One day later than it was originally scheduled for (due to poor weather), the first outdoor Auckland Synthony show took place on Sunday 2nd of April 2023.
Synthony combines well-known pop, rock and electronic dance music (EDM) tunes with amazing visuals, live singers and a full orchestra on stage to produce a mind-blowing, memorable and magical evening.
I have gone to three previous Synthony shows in the past three years (yes, even in 2020 when we felt like the only people on the planet attending a live concert). As soon as tickets became available for this show, I bought them, splashing out for the most expensive ones. I had been looking forward to Synthony for months. The day’s delay was excruciating.
Was it worth all that planning, expense, stress and waiting?
Without a doubt, yes.
The next day, while reliving my almost spiritual experience with the extensive library of short videos I took on my phone, I wondered why myself and many others are raving fans of Synthony. What is it about this particular concert that leads me to not only buy tickets the moment they are released every time it is on, but wish I could live in a land of Synthony all year round?
Synthony was simply awesome in the true sense of the word. But why? Then I realized that Synthony perfectly encapsulates a number of qualities that I discuss in my book, Embrace Your Awesomeness.
Here are three qualities that make Synthony awesome…
1) Awesomeness Quality — Decide to Act
Synthony was started by two people after they had watched a similar show on YouTube from the UK. They booked a venue that held 2,000 people, selected some well-known dance anthems and — in what I suspect was a first — invited the Auckland Symphony Orchestra to practice putting their spin on such classics as Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’ and The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Galvanize’.
Those two people decided to not play small or allow themselves to succumb to imposter syndrome. They didn’t understand everything but took on the first awesomeness quality: decide to act. Imperfectly taking action is one way to forge more confidence and self-esteem. And it is the only way to improve in the long run.
And the result? Slow lines to get in and more queues at the bars, muddy sound issues, lighting problems… and a room full of cheering dancing concert-goers who loved every second of that first Synthony show.
2) Awesomeness Quality — Detach
I ditched my group of friends and spent the entire Synthony in the Domain concert in the front row dancing amongst a group of strangers. When Tiki Taane appeared towards the end of the show, I didn’t know what to expect. After all, the Kiwi musician is best known for soft acoustic pop and didn’t fit into the typical Synthony mold. Then he belted out a medley of The Prodigy’s classics including Firestarter. With a large orchestra behind him, it was a mash-up that shouldn’t work but instead was one of Synthony in the Domain’s highlights.
But it doesn’t matter what I thought of it.
Wanting approval, appreciation, recognition, praise and compliments and avoiding criticism, rejection and conflict are deeply ingrained needs. We think we are not enough so look externally for validation. We may be met with brickbats or bouquets, but in either case we are giving away our power and control to something outside of ourselves.
The organizers of Synthony have to put the show together without worrying about approval or criticism. They had to embrace the second awesomeness quality: detach. Sure, they want to find the best songs with the best singers and get the orchestra on board, but after that, they have to detach from other people’s opinions. Any situation in which the person with the opinion has little to no knowledge on a topic can be disregarded. And as no one else knows what it takes to put on a Synthony show, having strong boundaries about who’s feedback you allow in are critical.
Like the Synthony team, you get to decide if being creative, inspiring, completing a challenge or contributing on a greater scale is more important than being liked.
3) Awesomeness Quality: Dream Big
I felt very fortunate to get a ticket to Synthony in 2019 when it was still held at the 2,000 capacity venue of the Auckland Town Hall. By then, word had spread and tickets sold out in minutes. I was excited but didn’t know what to expect. Getting there just as the orchestra started playing meant I never even found my seat! It didn’t matter. I spent the next two hours dancing non-stop.
Just four years later Synthony played to almost 22,000 people outdoors with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra playing their hearts out. In those intervening four years it has played at bigger and bigger venues around New Zealand, Australia and further afield. The two people who created the Synthony concept were keen to grow it and brought in a promoter to help. Along with scaling up the amount of people that can now attend a Synthony show, there is now talk of events all around the world, even a Vegas residency.
Dream big is the last awesomeness quality. The best way to initiate dreaming big is to set yourself an audacious challenge. That is exactly what the Synthony team did. Don’t settle for mediocrity because you believe anything else is unavailable or inappropriate. Be rebellious. See what you can get away with. Not many people’s opinions matter. So why not? When you go beyond expectations and what you think you are capable of, the world will open up. You may even compel others to dream big too.
Synthony is Awesome
As I talk about in my book, there are many tools you can utilize to Embrace Your Awesomeness. Three qualities that make Synthony awesome are decide to act, detach from others’ opinions and dream big.
Take a leaf out the Synthony playbook and embrace these qualities in your own life. And in the meantime (and I am not an affiliate, just a raving fan), find a Synthony show near you and book your tickets before they sell out!