The Stranglers were once too dangerous for New Zealand but 40 years on the UK rockers reinforced their legend status in front of a packed Auckland Town Hall.
The punk and new wave icons rounded out their Australasian tour on Saturday night with an impressive show after consecutive gigs in Christchurch and Wellington.
The once notorious English group have been regular visitors to our shores in recent years, back by popular demand after memorable outings at the Powerstation in 2016 and the Town Hall two years later.
"We were banned in 1979," recalled founding bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel.
"We were supposed to play Auckland. We did a tour in Australia which caused quite a lot of controversy at the time.
"Auckland City Council decided to ban us so our concerts were cancelled.
"We found that we still [struck a chord with Kiwis] and we had a great audience in 2018.
"There was a request for us to come back and we jumped at it because it's very exotic for us to travel so far afield and it's a wonderful country. It was a no-brainer."
Kiwi new wave veterans Mi-Sex opened proceedings with a strong set featuring familiar tracks People, Computer Games, Blue Day, and But You Don't Care, but it was the English four-piece that everyone had come to see.
Taking the stage to the crazed carnival-esque instrumental Waltzinblack, Burnel, veteran keyboardist Dave Greenfield, charismatic guitarist Baz Warne (frontman since 2006), and drummer Jim Macaulay (2013-present) kicked off a high-energy set featuring many of their classic songs and deeper cuts from their extensive back catalogue.
With Burnel's lead-bass lines propelling their sound together with Greenfield's distinctive swirling keyboard runs, they ripped through the likes of Get A Grip On Yourself, Something Better Change, Nice N Sleazy, Duchess and Hanging Around.
When they did eventually stop for a breath, Warne teased fans watching on from the balconies, wondering aloud why anyone would choose to buy a seated ticket for a rock show.
It was all in good fun – at least until he reminded the crowd of the Black Caps cricket side's heart-breaking defeat to England at last year's World Cup.
That jibe proved still too raw for one punter who lobbed a plastic pint of beer at the towering vocalist.
Warne returned serve verbally, pointing the offender out and rightfully mocking him: "He's throwing stuff and he's hiding like the little twat that he is. There's some wee-wee running down his legs into his tiny little Dr Martin boots."
That moment was quickly forgotten however, as The Stranglers resumed their set to run through Dreamtime and the pop-soaked Always the Sun, Skin Deep, Peaches, and their chugging version of Walk On By.
The only blemish in an otherwise polished performance came when Greenfield and Macaulay got their tempos out of synch while counting in Golden Brown.
Few in the audience seemed to notice or care as the crowd sang along in unison to one of the group's biggest radio hits, before they closed out the night with a stirring rendition of No More Heroes.
The gig ended on the right note with fans wanting more. Hopefully they'll be rewarded with another tour in a couple years.