24 Feb 2018
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The Rock 1500 Countdown Party @ Powerstation, Auckland - 15/09/2017

18 Sep 2017 // A review by Kerry Monaghan

One of the biggest nights for Rock fans recently came to an end, and while many celebrated with a well-deserved day off work to start their own festivities early, many more were fortunate to attend the place to be; The Rock’s first ever 1500 countdown party at Powerstation, Mount Eden.

The beloved venue, no stranger to a Rock gig or two, was ready and waiting. One by one, The Rock crew arrived and the steady stream of Bogans from far and wide began to descend and queue, much to the amusement of passers-by.  Like moths to a flame, there is a palpable wave of anticipation and excitement when any event of that many Rock listeners is concerned. Rock and Metal heads are a special bunch. The unity is instant, and sometimes unspoken. With the high anticipation of the night ahead, everyone was stoked for a good time with good company and GREAT music.

At just a little after 5pm, the doors finally opened, and the polite and orderly queue of black band tees and wide grins filed in, with the obligatory stop to the bar first. Counting down the last 10 songs of the countdown, the excited tension grew, with one question on everyone’s lips; who would take out the number one spot?

Considering 2017’s recent Rock tragedies, the passing of the late great Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, there were speculations both respective bands would both make an appearance in the top 10, and our assumptions were correct. Before Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun, and Linkin Park’s Numb, filled out the number 9 and number 4 spots, respectively. There was a unified, thunderous roar of cheers and screams from everyone in the room, etched with an unmistakable air of sadness and reflection, followed by some of the biggest singalongs, that in all honesty nearly brought tears to my eyes. Tragedy in the Rock world is something deeply felt by us all, and to be in that moment and hear a complete unity for our fallen music heroes makes you honoured and grateful to be part of something special.

It wasn’t long till Powerstation’s space grew considerably tighter, as the sea of black shirts swayed forward, descending towards the stage where Thane and Dunc’s live stream started to near the end (or start) of what we were all waiting for. Amped, following our very own, Shihad performing their cult favourite (and number 5 spot on the countdown) Home Again, live onstage only added fuel to what was to come. Soon enough, with baited breath followed by deafening applause and yells, Metallica, One, had stolen the number two spot, which could only mean one band could be tipped to steal the show. Drum roll please! The anticipation was at its peak by this point, as Thane and Dunc made sure to drag it out to the last second, before that unmistakable bass line came thundering over the speakers, followed swiftly by the loudest sound that could only be made by over 2000 bogans showing their appreciation by scream singing at the top of their lungs to every lyric. Rage Against the Machine, Killing In The Name had taken the coveted number one spot.

But, the night was still young and the imminent live music awaited. Kicking off with swagger Rock titans, Skinny Hobos brandishing their infectious riffs upon us all, the energy only intensified for what else was to follow. The duo was on form as always, hypnotic and enthusiastic to the receiving crowd. A spectacular set.

Closing off the night was one of New Zealand’s favourite sons of Rock, Shihad. Obliterating any chance of hearing for the next 24 hours, Shihad left no man (and woman) behind as they belted out much loved favourites, from just about every one of their albums over their long -standing career.

Shihad are no strangers to putting on a great Rock show, and Jon Toogood is a master showman, able to commandeer every ounce of attention from a single riff.  You know what you’re getting from these guys and they never disappoint. I couldn’t think of two better Kiwi bands to round off such a spectacular night.

As the night slowly came to an end, a weary but satisfied crowd stumbled out into the refreshingly cold, but welcome rain to cool the sweat soaked bodies. The ringing in our ears the last reminder of an outstanding night that we all hope will make a return next year.


Review written by Kerry Monaghan

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