proceeds from the show will benefit Brain Injury Hawke's Bay.

Seven years on, and the Mid Life Crisis members are excited about returning to the amphitheatre.

"I know I can speak for the whole band when I say that the 2013 concert was one of the greatest nights of our lives," Padman said.

"We stopped being a local band and became rock stars for the night. The energy coming from the crowd was unbelievable. We can't wait to perform there again."

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