Review: Synthony 2020

Review: Synthony 2020

It’s the biggest, most epic dance club you’ve ever been to, and more.

A thrill of anticipation and excitement rippled through the packed floor of Auckland’s Spark Arena, as host General Lee welcomed the Auckland Symphony Orchestra and conductor Peter Thomas to the stage. It must have been a strange feeling for the classical musicians, filing to their seats in their professional blacks to the deafening applause and cheers of a 6,500-strong crowd. Fitting, because there was nothing usual about this performance.

Synthony is a unique musical, visual and dance spectacular, with club anthems of the last decade transformed into a swelling orchestral tidal wave of furious musical power that you can’t help but be swept up in. The show kicked off with DJ sets from Greg Churchill and Otosan, and the crowd was amping by the time the orchestra took the stage. From the opening strains of Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’, accompanied by those key words flashing up on big screens and a laser projection sending hypnotic shapes out to the back wall, it was clear this would be an unforgettable night.

It was hard to decide whether to be down on the floor and amongst the frenetic buzz of it all, or to move upwards to the stadium seats and take in the incredible visuals, including the thousands of Kiwis pulsing on the floor below like a bassline all their own. With the laser show, pyrotechnics, Taiko-inspired drum groups, killer vocals, sizzling sax solos and an excess of sparkly outfits, every new riff brought something new to make your eyes pop out of your head, Bugs Bunny-style. The sheer brilliance of every technical detail was simply outrageous.

The energy of this sold-out, ‘largest-ever’ Synthony performance seemed particularly – can we still say this – contagious? General Lee gleefully pointed out to the teeming crowd that we were the only people in the world who can do this right now. There was certainly an element of dancing off some of the craziness of the last few months that felt very well earned.

And what a way to let one’s hair down. The relentless, blood-pumping 90 minutes ranged from the sultry trio of Helen Corry, Ella Monnery and Cherie Mathieson performing The Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams Are Made of This’, to the spine-tingling rendition of ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless, and chills-inducing remix of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2’. P Digsss of Shapeshifter raised the roof with festival anthem ‘Electric Dream’ as you’ve never heard it before, and finally, the night was rounded off with an encore of Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’ that had every seat empty, all arms waving and the roof of Spark Arena almost flapping along.

For those in the crowd who weren’t quite ready for the night to end (which, let’s face it, was most of us), DJ Dick Johnson picked up the baton, continuing the party well on into the wee hours.

Get your Synthony fix in Hamilton on December 12, New Plymouth on January 23, 2021, Wellington on February 12, 2021, and the finale at Christchurch Arena on March 20, 2021.


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