The first significant Occupy Wall Street documentary that came out was called "I am not moving!" and is a great metaphor for my front-row experience seeing Shihad at the Coroglen Tavern on Sunday night, part of their FVEYsummer 2014-2015 tour.
Nothing beats a great summer holiday road-trip but there are a few key ingredients to creating one which will make memories that last a life-time.
1. You need chill, generous and hilarious company: in this case, Static Era guitarist and Internet Party Candidate Challenge winnerChris Yong (ex Redline, Tadpole).
2. You need pristine, photogenic locations - in this case, the land surrounding Whitianga in the Coromandel Peninsula - the kinds of places that remind you how incredible the landscape of this country really is and exactly why we need to protect it.
3. You need a pinnacle event where you can let off some steam - literally, when that happens to involve a couple thousand people and a moshpit!
4. Then you need that little something extra special that puts the icing on the cake - like cuddles with yourfavourite rock stars, and souvenirs :)
Shihad concerts really are more than a fun holiday show - they are an experience. New Zealand's premier live rock act, and Hall of Fame'ers, you don't have to look far through Libel's Shihad archive, or the monstrous fan-driven Shihad Wiki to realise how deserving of their iconic status they really are. However what is still emerging is the massive political significance of their latest album, FVEY (released June 2014) and the contemporary relevance and potency of the lyrics. A FVEY promo interview on (gasp) NewstalkZBreally gave the game away. Host Mike Hosking pontificates somewhat contemptuously that he doesn't know how much politics people want with their music. Well, if we consider that the #1 song and album of all time was Lennon's 'Imagine', or remember Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' - what a silly question. Music that speaks truth to power has always been the penultimate social prize - one that transcends generations and inspires social evolution. FVEY is all that and more - speaking to those who are disillusioned by the head-in-the-sand mentality of the media mainstream - disheartened by the failings of the political process. Frankly calling out the unjust - raging against the machine. It is a delicious, subversive irony that the creative freedom of Shihad's 9th studio album (11 total) and their big-label backing can combine to allow anti-mass-media messages of awakening to be pushed through corporate network outlets like NewstalkZB.
This album possesses the much-vaunted and genuine live feel that serves up a cross-over sound bridging studio and gig. To hear so much of the new material played in person as if they'd been doing it all their lives is a fast reminder that they have. As an independent journalist and new media advocate, I had the distinct and easy feeling that they were singing my life back to me, from the stage. As a Shihad fan of over 20 years, I felt they were bringing me 'Home Again'. Indeed as Jon Toogood sings in 'Grey Area' - "I am a reflection - I'm what you want to hear!"
THE DEETS: The Crowd: were chanting "SHIHAD - SHIHAD - SHIHAD" before the guitar techs had even got the opening band's gear off the stage. This was a resounding chant throughout the night, one that was rewarded with an encore at the end of the show.
The Opening Acts: Sadly we missed Cairo Knife Fight, however I Am Giant were so good that I was instantly converted into a fan - my noobness shining through when I initially mistook new singer Ryan James Redmanfor ex singer Ed Martin purely on the basis of how he gelled onstage with the band, effortlessly in fact. The Datsuns were at their adrenaline-inducing best, with what I'm pretty sure was their lead guitarist's mother (..or aunt? Or random wanton admirer?) alongside me in the front row enthusing - "isn't he BEAUTIFUL?!" They played many of their radio hits and received a rapturous reception from young and old alike.
The Headline Performance: The boys kept eye contact with the crowd, singling out familiar faces and grinning like cheshire cats throughout the show. It really was clear that they were enjoying themselves as much as we were. Phil was swish as hell in a swanky suit - Jon made regular appearances in the front row - shaking hands with people, imploring the crowd to join him in jumping about, giving as much sweat back to the crowd as they poured on each other. The ground shook, the steam rose, the crowd screamed loud enough to cause temporary tinitis. All the great elements of a kickass rock show.
The Sound: positioned front row & stage right (by the bass bins) I was understandably struggling at times to hear Phil Knight's guitars but others centre and rear said the sound was great. As usual the rhythm section of Tom Larkin and Karl Kippenberger was fat, grunty, flawlessly executed and memorable.
The Set-List: They opened with the killer combo of 'Think You're So Free' and title-track 'FVEY' - followed by 'The General Electric', 'My Mind's Sedate', 'The Living Dead', 'Song For No One', 'Wait and See', 'You Again', 'The Great Divide', 'Wasted In The West', 'Comfort Me' and finished with the incredible 'Cheap As'. The Encore: 'Grey Area' and a massive rendition of 'Home Again', replete with crowd singing the final chorus a capella en masse. Really moving - the stuff life-long memories are made of.
