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.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.