Brooke Fraser at the Wellington Opera House


I bought tickets to this show before listening to Brooke Fraser’s latest album, Brutal Romantic.

And then I listened to it. And it worried me.

I’ve always listened to Brooke Fraser. My Mum and my sister owned her first two albums. They got pretty regular play when I lived at home. Her music also featured often at my church, both her solo material and her collaborations with bands from Hillsong (the Australian mega-church).

I love her sultry voice. Her smooth acoustic songs are perfect for chilling out. I even liked the more upbeat commercial-pop offerings from 2010’s Flags.

But Brutal Romantic… gross! It’s a horrible clash of neo-gospel and electronica. Is she trying to be Kanye? I like my music made more by instruments than computers. There are some nice moments with strings and piano, but they are far and few between. Her usually stunning voice fails to shine through as much as I would have expected. One listen through was more than enough to leave me apprehensive about having paid $150 for tickets to a concert that could consist of this rubbish.

The show was initially set at TSB Arena. It got changed to the Opera House for “a more intimate feel at the request of the promoter”. Then it was suddenly cancelled. No explanation was given other than “unforeseen circumstances” via Ticketek and “unavoidable scheduling conflicts” via Facebook. Ticketek didn’t even notify me or send me a refund for months after.

I’d be lying if didn’t say I was relieved about the cancellation. I would have hated sitting through the concert if many new songs had featured. I guess I should have listened to the album before booking tickets.

Have I learnt a lesson?

So often if you want to attend a concert you need to book tickets as soon as they are on sale, lest they sell out first. And promoters are becoming seemingly more slack about giving advanced warning before making tickets available. Too often these days the price of a ticket is withheld until they are up for sale. How are people supposed to plan attending events when they don’t know all the details? It’s small things like this that make me panic and buy tickets as soon as I can.

I think next time a show gets announced I’ll take the time to at least listen to their latest single before I decide to purchase tickets.

The show was supposed to take place on March 27th. Fraser revealed through social media last week that the tour was cancelled due to her being pregnant. She has promised to reschedule dates for her fans who missed out, but I won’t be buying a ticket next time round.

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