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Dimmer - Dimmer Final Show @ Bodega, Wellington

10 Jun 2012 // A review by terry666

Shayne Carter is one of my favourite New Zealand musicians. It’s not just his music but also his performance. He is very passionate about what he does and it shines through. I was lucky enough to bear witness to one of the final shows of Straitjacket Fits and also last year when he did his retrospective show tour and I am always in awe and inspired when I see him. As he is ending one phase and heading into the next, we say goodbye to Dimmer as we welcome in the new age of Shayne as a solo artist.

Wellington's Beastwars were the support act and they amped up the crowd nicely. They have a huge riff laden sound along with Matt Hyde’s vocals which reminded me somewhat of Lemmy from Motorhead. I was surprised to see them as support as they are more on the side of Heavy Metal than anything but they also share with Shayne the same sense of improvisation and organised chaos - a 3 minute song played live can quickly turn into a 7 to 8 minute song, but that’s what we love about Shayne. Beastwars must have bought some Spinal Tap amps because they were turned up to 11 and they would be one of the loudest bands I have ever heard live. Their sonic sounds launch an assault on the ears that was very pleasurable. I also learnt a lot from their set, being into guitar and singing rather than bass and drums, they demonstrated the importance of bass and the melody that can come from it which I found quite enlightening. They played some new tracks which really got the fans pumping.

Dimmer took to the stage and came to give us one final curtain call before they hung up their boots and there was a good crowd there to see them off. They are an incredibly tight band who seem to feed off each other under the guidance of Shayne.  Other than the fact that they missed my favourite Dimmer song My Evolution, it was an almost 2 hour set full of great songs from all of the 4 of the Dimmer albums even including a cover from The Gordons' which got some fans bouncing of the walls. A close to 15 minute version of The Seed highlighted Shayne’s guitar prowess and worked the whole crowd into a rhythmic sway. I remember seeing them at a Big Day Out playing on one of the smaller stages and they had gone 15 minutes over set time due to some huge guitar breaks and there was still an international band up next and but the whole crowd was smiling and enjoying the great exhibition that is Dimmer.

The encore of Crystalater went down a treat as Shayne looked uncomfortable as he was given flowers which he then shared with his band members and the crowd. With that it was goodbye from Dimmer and hello to Shayne Carter's solo music career. I can’t wait to see the next evolution from this talented and inspiring man.


About Dimmer

Dimmer was the name under which New Zealand musician Shayne P Carter (formerly of Straitjacket Fits, The DoubleHappys and Bored Games) recorded and played music from 1994. It began as an umbrella name for jam sessions and short-lived band line-ups, then home recordings, then an ensemble with various members and guests. This evolution led to more settled four-piece rock band (especially from 2006–10, when only the bassist changed). At least 41 musicians have been acknowledged as playing a part in Dimmer over 18 years, with Carter the only permanent fixture.

The last Dimmer recordings were made in 2009, with the band playing live shows through 2010. A short farewell tour announced the end of the band in 2012, and Carter began recording under his own name after that. Reformed and reformatted versions of Dimmer have occasionally played live shows, drawing on all four Dimmer albums, since 2018.

All four of Dimmer's albums were admired by critics, and all earned multiple New Zealand Music Award nominations. Non-album singles were released in 1995 and 1996, with debut album I Believe You Are A Star not following until 2001. In 2004 You've Got To Hear The Music was named New Zealand's Best Rock Album for the year, and Dimmer named Best Group. There My Dear saw Carter return to playing and recording with a live rock band in 2006, and return to the national album charts. Final album Degrees of Existence (2009) was recorded by the longest-lasting version of the band.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dimmer


Live At The Hollywood
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Degrees Of Existence
Year: 2009
Type: Album
There My Dear
Year: 2006
Type: Album
It All Looks The Same At Night
Year: 2006
Type: Album
You've Got To Hear The Music
Year: 2004
Type: Album
I Believe You Are A Star
Year: 2001
Type: Album
Year: 1995
Type: EP

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