The Next Single Should Be: the romantic in me really wants it to be "Love's Long Shadow" - the extremely haunting and lone discernible love song on the album - however because of what perfect examples of Shihad they are, I'm picking the high energy 'Wasted In The West' or 'The Living Dead'.
The Aftermath: Shihad hung out after the show, taking photographs with fans and signing merchandise. Given how much time and energy they had already injected into us, this was an extra special bonus that made a lot of people's night - mine included. Thanks boys!!!! (Check out my live-tweet of the show with commentary and over 25 pics - vids to follow!)
One of our writers sat down with Amy Mansfield, writer of I Didn’t Invite You Hear To Lecture Me, ahead of the Basement shows. Most students throw out their study notes, but not Amy. She has kept hold of them for the past 20 years--vertibiam quotes from her lectures that are too good to ever get rid of. The play was shown throughout the Auckland Fringe Week 2018, and even in some personal living rooms, the vibe is very independent and witty.
It was a cold bleary eyed Saturday night as the clock struck midnight, and counted towards 1am… the time set forth to conjure Richard Shaw, guitarist for legendary UK black metal act Cradle of Filth. We talked ahead of their sold out, first ever performance here in New Zealand.
NZ is about to get OBESSED, with the newest in kiwi music. Local Tauranga sweetheart, Amelia McNabb comes to us fiercely, independently, and with more fire in her lungs than I've heard from any kiwi artist in while. THIS is what we’ve been waiting for.
Elgusto, one part of the innovative electronic/dance music duo, Hermitude, sat down with one of our interviewers this past week; chatting about their loaded schedule, the bands ethos, how they communicate an instrumental show, and their creative collaborations.
Catching up with friends who are musicians at their gigs is always an odd, awkward, rushed affair between sets, pack-down, or a series of inaudible shouts as another band plays. So with the release of the new Seas of Conflict single Monachopsis, I thought it was time I simply scheduled time for a chat, not only once but twice--due to technical issues--with guitarist Declan Storrie.
I recently ventured back to my old festival haunting grounds - or at least the successor thereof. It was a hot Sunday afternoon and after juggling band members between their Festival One main stage duties and their prior commitments off-site, I managed to sit down with the guys and gal from Amanaki - one of the few hardcore-metal acts to perform at the mostly radio-friendly festival.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
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.
Featuring Future of the Left members Andrew “Falco” Falkous and Jack Egglestone, with the addition of Damien Sayell from the St Pierre Snake Invasion, the Cardiff outfit will be playing venues in Wellington and Auckland this January.
Andrew Fagan returns with a satirical take on today’s social media preoccupied society. Being an amateur social anthropologist, it is a topic close to his heart. Listen to new track On Channel Me below, off Fagan’s forthcoming solo album Act Normal, due for release in October on Southbound.
Brisbane’s own indie rock royalty, The Grates, have been invited along for the ride, and will treat their hometown crowd to classics from their extensive and impressive catalogue of tunes including 19-20-20 and Turn Me On.
Pixies, one of the most influential alternative rock bands of all time, have announced a second show for Brisbane fans due to overwhelming demand. Following on from Melbourne’s second show announced on Friday (on sale 12pm today!), Brisbane fans have been just as eager to see catch the influential music pioneers, selling out the Fortitude Music Hall date on March 13. A second show has been added at the same venue on Thursday March 12 as part of their mammoth world tour, Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa.
The Ugly Kings, featuring Devil Electric guitarist, Christos Athanasias, are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background. They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. They have released a new music video for Black Widow, featuring an award winning burlesque dancer Ferri Maya. Plus announced a live show this weekend!
Fame and fortune on the Kiwi music scene are a step closer for the top 10 acts just announced in Smokefreerockquest, New Zealand’s biggest live, nationwide all original music event for high school students.
Pluto’s nascent trajectory has covered the spectrum of the New Zealand musical stratosphere, bursting brightly onto the scene in 2001 just to have their star seemingly burn out just as abruptly in 2009. It would have been a suitably intriguing end to befall one of the finest, most exciting and alluring bands New Zealand has ever produced.
Exhilarating and high energy New Zealand rock band, Written By Wolves, have just released their killer new track, Tell Me What You’re Running From? This is the first single from the band’s upcoming new album, set for release later this year.
