27 Sep 2021

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking
  • Articles »
  • Reviews »
  • Shihad - Gig Review: Shihad, The Datsuns, I Am Giant & Cairo Knife Fight @ Matakana Country Park 3/1/2015

Shihad - Gig Review: Shihad, The Datsuns, I Am Giant & Cairo Knife Fight @ Matakana Country Park 3/1/2015

16 Jan 2015 // A review by Andrew Smit

On a sparkling day a faithful rock crowd flowed into the picturesque Matakana Country Park and they were ready to rock, the sun was shining and the air was clear, perfect for an outdoor rock event and so at 5.45pm it was a delight to hear the silence broken by a guitar throbbing its distorted beauty - I think it was a just a little sound check but it got our attention, and thus began our very cool warm up as manifested by Cairo Knife Fight. A very entertaining crew of two, with very crunchy guitar paired with solid hypnotic drum rhythms. Drummer and vocalist Nick Gaffaney also managed to provide bass from a piece of equipment next to him and at one stage the duo managed to get their instruments to play themselves, they were able to walk away while a psychedelic sampled loop took over, enthralling the crowd and had us inquisitively waiting to see how it would all end, which it did with a good old thrashing and grinding which we all loved.

I have to say how well staged and organised the event was, plenty of staff servicing the bars and food areas, there were no queues at the bar or the ATM’s or even the surprisingly clean Portaloos, so well done to the organisers.

The vibe went up a gear when I Am Giant began their set, with new vocalist Ryan Redman energetically jumping around the stage under the bright summer sun. Ryan apologised about his voice being a bit hoarse, but for the most part he sounded fine, it was a bit noticeable on the higher parts of their hit Transmission but everyone just enjoyed hearing all their great songs performed live and loud and cheered their appreciation wholeheartedly. The band sounded in perfect sync with a mega powerful bass and guitar sound swathed around steadfast drumming. Ryan claimed it was his first trip to NZ and understandably was thrilled with the place and beamed about how good the tour was, you think… we were so jealous, every rock wanna be would die to tour NZ in summer with the likes of The Datsuns and Shihad as your drinking buddies!

Next up was The Datsuns who engaged with the crowd and enthralled us with their enduring classic rock vibe, with the sun slowly setting behind the stage the now very eager mosh pit could enjoy the cool shadow spilling off the stage. Lead man Dolf de Borst had control of the mob who complied gratuitously when requested to crouch down and then stay down until the band got loud, upon which we were told to “lose your shit”, which was more than enough incentive for the pack to jump and flail about in a mindless rhythmic move (when said band did get loud). It sounds like the guys are going on an extended break, hopefully we see them back soon, for they are a very popular live act who impressed everyone with their performance tonight.

But now it's 9pm and it's finally getting dark, we all are eager to experience Shihad, many are seeing them for the first time, and would no doubt have heard that these guys are a formidable force live, so the excitement and expectation levels are high. When the band hit the stage the pack moved in closer and boom we’re straight into Think You’re So Free and it sounds awesome, the grunge of the guitar and Jon Toogood's vox are better than the recording, so powerful and yet so crisp. Like a machine Shihad have just clicked into gear, it was expected but not taken for granted, everyone respects that to show up and perform continuously at this high standard, requires a profound amount of talent coupled with a colossal positive attitude which Shihad have in buckets. Jon talked about how we should all try and be honest with each other, and how they were sick of people lying to them, someone recently must have done a number on them as he reiterated it later in the show. Shihad’s pure form of rock was engrossing and relentless, this is what the punters have paid for, to be taken away from the normality of life and just get lost in the world conjured up by the sound and rhythm of heavy rock! The mosh pit grew sweatier as the night progressed but never did it waiver in its quest to flatten the grass and reach for the skies in a bounding mass of ephemeral rock disciples. Tom Larkin on drums was a mechanised human pace maker that never missed a perfect beat, and thus Karl Kippenberger’s powerful bass and Phil Knight's soaring guitar could grind in sublime sync with absolute confidence, and they did. Jon’s vocals were perfect throughout, he played his guitar and sang with a strength and energy that belied the fact they had done 7 gigs in the last 8 days. They made us feel like a fraternity of fans, and appropriately ended the set with the Coming Home. We wanted more, after all it was only 10.30? but we made our way out in an orderly fashion feeling satisfied and fulfilled in spades.


About Shihad

Picture this… 1988, Bob Hawke is Prime Minister, Australia dumps $600 million bucks of tax payer cash on Expo 88, Home and Away hits our tellies for the first time, Triple J launch the Hottest 100, Nintendo release the Game Boy, free University education is no longer an option, and over in Wellington NZ, the Southernmost capital city in the world, Jon Toogood and Tom Larkin are busily creating a heavy rock band…. A monstrous band that would end up becoming one of New Zealand’s most loved, respected and successful exports… Kia ora Shihad!

