Clap Clap Riot

By Poppy Tohill

Concert Review:  Clap Clap Riot

Date / Venue:  Friday March 7th, Galatos, Auckland

It doesn't often happen that you go to a concert where the support act/s impresses you just as much as the headlining act. Well after heading along to Galatos on Friday night for the Album Release of Clap Clap Riot's second studio album, ‘Nobody/ Everybody,' I came away in utter awe of what I witnessed.

The night began nicely with a fantastic set from the Auckland alternative rock/pop band, Glass Owls, who performed a number of songs from their forthcoming album 'Out From The Darkness'. Having never seen the band perform before, I was very intrigued by the smooth, yet raw vocals of front man Tomas Nelson, whose voice blended excellently with the guitar riffs and drum beats from the other two members.

By the time Glass Owls set came to an end, the venue had considerably filled up and the next support act, psychedelic power-pop quartet, Sherpa took to the stage. Despite admitting that he was ‘sick and felt like absolute shit,' vocalist and front man Early Sans, was far from looking horrible and certainly did not perform as if he was sick, dressed in a rainbow coloured sari, with a wide grin on his face as he danced around the stage throughout their whole set.

If like me before Friday, have never heard of Sherpa, I suggest you stop what you're doing right this minute and look them up immediately. Trying to describe their sound and performance in words is as hard as trying to believe that Earl was actually unwell while watching them perform. Their sound and performance was like nothing I have ever witnessed before, it was literally unbelievable. The amount of energy all four band members put into their performance made you tired just watching them. While the band jumped around on stage, I don't think one single person in the entire audience wasn't up on that dance floor moving at least one part of their body.

Once Sherpa concluded their set, having blown everyone's minds, I continued to be amazed as Clap Clap Riot put on the best performance I have ever seen them produce.  Having seen the band perform a number of festival performances at the Big Day Out over the past few years, this was the first time I had actually ever seen the band up close and personal and it was one of the best things I have ever experienced. When at a gig you don't often take into account how spectacular and different a performance can be when played on a small stage in an intimate venue compared to a big stage at a festival where it is a lot harder to see or hear each fine detail as you can at a more intimate show. But once you've experienced a band/artist performing in both situations the difference is phenomenal.

Their set consisted of a great mix of songs, from both their newest album (Nobody/ Everybody), debut album (Counting Spins) and EP (TV Knows Better.) Getting through all the songs from the new album beginning with popular single ‘Nobody,' they then went on to play some oldies such as ‘Hospital Show,' ‘Lie,' ‘Moss-Haired Girl,' ‘Thief' and ‘Everyone's Asleep,' which proved just as popular with the audience as their new material.

As the night drew on the band's energy levels didn't wear out, but seemed to grow stronger and stronger as the volume became louder, the crowd more hyped and the venue shook from floor to ceiling, as microphone stands went flying across the room. Each member exceptionally stood out with their different skills and talents on their designated instruments. As I still remain mesmerised by guitarist, Dave Rowlands who can surely play and definitely has the best rock and roll hair for the job! Not to mention the incredible vocals and guitar riffs from front man Stephen Heard.

These boys surely know how to put on one hell of a show. Catch them of their album release tour inChristchurch on Friday March 14th at Dux Live or in Dunedin at Chick's Hotel on Saturday March 15th.

If you get anything out of this review, let it be that- nor do Glass Owls, Sherpa or Clap Clap Riot disappoint, in any way whatsoever. They are definitely three bands you do not want to miss!