16 Aug 2018
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Gig Review: Written By Wolves @ Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland - 3/11/2017

11 Nov 2017 // A review by butch181

Heading into the Kings Arms Tavern and immediately you can tell there is something different. It doesn’t take long to see what everyone is looking at and discussing; more lighting, an extended stage with a “runway”, additional floor toms on the side-of-stage, and what appeared to be some gas cannons attached to some rather large CO2 bottles. It looks like when Written by Wolves mentioned giving the Kings Arms a proper send-off, they weren’t kidding.

The first act of the night was LIIT, an apparent acronym for the Long Island Ice Tea. They could best be described as a “shock value” covers band. The male lead singer emerging onto the stage dressed in similar attire to Daisy Duke, from the Dukes of Hazzard, was certainly not expected. The other members had comparable outfits, whether it be denim overalls of the stereotypical Southerner, the over-the-top fitted suit, or the 80's glam rock look. It was all rather bizarre, though all a part of their onstage personas, and it carried on into the music. LIIT broke out a number of covers of party hits, from Gay Bar, Bliss, to Feel Good Hit of the Summer, and Dance Dance. All performed with an air of confidence and potentially inebriation, vocalist Duke Daisy took to the runway to strut his stuff. His vocal style was rough and somewhat similar to Head Like A Hole’s Booga Beazley, and the musicianship was top notch, with restringing a guitar mid-song having a negligible effect on the overall sound. Making it rain along the catwalk with condoms, exploding silly string and confetti into the crowd, stripping down to their underwear, and sitting on another member’s face. This is all about the performance.

Fallstate were next up on stage, opening with some audio from the South Park creators’ movie, Team America. Fallstate’s sound could be best described as pop punk, and heavy rock & metal intermingled. It almost feels like two different bands are playing, with every song having its own drop to encourage moshing from the crowd, but a vocal style that is usually associated with bands like 30 Seconds to Mars or Taking Back Sunday. Overall, there is good rhythm and some solid riffs, and their performance is well practised with plenty of synchronised headbanging. The overuse of bass drops does have the effect of making the rest of the sound feel a tad emptier, but Fallstate have worked out their unique sound, and with their distinctive drumming, there is definitely a lot of potential for them.

Final opener for the night is the Alternative rock group She Loves You. Unfortunately suffered with some technical issues; initially low volumes on the guitar and more than a few feedback issues, but they didn’t let that stop them. They adjusted Jessie Booth’s funky bluesy guitar levels, and her backing vocals combined with those of lead vocalist Madeline Berry made for an inspiring performance. Madeline’s voice was easily hitting all the right notes, but started off rather repressed, in need of better projection. But as the set went on, there was a clear shift in confidence and her performance became far more exuberant and natural, feeding off of the crowds’ excitement. By the end of the set, She Loves You are absolutely dominating.

Headlining the night were Written By Wolves, who started the night with some dueling floor toms conducted by guitarists Davie Wong and Bahador Borhani. A dark room with flashing lights and fast-paced drums makes for a hell of a build-up, and it amped the crowd straight away for moshing. So much energy from the band and it was mirrored by the audience who were expelling body heat at an incredibly fast rate. Borhani is always a thrill to watch perform, twirling and bouncing around the stage. While the choruses of the tracks are incredibly simple and repetitive lyrically, it seems like it was intentionally designed that way to encourage greater crowd participation. 

The venue swiftly heated up as the set continued, and the only thing cooling it down were the gas cannons repeatedly going off. The cannons had a three-fold positive effect on the show; aesthetically speaking it was fun to watch them go off, sound-wise, when properly timed, they added another layer of percussion to the tracks, and finally temperature-wise, they provided a welcome hit of air-conditioning in the humid and sweaty room. Ensuring that everyone was joining in, they performed their tried and tested cover of My Chemical Romance’s Welcome To The Black Parade. Making the most of their final show, they brought in other Shotgun Alley members RJ Kairua and bassist Josh Grant Betty from Australia for a reunion song in a hit of nostalgia. Propped up by extensive backing tracks and extensive of lighting and strobes, Written By Wolves provide a very solid, energetic sound, with as much effort put into the visual aspect of the show is they do the musical composition.


Review written by Alex Moulton

About Written by Wolves

Written By Wolves, are a progressive, new, rock band hailing from Auckland. All four members, Davie Wong, Karl Woodhams, Bahador Borhani and Michael Murphy (NZ Idol, 5star Fallout) have devoted their lives to Rock music, and it is out of this shared love for the genre that Written By Wolves was born. They are a band that have set out to do things slightly differently, to create music that is new, unique and perhaps pushes the boundaries of what is expected from the rock genre.




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