30 years on Exponents still have the magic
Three decades on, and the Exponents are still drawing crowds.
The Classic Hits Winery Tour featuring Breaks Co-Op, Stan Walker and the Exponents at Neudorf Vineyard saw a crowd of about 800 relaxed under the trees and dancing in front of the stage at the outdoor gig last night.
The show will be repeated tonight, though it will be to a sell-out crowd of 2000.
Neudorf co-owner Judy Finn said this is the eighth year the vineyard had hosted the tour.
She enjoyed the quieter, relaxed evening last night, in anticipation for tonight's sell-out show.
"We need this break from the vineyard; we spend the whole year making wine so, these two days are great."
Breaks Co-Op opened the evening with their cruisey, bass-heavy music.
Rising star Stan Walker wowed the crowd with his pop tunes, complete with choreographed dancers. He had plenty of fans in the crowd including Janice Khan and her twin daughters Amelia and Rosey, and their friend Tessa Moore.
It was the first concert the girls had been to and they were "massive" fans of Walker. They were impressed with his dance moves, while Mrs Khan said he was "very handsome".
The Exponents played last to the energetic, multi-generational crowd. Frontman Jordan Luck said he always enjoyed performing in the Nelson Tasman region.
His drummer Michael "Harry" Harallambi grew up in Nelson and Luck's sister lived in Mapua so he was spending time exploring the region with family.
Luck remembered his first gig in Nelson where he played at the Rutherford Hotel in 1982 with the Screaming Mimis. His song Victoria had just started selling in shops.
"We never thought we would still be going and that 30 years later it would still be really popular."
He enjoyed the multigeneration appreciation of his music, evident on this tour.
He remembered seeing 40 year olds at his 1982 concert in Nelson, and wondered if they were attending this tour.
Tonight's show will be a night to remember for Nelson musician Alex Hargreaves.
As singer and guitarist for Nelson band Paper City, Miss Hargreaves won a competition through Classic Hits to join the Exponents on stage to play hit track Who Loves Who the Most.
"I'm pretty amazed; it's pretty awesome. They are one of New Zealand's top pop bands ever. I never imagined I would ever be able to play with them."
Miss Hargreaves is in her first year of study at Auckland's South Seas film school.
She was struggling to get down to Nelson on her student wages, so jeweller Halfdan Hansen sponsored her return flight. He had seen her perform with her band Paper City and didn't want her to miss out on the opportunity to sing with the Exponents.
"Being a poor student I was stuck here, it was so cool and kind of them to pay for my flight."
While in Nelson over the weekend she would be meeting with her band to help put together its debut CD, to be released in March.