By Anya Whitlock
Date / Venue: Wednesday October 1st, The Studio, Auckland
I rocked up to the Sepultura gig gross and sweaty from a big day at work, worrying that I didn't have time to get home for a shower... I needn't have worried as upon entering the main room I felt like I had stepped off the set of a Pantene commercial. The potent odour of men wearing their favourite metal shirt that they refuse to take off let alone wash assured my nostrils I was in excellent company.
The first warm up act 'Bullet Belt' deserves a mention - The musicians were tight and the flame haired lady... yes lady front woman had a roar to rival any man. The second warm up 'Tainted' from Christchurchgenerated a beat driven machine that was more than adequate to come before a legend like a Sepultura.
Sepultura finally bust out onto stage with a powerful energized presence. Guitarist Andreas Kisser is the first face we see followed by the mammoth Derek Green who cuts an imposing figure as front man complete with freaky contact lenses.
'Propaganda' is the 3rd song up and the first two thirds of the crowd is completely focused and engaged with rocking out and partying like it is the last night of their lives. The back third consists of audiophiles with earplugs and those who have not yet fully accepted that the Cavalera brothers (original line up) are no longer part of the group, and are comparing the current situation to Sepultura's Kiwi performance in 1999. This is hugely unfair as anything that gives a teenager an excuse to steal Dads home brew and stay up past 11pm is going to be the "best night ever" in hindsight.
'Manipulation Of Tragedy' from their 13th album 'The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be The Heart' was a highlight in the first half. It's the first album made with drummer Eloy Cassagrande, and working again with the producer Ross Robinson who also produced the hugely successful Roots album, which put Sepultura on the metal map. The commitment seemed greater to me in this song, potentially because the current Sepultura lineup has nurtured it from an idea.
'Attitude' an early Sepultura song was super tight. The power young drummer breaking cymbals and stand hardware all the while pulling off some epic flam work. The next break between songs was bridged by some cool mechanical electronic sounds before rocking in with 'Dead Embryonic Cells'.
Next up was a third attempt to speak in Maori and thankfully into the short and sharp 'Godzilla' an old classic. A few songs along and we're rocking out to 'Orgasmatron' a popular cover originally written by Motörhead.
'Chaos A.D.', one of my favourite songs from earlier in their 30 year long career had me thrashing around with my sweaty neighbours like I had forgotten how much Osteopathy treatments are.
For the encore we were treated to 'Ratamataha' and a truly epic sprawling version of 'Roots'. I now feel like my tiny penchant for metal has been greatly satisfied. Solid balls out gig Sepultura.