Anthonie Tonnon - known for his enviably infectious stage presence, truly nails this one to the floor. Tonnon's live show plays out much like that of a deft standup - decades of experience in life, love and failures inform his songs, the way he moves - everything. Watching him deftly dissect the smallest social dynamic, to the largest political corruption scandal, with such efficacy, one feels a sense of privilege - as if stumbling upon Louis CK or Doug Stanhope before they got big. Unlike these two however, Tonnon appeals confidently to his crowd, to participate in the telling of these poignant stories. Now, I wouldn't say I was a shy person, but I'm definitely not the guy who loves to be singled out by that one fresh standup comedian, light on material and ready to pass the buck. Whenever present at one of Anthonie's shows, I am compelled to sing as loud as possible. Why? Perhaps because Tonnon's stage persona has such intent - seeming to imply the notion of this interplay between audience and performer could never be construed as anything but 'necessary'.
As I have stated, New Zealand is not lacking in the the songwriting department - in fact we're spoiled. However, Tonnon possesses a rare power, to charm and persuade an audience, hitting home with a collection of mighty songs, honed over a few years touring here and abroad.