"We are not a city of angels but I can't help but love you Auckland." So wrote award-winning poet and the co-founder of Rising Voices Youth Poetry Movement Grace Taylor in her ode to our city, My Own Darling. The piece explores poverty, prejudice and power as it reveals a side to Auckland that is not often seen. For Matariki, Taylor joins performers Fasitua Amosa and Gabby Solomona for a melding of spoken word and theatre.
My Own Darling, Basement Theatre, tonight and tomorrow, 8pm.
Māngere Arts Centre:
If this sounds ever so slightly familiar, you're probably old enough to remember the 1980s and films like The Breakfast Club but here it's given a "Southside" twist. One day, in a detention room somewhere on the Southside, an artist, teen mum, Poly-group leader, hacker, debater and story-teller come together to learn how to wage war for the right to tell their story ... because, as they say, only the hood can heal the hood. It's part of Revolution - the third and final instalment of the Southside Rise project involving 100 young people from 14 South Auckland schools who join forces to tell new stories about their neighbourhoods.
Revolution – Southside Rises, Māngere Arts Centre, tomorrow and Saturday, 7.30–9.30pm.
After three weeks of non-stop activities, the Matariki Festival ends this weekend – and what a way to end. The hugely talented Troy Kingi launches his new album Holy Colony Burning Acres with a free concert on Auckland's Federal St where he and his band The Upperclass will perform the entire album. Special guests include Moana and the Tribe.
Te Korakora on Federal, Federal St, tomorrow 5–10pm.
Meanwhile, this year's host iwi for the Matariki Festival, Waikato-Tainui, has created a stunning display featuring te whetū tapu o te tau hou Māori (the sacred star of the Māori new year) on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The eight-minute light show interweaves history, genealogy and storytelling with a soundtrack of songs composed for this time of year. Shows run every half hour from 6pm–midnight.
Spark Arena: Named in Forbes' annual "30 under 30" list for 2019, the American rapper is back in Aotearoa for the one and only Splendour In The Grass show, kicking off his latest Australasian tour. Last here in '17 on the back of his debut album There's Really A Wolf, Russ is now one of the world's most streamed artists and now works with the likes of Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg. Now a global hip-hop heavyweight, this is one headline show you don't want to miss.
Russ, Spark Arena, Saturday.
For months, it looked as if NZTrio, one of our most successful ensemble groups, would be a single after two founding members left. But cellist Ashley Brown has now been joined by new members Amalia Hall and Somi Kim and now they're ready for NZTrio's next series of concerts, Empires and Superpowers. First up is the perhaps aptly named Tectonic Shift which explores the vexed issue of Captain Cook's arrival in Aotearoa, contrasting the music of his place and time with the music of Māori explorers who came before him before zooming ahead to consider the advent of global superpowers and the Cold War. Included are local composer Gillian Whitehead's new music, especially commissioned by the trio, and Michael Norris' Dirty Pixels.
NZTrio Tectonic Shifts, Loft at Q Theatre, Sunday at 5pm and Tuesday, July 16 at 7pm.