It may have been a windy night, shaded by the looming first-day back at work, but Fat Freddy's Drop proved to Tauranga they're here to stay - after two decades in the game.

Opening with a plethora of Kiwi artists that need no introduction and the iconic DJ Jazzy Jeff right before kick-off at 9pm, the crowd was already roaring for Freddy's to drop.

And fans in Wharepai Domain were on their feet before the group had picked up a single instrument eager to start the night.

The crowd only grew larger and larger as the night stretched on, hungry for many of the timeless classics that craft the Aotearoa identity.


However, Fat Freddy's Drop has a habit of never playing hits back to back – instead, twisting the triumphant tunes into the next with meticulously reworked instrumentals, riffs and electrifying guitar solos.

Although it is safe to say by their third, and easily largest song of the night, Blackbird, the crowd were not sitting down.

There were no hips insight that weren't grooving along to the epitome of old school cool beats and when the seven-headed soul monster thanked the crowd and wished them a Happy New Year everyone stood still in chant, calling them back to the stage.

It was a long wait - but the roar of the crowd was so loud it would've been rude not to return with a 10-minute ballad of Roady, from their Based On A True Story album.

Riffs and hooks were shared among band members throughout the night giving the crowd optimum time to relish in their talent, however, multi-instrumentalist Hopepa (Joe Lindsay) hit the crowd with a tuba solo that gave everyone more fire in their step.

Yet just when you thought he couldn't do better, he plops himself right near the crowd, centre stage, and provides a harmonica solo which could've lasted all night - all while dressed as a cupid with his tighty whities and sparkling cape to match.

The two-hour setlist was a treat and something often hard to find as bands tour through the summer months, but two hours really wasn't enough for this iconic band.

Even though the balance between their classic hits and new dub sound lent more to the latter it's a sound that demands to be heard live. A potent mixture of jazz vibrancy, soul-cleansing and post-punk sonics.