Fast forward to 2020… Jon, Tom, lead guitarist Phil Knight (who they found through a music shop notice board ad in 1989) and bass player Karl Kippenberger, who joined the band in 1993, (from being a fan) have released nine studio albums (five of which went to #1 in NZ). They survived a name change propelled by Jihad becoming a staple negative reference in the global vernacular thanks to 9/11 (Shihad became Pacifier, and returned to Shihad), personal triumphs and tragedies, travelled all over the world with endless tours, selling out headline shows and sharing stages at major local and international festivals, and touring with musical heroes like Motorhead, Metallica, Faith No More and AC/DC to name a few! In 2010 they were inducted into the New Zealand Music’s Hall Of Fame. And just like Neil Finn, Russell Crowe and every other successful person or idea to come out of NZ… Australia quickly adopted them as our own, showering them with ARIA nominations, adoration and ownership of their global success.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Shihad


Year: 2014
Type: Album
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Beautiful Machine
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Love Is The New Hate
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Year: 2005
Type: EP
The General Electric
Year: 1999
Type: Album
Blue Light Disco
Year: 1998
Type: EP
Year: 1996
Type: Album
Year: 1996
Type: Album
Year: 1995
Type: Album
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Year: 1991
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Andrew Smit

Torn Chorus - Single/Video Review: This City Floats
10 Sep 2021 // by Andrew Smit
From a simple opening beat to a wonderful flourish of acoustic guitars layered with luscious chorus and flange effects, the new single from Torn Chorus, This City Floats, is brought to life with wailing electric lead guitar licks and slides that sound melodically precise and emotive. Crisp vocals tell you about the labour and reward that you get for following the beaten path to the top, which as the video shows so well, is Auckland’s remnant volcanic cones, but the metaphor could be used for any journey in life.
Villainy - EP Review: Dead Sides (The Lost EP)
18 Aug 2021 // by Andrew Smit
How wonderful it is to hear 5 new Villainy songs of rip roaring rock tunes that coalesce intimately in this EP format. There is a so much more spice added to this rock pot than the standard rock fare that you might consume from mainstream radio, and while comparisons to Shihad are apparent with their sound influenced by previous Tom Larkin produced material, but these tracks are self-produced and is a touch more raw and edgy.
Lizard Prom - EP Review: Unusual Pain
22 Jul 2021 // by Andrew Smit
The alternative sound force is strong in this one! With its hypnotic mystical sound Lizard Prom have produced a 3-song EP that is full of compelling transcendent power.
Bingo Fighter - Single Review: On My Guard
02 Jul 2021 // by Andrew Smit
The latest release from Bingo Fighter, On My Guard, is a very cool song with vivid pulsating guitar which is driven along by stomping drums, that pump through the song with outstanding clarity. The chorus is simple enough with its straightforward repeated phrase "on a far-king train", delivered in a unique singing style from vocalist Hayden, which is strikingly distinct with a clear enunciated style that makes the track sound super sublime.
EJ Barrett - EP Review: Call Me EJ
17 Feb 2021 // by Andrew Smit
EJ Barrett creates a very fresh and vibrant sound thanks mostly to the organically produced backing loops of breaths and whispers, creating a very emotive ambiance, EJ’s voice and style are comparative to other Kiwi artists like Lorde and Gin Wigmore, but is also quite worldly like Adele and Enya. The backing loops that EJ performs provide a unique kind if organic beat that is full of soulful expression.
Phil Stoodley - Single Review: Long Way from Home
26 Sep 2019 // by Andrew Smit
New Zealand singer-songwriter Phil Stoodley is a travelling Kiwi musician of some note and he has created a most beautiful song and video clip for his new single Long Way From Home, which shows off his singing and song writing skill spectacularly. The track sounds so good, the recording is impressively immaculate yet still warm and full of character.
Jam Henderson - Single Review: Rainbow
10 Sep 2019 // by Andrew Smit
Rainbow is a cool little track with a nice funky vibe, the pace is urged along by a bright sparkly guitar that produces a nice upbeat feel. The guitar delivers a splash of spritely sound that provides a nice contrast to the laid-back tuneful vocals that flow effortlessly through the track.
Sonic Delusion - Album Review: Anything Goes
11 Jun 2019 // by Andrew Smit
What a wonderfully positive experience it was to review Sonic Delusion's new album Anything Goes. 10 tracks of splendidly good tunes that make you feel good, with catchy grooves and upbeat rhythms, the music is best described as a kind of funky folk pop but with extra fizz, and sparkle, that is so easy to enjoy.
View All Articles By Andrew Smit

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow
  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
    Ed Sheeran
    Lil Nas X
    Glass Animals
    Ed Sheeran
    Billie Eilish
    Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem