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Shihad - Gig Review: Shihad @ Meow, Wellington - 1/05/16

12 May 2016 // A review by LilMizCharlie
Shihad, a force to be reckoned with. There is not a person I have talked with who doesn’t know this familiar name on the streets. So if you didn’t know Shihad have done amazing things in their lifetime as a band, I would have to ask where you have been since the late 80’s.

As I walked into Meow, the atmosphere was thick with positivity. With day 1 of NZ Music Month kicking in, iHeart and Hauraki certainly did an amazing job at making people feel welcome.  A mixture of the older devoted fans, the families, the friends, the middle of the road one’s too who followed their journey later in years and of course the younger generations. All with one purpose in mind, to rock out hard to Shihad.  

As a musician, wishing to explore my own dreams, I have pondered in the past whether Jon and Tom as young mates ever chilled at nights thinking up all the badass gigs they could do. Back in ‘88. I wonder if they laughed at themselves thinking they were just being staunch teen rockers and really just figured they would crack into the national scene not really understanding their true potential. Whatever I “wonder”...these guys to me are true rockers.  

It’s been a long time since I last got to watch Shihad. I was in Palmerston North and it was just what the doctor ordered. I remember wearing my earplugs that night and my ears still ringing for 3 days later, the show was electric and everyone was 100% invested in the show. So this time I made sure to wear ear plugs although it wasn’t that intense, the show was a little more relaxed, the vibe and the love for these guys still appeared as on fire as ever. I loved Shihad then and I love them now. They are not showy in my opinion. They just love feeding off the crowd, hell, I do too!

Home Again from self-titled Album, Shihad got people moving straight away and it didn’t really stop to be honest. Playing songs throughout the albums, I couldn’t help but notice that if some people weren’t familiar with songs, you could guarantee another group in the crowd would be chanting the words out loud. I don’t know what it is really but I love the down to earth vibey goodness the guys all have. They don’t look like they have been taught how to look or be on stage. They look like the typical indie rock band, still grounded but relaxed. When they hit the stage, they just get in and do what they have always aimed to do, play with justice. They remind me of the type of band that work the set list out at the last minute, cause it’s far more fun catching up with mates and there are plenty of time for building set lists later, hmm sounds familiar.

If I could have wished for anything, I would have liked to have seen them end the show on a massive high and play something that anyone in the crowd could have easily picked up like they did at the start. I personally would have loved to have heard My Mind’s Sedate but all in all, this was an absolute gem of a show. Jon, Karl, Phil and Tom were having a blast, and we were loving the fierce beats, the heavy hearted riffs, that low on the bass and of course Jon attempting to swing from a light can and thinking better of it this time haha. A little older, slightly wiser.

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


Old Gods
Year: 2021
Type: Album
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

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