Top Kiwi band Six60 weren't going to let a global pandemic put them off their plan of world domination and lead singer Matiu Walters reckons Covid-19 curtailing their plans has actually made the band better - and closer.
Six 60 have been a global Kiwi success story over the past few years, easily the largest selling live act in the country, filling out stadiums here - they've sold out 10,000-capacity Semenoff Stadium twice and 40,000-capacity Western Springs twice - and making major inroads overseas.
The band had planned plenty of international gigs this year, but the global Covid lockdowns mean that is off the cards - for now.
Instead, the band has resurrected it's hugely popular Six 60 Saturdays, with the first gig at Waitangi Sports Complex on Saturday night.
Walters, who is Ngapuhi, took some time out from rehearsals yesterday to talk to the Northern Advocate ahead of the show.
He said the rehearsals were going well and the band would bring a new stage show and even better performance to Waitangi after the intense warm-up.
''This is the final piece (before the gigs) it's where all the work gets done in the final few days before the tour starts. And it's all coming together really well and we're really looking forward to getting things started at Waitangi.''
Walters said given the Covid-19 situation elsewhere at the moment the band is pleased it has been able to spend the time at home with friends and whanau, and it had also helped the band in unexpected ways.
''There's so much uncertainty at the moment and it's difficult to make long term plans, but regardless of that we're always trying to put on our best performance, which is why we put so much into our rehearsals,'' he said.
''But being here and able to get together while the rest of the world basically can't has really given us a good appreciation of how well our country has done in managing Covid and just how lucky we are. I feel really proud that we have got our act together so well on Covid. It's brought us even closer together as a band and made us a better band as a result.
''We'll be fine-tuning things (as the tour progresses) but we'll be putting on a great show on Saturday (at Waitangi). It's a totally new show and set up and we'll be trying some new things too.''
Having spent much of his life in Northland, and being proudly Ngapuhi, he can't wait to play at Waitangi for the first time.
''It's going to be amazing playing there. And right next to the Treaty Grounds - that's special. Waitangi has such strong spirituality and mana and we'll hook into that when we play on Saturday and it will inspire us,'' Walters said.
And while being the frontman for the biggest act in the country could easily go to a young man's head, he said there's no way his Northland friends and whanau will let him get carried away.
''They would never let me get big headed. It's that good old Kiwi attitude, you stay humble and be thankful, and they make sure you do.''
Six60 play at Waitangi Sports Grounds on Saturday from 5pm. For tickets go to www.ticketmaster.co.nz