By Megan Moss
Date / Venue: Saturday January 3rd, Matakana Country Park, Matakana
I was very keen to see the Shihad summer tour supported by stellar line up of NZ's The Datsuns, I Am Giantand Cairo Knife Fight last night, being the final night of their summer nationwide tour; one last blast in the usually quiet tranquil hills of Matakana just north of Auckland.
The first thing that struck me was there seemed to be a lot less people there than I had expected... the demographic completely expected, but that's ok. I feel most at home with people who want to go somewhere find a grassy patch in the sun with their mates, listen to some of our best rock and roll bands, maybe jump in for the odd mosh as and when its felt to be necessary... (sometimes referred to as bogans) but a most convivial and appreciative crowd had gathered.
The sun was shining and setting behind the stage (making it a bit hard to see from some places), no complaints about the sound, which was definitely blasting out through the valley.
The gig started early with the audience treated to a performance by Cairo Knife Fight, who bring a surprisingly huge performance for two guys, Cairo have a kind of White Stripes appeal for me and they gave it everything they had, something that always matters to me when I watch live music. Keep an eye out for these guys...
Personally, I Am Giant are not usually a band I really would listen to, put in a huge performance and gave it their absolute all. I couldn't help but feel sorry for them in the blazing sun, it seemed to heat up during their performance, the audience sang along, rock hands in the air and whooped & hollered which I still also appreciate immensely. The band definitely held a fair share of the crowd's attention also taking the time giving heartfelt thanks to their crew for their huge effort over the span of the tour... Great stuff Giant!
The crowd had now got quite a bit bigger and were closing in around me squished up against the barrier ready for The Datsuns... (Yes I am getting far too old for this but whilst I still can, I will). We all know by now I am an "Uber Datsuns Fan" and once again I risk all credibility as a reviewer when I gush their praises! With little fuss the band was onstage providing us with a tremendous performance, the set was over all too quickly for me and the crowd were amped for Shihad; a hard act to follow. Personally, I was chuffed that The Datsuns played in place of Airbourne as the original bill had announced, It seemed so did the audience, who sang along, ducked and jumped when instructed and generally rocked with shameless abandon. The band also extended their thanks and praises to their crew, Shihad and the audience... ah warm fuzzies.
After a short break and loud sound check, Shihad came onstage to huge applause and I bowed out from clinging to the barrier... the crowd seemed to have doubled and a new wave of Shihad fans pushed their way in close from behind a tree or something. I've seen Shihad on so many different occasions over the years and I enjoyed last night's performance as I did way back in the day, Shihad are such professional performers, getting everyone who possibly could on their feet and jumping, playing a great mix of songs, and sounding fantastic. I saw young fans that looked to have found Shihad with their recently released album and old fans all in one happy mosh pit...rock hands held high... who said rock n roll is anti-social loud noise? Shihad were on top form and I can categorically say I walked away with a smile on my dial. Huge thanks to Shihad for another top-notch performance!
All in all it was an awesome value for money evening for us rock fans; I enjoyed all of the acts and wouldn't have to have my arm twisted to attend another concert with the same bill.