Saturday December 3rd marked the inaugural Under The Big Sky concert. It was a night of country and blues with a formidable line up of country, blues and folk singers filling the air around Alpine Springs with some of New Zealand’s best musical talent. The skating rink hosted the stage and seating for over 500 guests, with the surrounding slopes of Mt John acting as a natural amphitheater producing a crisp and clear sound which all of the artists complemented on the night! Tekapo catering were busy throughout the night selling a range of wraps which complemented the Settlers Hill wine, Speights and other non alcoholic beverages. The Mackenzie Rugby Club were fantastic in assisting in security for the event providing 10 players.
First on the stage was a Timaru based band, Double Talk in a combined performance with Twin Set a local Ukulele duo. This kicked the night off in true country fashion. This combination was followed again with Double Talk, this time teaming up with another local, Bex Murray. It wasn’t long before the first few dancers were forming a crowd at the base of the stage, really adding to the natural and exciting atmosphere. Brad Stayley and Brett Walker, a couple of young local lads displayed their impressive guitar skills with a 15 minute set. Even Karl Burtscher, the man behind Alpine Springs displayed his talent on the drums, joining them onstage for several songs.
The atmosphere continued to build throughout the evening, with positive feedback and complements poring in. Anton Roswell was the MC of the night; his next task was to introduce the first of the main acts; Eddie Simon and Blue train, who opened up with his hit Freight Train. Eddie and Blue Train played for well over an hour, this saw more and more people getting up to dance and enjoy the festivities. Eddie Simon has decades of music history under his cowboy belt – for more than 40 years he has entertained at everywhere from resorts to TV and radio stations in Canada and New Zealand.
Following Eddie Simon and Blue Train came the main act of the night: Aly Cook with the Coal Rangers. This was the perfect wrap to the night in Lake Tekapo. The five members of The Coalrangers came together from the West Coast and Canterbury to combine with Aly Cook, delivering a set featuring some of the purest New Zealand country music around. Including Aly’s latest single ‘Spend It’, which received a round of applause alone. Aly Cook and the Coal Rangers took Lake Tekapo into the depths of the night to round out Alpine Springs first concert and one of the biggest nights of the year in Lake Tekapo.
Plans for the second Under The Big Sky are already under way, with an expanded line up being considered. It is sure to be even more successful than the first event, and continue to put Lake Tekapo on the map.
Alpine Springs would like to thank Port Fm, Pernod Ricard, Speights, Lake Tekapo Catering, Mackenzie Rugby Football Club, St John, Air Safaris, Earth and Sky, Peppers Bluewater Resort, Aly Cook, The Coalrangers, Eddie Simon and Blue Train, Double Talk, Brad Stayley and Brett Walker, Bex Murray, and Twin Set for all participating and helping to organise such a fantastic night in Lake Tekapo at Alpine Springs.