L.A.B says becoming second Kiwi act to headline Western Springs a 'dream come true' as huge summer 2022 tour announced

In what will be the height of their largest tour ever, L.A.B has announced they will play Auckland's Western Springs Stadium - making them only the second Kiwi band to headline New Zealand's biggest stadium.

They will be joined by a massive line-up of some of Aotearoa's most popular artists including Sir Dave Dobbyn, Ladi6, The Black Seeds, Katchafire, JessB and RIIKI on January 22, 2022. 

"It's going to be epic," lead vocalist Joel Shadbolt told Newshub. 

"To be able to play Western Springs... there's only one other band in New Zealand that's done that and we want to chase their tail and give it a crack." 

But it's not the only mammoth venue the reggae-fusion act will be taking on over summer 2022. 

Ahead of Western Springs, Saturdays in January will see L.A.B return to the iconic Bowl Of Brooklands in New Plymouth following last summer’s sold-out show before taking on on Christchurch’s Hagley Park. There, they will be joined by Shapeshifter for a huge double bill in what will be both acts' only South Island headline shows.

Shadbolt and bandmates Miharo Gregory, Ara Adams-Tamatea, and brothers Stu and Brad Kora have become a mainstay in the Official NZ Music Charts since their inception in 2015. 

They released their first album in 2017 and have knocked one out every year since, with the album debuting at Number One on the Official Album Charts, and single ‘Why Oh Why’ reaching number one on the Official Top 40 Singles Charts - their second hit to do so after 'In The Air' in 2019. 

Only two years ago, L.A.B were performing to a comparatively modest 400 people at local venues like Boiler Room and Totara Street in the Bay of Plenty.

Now, this run of shows will see them entertain tens of thousands - Western Springs has the capacity to host crowds of up to 55,000 alone. 

"It means everything to me," Shadbolt says. "To have the whole of the country behind us, we feel that at every single show we play. We've got a really unique crowd that follow us around the country." 

It's a huge accolade for the group who started jamming together six years ago when Brad and Stu Kora made moves to collaborate with Shadbolt after hearing him sing on TV. They pulled in Gregory to play keys and Adams-Tamatea of Katchafire glory to round off the powerhouse collaboration.

"It's hard to believe really," Gregory told Newshub. "You dream of playing stadiums and venues like this, it's going to be a crazy night, I'll have to see it to believe it." 

He says behind the scenes their goals are made possible by "a massive army of people" and a huge amount of work to get to where they are - consistent touring, recording non-stop for five years. 

New Zealand music artists were among those largely affected by the impact of COVID-19, as live gigs ground to a halt in 2020. 

"This summer is probably going to be another one where internationals won't get to New Zealand so it's our chance," Shadbolt says. 

The shows will include L.A.B's most well-known hits that have made them a household name, including ‘In The Air’, ‘Controller’ & ‘Why Oh Why’. 

Saturday January 8, 2022 - Bowl Of Brooklands, New Plymouth w/ support from Sir Dave Dobbyn, Katchafire, JessB, Summer Thieves & RIIKI

Saturday January 15, 2022 - Hagley Park, Christchurch w/ Shapeshifter w/ support from Ladi6, Katchafire, JessB & RIIKI

Saturday January 22, 2022 - Western Springs Stadium, Auckland w/ support from Sir Dave Dobbyn, Ladi6, The Black Seeds, Katchafire, JessB & RIIKI

Tickets for all shows go on sale on July 28 at 9am.