Let me begin by saying with such a huge amount of international acts being bought to NZ lately, you must choose wisely or miss out. Luckily I chose Westfest (Day One). And at $120 per night, or $200 for both nights, this festival was a complete bargain with so many great bands to see all in one place.
Vector Arena was set up with two stages last night, which they later converted into one for the Megadethand Rob Zombie sets - and a great idea it was too.
We made it in time for Eagles Of Death Metal - but there was already a huge crowd of black-clothed fans in attendance who had enjoyed the likes of Devilskin, 8 Foot Sativa (sorry I missed you guys, sounds like you blew everyone away) and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats.
One of the things I love about going to these events is the pure enthusiasm you get hanging out in the crowd from all the true fans. Everyone is there for the same reason and has similar music tastes, although I suspect (from listening in to conversations around me) that the majority of these guys were there to see Megadeth.
Anyway. Back to Eagles of Death Metal. Jesse Hughes is a great front man. He bounds on stage and swings into I Only Want You (the sound was slightly off there, but was soon corrected). And they were off. "Are you having a good time?" yelled Jesse. Why yes we were. The wonderfully bearded Dave Catching tried to steal the show on guitar, but who could outdo Jesse - with that great Cramps-esque voice? They flew through their 40-minute set, refusing to stop when told (three more?) and Jesse dedicated one of his songs to Mr Rob Zombie - a true God of rock n roll. And yes they played the great Stealers Wheel cover, Stuck in the Middle With You.
Oh and did you see the long-haired hippie guy from Big Day Out dancing like it was 1969?
Up next was Five Finger Death Punch with the mighty Ivan Moody on singing duties. First time in New Zealand for these guys and they are certainly crowd pleasers. Ivan's singing alternates between super heavy growling and a fabulous ballady-type croon. He even tried to get the crowd up front to commit to an "old school circle pit". Indeed. During Burn MF Burn, a slightly dazed fan was pulled from the crowd to help him sing along to the anthem - Oh Angela, a bit of stage fright perhaps? Highlight of the set was the wonderful Bad Company.
And then the two stages became one and on came Mr Dave Mustaine himself. That hair. That guitar. And straight into Hangar 18. So much noise coming from just 4 men onstage. Mr Mustaine still has THAT voice, and he used it to its full capacity last night, accompanied by Chris and David up front and Shawn Droverback there on drums.
The Megadeth boys played for over an hour, and managed to sneak in one from the new album, Kingmaker. But the fans wanted to hear their favorites, and Peace Sells, Sweating Bullets and A Tout Le Monde covered those beautifully. Then, after a super loud version of Holy Wars as the only encore, Dave left the stage last (to the dulcet tones of Sid Vicious singing his version of My Way). Nice touch Dave.
Oh and in the words of Dave - we would never cancel New Zealand. Lucky for us, not so lucky for our friends over in Australia.
And then there was Zombie.
On came the boys: Zombie, Five, Piggy and Ginger Fish, straight into Dead City Radio. Zombie pranced around (and across) his three platforms while Piggy and Five skulked around behind and beside him. Costume changes abounded. Five played his guitar with his teeth. There was a stunning drum solo from Ginger Fish and a guitar solo from John 5, during which Mr Zombie ran through the crowd, up through the seating area with his spotlight, trailed by security, to make sure everyone was having a good time at his Zombie party.
They played Sick Bubblegum. They played Living Dead Girl, Thunder Kiss '65 and the mighty More Human Than Human. Zombie reminisced about being here 21 years ago and said sorry for not making it back sooner. They even played We're An American Band from the new album. Zombie threw himself around the stage like it was 1995 all over again and even convinced the audience up front to help him out with a bit of crowd surfing.
And then there was a final rendition of Dragula and they were off to the chants of Zombie. Zombie. Zombie.
What a show. What a night. What an event. Thank you Soundwave for lending us these bands this year. Next year, surely you can bring the whole festival.
And I will leave the last words to my husband: #westfest. f*** that was good.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix.
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
John Butler Trio announce their return to New Zealand in March to play Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Saturday 2 March and an afternoon set outdoors at The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, Auckland on Sunday 3 March.
British rock royalty Arctic Monkeys have ushered in a spectacular new era with their sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and it has now been announced that the band will return to New Zealand for a mammoth arena show in March 2019.
Californian rock legends Jefferson Starship will join TOTO and Dragon on next year’s ‘A Summer’s Day Live’ series, which will take in some of the most picturesque locations and popular concert venues across New Zealand.
In celebration of the highly anticipated November release of their fourth studio album Delta,English folk conquerors Mumford & Sons today announced details of a massive 60 date world tour which will include a very special one day event in Auckland this Summer –their first New Zealand show since 2015!
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
If Anika Moa was feeling ready to kick back for the remainder of 2018, then things haven’t really run to plan. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot busier for the multi-talented entertainer with a new album release, tv series and live shows all on the way.
Since achieving international recognition from Rollingstone.com and Billboard.com for hit singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, and amassing over 3 million Spotify streams for their releases to date, Alae now unveil All Gived Up.
'Call Me', the latest track by Wellington electro-pop singer and producer Josie Moon made last week's New Music Friday playlists from Spotify Australia/NZ and Japan and influential UK blogger Popjustice.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.
The last hurrah of the Comedy Fest! The Season Finale! The bit at the end where the awards are decided, everybody relaxes and much fun is had. It’s the titled Last Laughs on Sunday 20 May at SkyCity Theatre.
The 13th Annual Doc Edge, International Documentary Film Festival opens today - Wednesday 9th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema followed by Auckland’s Q Theatre on Wednesday 23rd May, bringing an influx of prestigious directors and documentary subjects from all over the world.