So tonight is the Iron Maiden concert and great anticipation and excitement has already hit me! As I take my seat, the main thought playing through my mind was 'What a daunting task it must be to perform as the opening act for such an iconic band such as Iron Maiden!!!'
It maybe so, but The Raven Age pulls of the task with outright success.
It is clear to see they live up to the description of them on their website as 'Melodic Metal Band'. I allude to their website because the very words I came up during the concert to describe them were the same as what is on their website - however - I had never been to their website until AFTER I heard them tonight at the concert.
With haunting melodious intros and making good use of breakdowns and build ups with fabulous thunder strikes and attacks, they perform with great stage presence. Very engaging with the crowd and high energy with electric edginess that keeps the crowd roaring.
Michael Burrough, the lead vocalist has a powerful melodic voice, hitting his notes with purity and clarity that cuts through drums - Jai Patel, guitars - Dan Wright and George Harris, and bass - Matt Cox.
They finished with their new release Angel in Disgrace. I can't get enough of this band. I love their edginess, their melodious sounds and their high energy. The song launches in with gutsy guitars and drums. Hooks you into the song as soon as it starts.
These guys have a talent for creating the right tension appropriate for each song, vibrant and professional keeping crowds engaged and interacting regularly with them. Keep an eye on this band! They are most certainly on their way to holding their own in the world of great status! Will they be amongst the new greats who will eventually replace all the current iconic bands? I get the feeling that The Raven Age will take up this status with ease!!
Then it was time for the main event.
Iron Maiden cast a mind blowing spell on a crowd of over 6000 at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch on Friday night.
Launching their epic performance off with fantastic screen graphics depicting Ed Force One caught in Mayan jungle vines, struggling to escape. A giant fiery red hand reaches up from the dark depths to propel them into the sky and to embark on their journey of The Book of Souls. The crowd roars with excitement as we sense that we are about to go on a journey of wonder and excitement!
Awesome stage sets with ancient Mayan ruins which include fire pits and mystical smoke with back drops changing on almost every song. Bruce Dickinson, hot damn he looks super fit! One would never realise he has recently recovered from tongue cancer as he howls out his vocal lines over and above searing guitar streams and pounding thunderous drums on the first song 'Speed of Light'. They belt out a few great old classics along with a collection of songs from their new (double) album Book of Souls. Working and performing for the crowd and cameras which project on to giant screens on either side of the stage with super high energy mesmerising the crowd as he yells out "Scream for me Christchurch!!!" Gorgeous bass intros with Steve Harris, haunting melodies, with brutal attacks from guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers breaking in with absolute precise rhythms from drummer Nicko McBrain.
The entire band defy their age as they run all over the Mayan ruin set, leapingover speakers and jumping on the spot to the addictive rhythms while playing guitars. Yes there was sweating involved, and despite their age, they are agile, sassy and professional. Many young performers would have trouble keeping up with the pace these guys set!! It is clear to see they LOVE doing what they do - you can see it - you can hear it - you can feel it.
Bruce's catch call "Scream for me Christchurch" is yelled out frequently throughout the night and is met with an enthusiastic rabid crowd who throw themselves into hard out screaming and yelling in response.
Where did the night go?!!! Fantastic high energy has churned through the night and all of a sudden we are screaming for an encore which starts with 'Number of the Beast', getting a rapturous response!!!
They play in Auckland on Sunday night! Get yourselves along there and enjoy a brilliant show with fabulous lighting and sound. Great theatrics, including a 9 foot Eddie and a massive blow up horned beast with folded arms looking ominously or was it condescendinglydown upon the crowd - a great touch.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
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!
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.
They immediately sold out Sydney and Melbourne dates earlier this year, and now LCD Soundsystem are returning to Australia and New Zealand for their biggest headline shows ever this summer – touring February 2018!
To celebrate the recent announcement of their debut album Idiot Proverbs, set for release on Friday 12 January, Tiny Little Houses have revealed both the music video for their single ‘Entitled Generation’ and their highly anticipated Australian album tour for February and March 2018.