Australia’s foremost authority on progressive rock, Caligula’s Horse, are just weeks away from kicking off their Let It Grow tour which will celebrate their cult classic The Tide, The Thief & River's End and breakout progressive masterpiece Bloom by playing them back to back!
Within the four walls of The Fortitude Music Hall, lies The Outpost. Brisbane’s newest 300 capacity multipurpose venue that will feature a diverse program of artists, an impressive drinks menu featuring a cocktail list curated by the talented team at Proof & Company.
After spending the past year pulverizing the world with their stupefying live performances, Tropical Fuck Storm return home to tour their new album Braindrops and put the Antipodean public to the sword! Braindrops, the follow up to 2018's epic odyssey, A Laughing Death In Meatspace, will be released on Flightless Records in August
It’s been 20 years since The Flaming Lips released the one-of-a-kind aural hallucination that is The Soft Bulletin. To celebrate the anniversary of its release, The Flaming Lips will play a special show at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall.
15-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Alicia Keys makes her musical return with the powerful track and visuals for “Show Me Love,” featuring Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and producer, Miguel via RCA Records.
Backstreet’s back, alright! Get your group together, because the biggest selling Boy Band of all time (100 million albums), the BACKSTREET BOYS are heading back to New Zealand in 2020 for a show at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Saturday, May 16.
Platinum-certified independent singer, songwriter, producer, and pop visionary Lauv has released new single 'fuck, I'm lonely' with Anne-Marie today. The track will be featured on Lauv’s forthcoming debut album titled ~how i'm feeling
Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment are excited to announce that Norwegian pop icons a-ha are returning to Australia for the first time in 34 years, before heading to New Zealand for the very first time! They’ll be joined by very special guest Rick Astley at all February & March 2020 shows, taking in Sydney, Melbourne, and Christchurch, as well as a day on the green events in Australia and New Zealand.
Hitting a massive nine centres on his regional tour this September, Stan will take the stage to perform songs from his impressive catalogue plus his brand new pop smash single Give (co-written by Matiu Walters of SIX60) for his beloved fans. The Springboard tour will also boast three of NZ’s most up-and-coming new artists – Lepani, Niko Walters and Jordan Gavet.
TEG DAINTY and THE MISSION ESTATE WINERY CONCERT announced today that global superstar Michael Bublé will return in February 2020! Accompanied by a 36-piece orchestra and ready to to thrill his New Zealand fans for one night only; this will be Michael Bublé’s only show in New Zealand.
Elton John will perform a third and final show at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium, to satisfy New Zealand’s insatiable demand. It has also been announced that, due to a scheduling conflict, three of Elton’s sold out New Zealand concerts have been delayed by one week. Rescheduled dates affect the second show at Mission Estate Winery, and the first two Mt Smart Stadium shows in Auckland.
Vocal prodigy RUEL is returning to New Zealand for one show in Auckland at the Bruce Mason Centre in May. Counting Elton John and Khalid among his fans, RUEL is taking the globe by storm, smashing show records, and he’s only 16 years old.
Exactly six years to the day since the release of Vance Joy’s debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing, Liberation Records are pleased to reveal an extremely limited run of the EP have been pressed on vinyl for the first time ever for release on Friday 26 April. Vance Joy has also announced he will bring his Ukuleles For Kids program to Australia in a new partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia. Launched in the USA last year the program delivers ukuleles and how-to video tutorials lead by Vance Joy to children’s hospitals.
LA two-piece Moby Rich have announced two headline shows on their debut Australian tour this May. With their latest single Blink bringing further attention to the duo, this Australian tour is the perfect opportunity to catch two indie stars on the rise. Support on the tour comes from yergurl in Melbourne, whose lo-fi beats and unique pop style made her a Triple J Unearthed favourite. Sydney support will be from Hoodlem, a streaming sensation with her mix of experimental soul and future R&B.
Darren Middleton (POWDERFINGER), Mark Wilson (JET), Davey Lane (YOU AM I) and Kram (SPIDERBAIT) have joined forces to become ARC, one of the most collectively celebrated and successful supergroups in Australia’s rock history will be performing Abbey Road live, commemorating 50 years of existence.
Abbey Road, The Beatles' swansong and their crowning achievement as a recording group - is a stately, majestic, playful yet fiercely rocking masterpiece of pop music, regarded as one of the greatest records of all time.
TEG Dainty and Nice Events are excited to announce that Emmy-nominated television personality, podcaster and hairstylist to the stars, Jonathan Van Ness, will bring his Road to Beijing world tour to New Zealand
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.