It was a cracking start to the nationwide tour for New Zealand's much-loved, radio-friendly metal band Blindspott. Then, with dates sold out and three shows down, the tour was sideswiped by Covid-19.
"We played Kerikeri, Whangarei and the Power Station in Auckland," Marcus Powell, Blindspott's head melody maker and guitarist, said. "That was the Saturday night just before lockdown so we didn't know that that was going to be the last show."
Finally, the tour continues and it's turned out to be great news for fans in the central North Island with the addition of a Palmerston North show on September 3. Ticket sales have exceeded all expectations - originally a crowd of around 2000 was anticipated.
"The Arena has the ability to expand up to 5000 if ticket sales demand," operations manager for the Arena, Ashleigh Hughes said.
Improvements to Fly Palmy Arena, formerly Arena 2, will be ready in time for the show.
"We're getting all of our ceiling tiles redone, lighting upgrade," Hughes said. "There is a lot of work going on so Blindspott will be the first event following that period of maintenance."
For this tour, Blindspott are playing their made-for-stadium, multi-platinum, self-titled debut album from start to finish. It is their second reunion tour since the band split in 2007. After a break of over a decade, the band have found getting back together a cinch.
"It was second nature to be honest," said Powell. "In the 11 years that we were not playing as Blindspott we have continued our music pursuits and now we've come back with that information and I feel like it's a much better product than ever before."
Powell says despite playing Blindspott songs during the band's hiatus, it was interesting to hear them again played by the original musicians.
"It's interesting when you get back into that room, and it's like, 'Oh that's what you do differently, and that's what you do differently. Oh I play because of that'. You know, it's an interesting observation.
Palmerston North can expect more Arena shows in the future as Arena Manawatū staff build relationships with promoters around the country.