Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Zealand tour with Mt. Eden!

     I've just returned to NYC from the land of Kiwi birds and sheep, having been in New Zealand for the past two months. Seth Hagenstein and I were asked by Mt. Eden if we were interested in joining them in their "Sky is Gold Tour" in New Zealand, hitting 6 venues all across the north and South Islands of New Zealand in 12 days. I think it took us less than three seconds to give a 100% yes to their offer.

     After a 22 hour flight and a few in-flight movies, we arrive in New Zealand.

     Having never been to New Zealand, there was a lot we wanted to do. See the cities, nature, nightlife, food and discover some Kiwi things we may not be accustomed to in the U.S. Luckily with the tour being all over NZ, it wasn't hard to fit in almost everything on that list. We usually had about one day between shows which gave us some time to hang out and discover the surrounding areas, as well as transfer footage and get organized for the next day. Keeping everything together wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, but keeping everything charged is always a challenge when embarking on any kind of road-trip. It ultimately comes down to priority when your hostel has one outlet with three laptops and 5 dead batteries. Surge protectors are key in these situations. Or you might even be lucky enough to get a motel room with... no outlets... yes, we were that lucky at times.  

     For the most part, I was rocking the 7D with an onboard mic, LED light and a Tokina 11-16mm f./2.8 for practically the entire tour. This kept things simple. I can pull it out of my bag at a moments notice with no assembly, it's lightweight and was unobtrusive. It's a perfect camera for behind the scenes footage, and with the chaos that comes with being on tour, a wider lens like the Tokina 11-16mm always has your back when it comes to minimal focus pulling. Seth was rocking his RED Epic, used for Mt. Eden's performances, making way for some 5k action and plenty of slow mo. He recently acquired a v-mount belt clip that would hold the red's battery to his waist, giving his already stripped down Epic a higher level of convenience.

     We wanted to make sure that everything was captured - taking planes, driving in the tour van, sound checks, laughing, drinking, playing pranks, etc. We wanted to give the audience an idea of what it like to be on tour with Mt. Eden and what Mt. Eden is all about.

     Having known the duo, Jesse Cooper and Harley Reyner, for the past year, we knew were in for some good times - and we were not let down. From late nights in the Auckland club scene to house parties after epic shows, BBQ's on the regular, and even spending Christmas in NZ away from home. This experience was an exceptional one. The hospitality we were given from Jesse, his parents, Jesse's girlfriend, Talia Koifman, and her family was incredible and will not be forgotten.

     As it seems pretty much impossible to type out everything that happened on this trip, I figured I would let some of the photos below do the explaining. Keep a look out for the Mt. Eden "Sky is Gold Tour" video on youtube, it will be worth watching!

Getting hyped for the first show of the tour in Mangawhai.

A Christmas day get together at Harley's place, complete with homemade pizza and some BBQ action.

Quite the epic breakfast after a long night out.

Harley giving the MTV Cribs tour of the pad.

The repercussions of not being the last one to fall asleep.

Some dancing in the rain action.

Jesse hitting some golf balls at 7:30 in the morning. No big deal.

Catching a flight to Riwaka

Prateek (Overkill) and Jesse doing some sound check in Riwaka.

Grabbing the essentials.

Harley strapping on the Go Pro, ready to give the POV of what it's like to be in Mt. Eden's shoes.

A nice day on the beach - Seth's and my first experience eating fish & chips on a beach!

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