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  • Shihad - Gig Review: Shihad with Grenadiers & The Iron Eye @ The Triffid, Brisbane - 1/07/16

Shihad - Gig Review: Shihad with Grenadiers & The Iron Eye @ The Triffid, Brisbane - 1/07/16

02 Jul 2016 // A review by GrayVickers

Tonight is not my first time seeing Shihad. Not by a long stretch. In fact, whilst standing in the Triffid's spectacular beer garden, nursing my drivers juice, I attempted to whittle away the minutes leading up doors opening by thinking back on all the mosh pits I've endured with Toogood and Co. Needless to say, the drink was done before I was. Which makes tonight interesting. Shihad are New Zealand's favourite sons and there's a level of national pride associated with the band. Through my formative years, they have always been a staple of my live music diet – but always in familiar places. Familiar towns, with familiar people. So with tonight being the first time seeing them outside of New Zealand is a rare treat. It'll be my first chance to see them without their rabid hometown heroes following, instead amongst their followers in their adoptive second home. I worried that the feverish pit I was used to at a Shihad concert would be absent, or even if the crowd were prepared to sing their lungs out to some of New Zealand's most iconic songs. I had no idea what to expect from a Shihad audience in Australia, needless to say, I was excited to see the results.

The Triffid is something of a Brisbane institution. It's an old hangar converted into a music venue. With the high arching dome above head, Shihad's iconic lightning bolt extended above the stage set an impressive scene. They were still a while off, but even as the doors opened, the faithful were starting to roll in. Then down come the lights, and The Iron Eye graced us with their presence.

The last time I witnessed The Iron Eye live was at a dive bar called Crowbar and they absolutely slayed it. It's always a tough transition from small rooms to large stages and big crowds, but their riff heavy bludgeoning won the crowd over instantly. The guys have recently spent some time in Melbourne with Shihad's own Tom Larkin working on their new album and from the tracks they previewed tonight, it's going to be a ripper. This band is a truly great live act. They're tight as hell and their set flowed perfectly. They grace the stage so comfortably and play like seasoned pros. I'm calling it early and saying that The Iron Eye may just be the best hard rock bands in Brisbane at the moment.. For fans of Villainy and The Arctic Monkeys, this is a band to keep an eye on!

After a long changeover, the energy started to drift from the room. By the time Adelaide's Grenadiers hit the stage to a small applause from the growing crowd, it was clear they had work to do. And work they did! In an explosive display of punk and grunge, Grenadiers unleashed an onslaught of sound at the audience. At times chaotic, other time unhinged, and even occasionally beautiful, the boys from South Australia warmed the Triffid right back up and now we were ready for the main event.

It's another long change over but this time the crowd are whipping themselves into a fever. The Triffid is about to boil over when the lights are killed and I Am Iron Man roars over the PA. The next hour is absolute unrestrained madness.

Kicking off with possibly their most well known track, the lads launched intoHome Again with furious energy. The intent was clear from the outset – this audience was going to move. In vintage Shihad form, Jonny Toogood was on the monitors, screaming at the audience, challenging them to give their energy to him. And they did in spades. The floor bowed under the weight of the masses heaving up and down with the music. Security scrambled to reach in and pull out punters who'd started to rev up a bit too much. Road Crew joined the fray, pulling security out of the audience, screaming at them to let the kids have a good time. Bass thundered, drums smashed, guitars roared and we were only a minute in.

The set tonight was a journey through the history of Shihad. Starting with celebrating 20 years of the Fish Album and following their discography through to The General Electric, Toogood beamed with pride as he introduced his favourite cuts from the band's iconic early albums. Like a proud father, showing off his children, he offered his views on the tracks, his favourites and how they make him feel when the band plays. The audience were treated to classics likeInterconnector, Wait and See, Pacifier, My Minds Sedate and many more. By the time the band had finished their run of General Electrictracks, it was time for something new. Announcing the album FVEY as “The best album we've put out in fucking ages”, the band ripped into cuts from their latest and possibly heaviest album. Massive detuned guitars filled the auditorium, heads banged, horns were thrown and the crowd as one screamed along with the band. Then before we knew it, the set was over. Returning for a single encore, Shihad smashed through the classic live favourite, You Again before departing for a final time.

My previous concerns that seeing Shihad outside of New Zealand were shattered instantly when the roar of the crowd drowned the band out from very beginning. The packed audience sung along to every song, clapped in every bridge, jumped and heaved with every beat. This is the Shihad effect. They are an energy machine that both feeds and is fed by the audience. How after all of these years this band is still able to perform to the same capacity as they did in their twenties is unfathomable. Despite a little less hair on their heads and a few grey hairs in the beards, Shihad are still performing like they always have. The bands unmistakable live setup brought a refreshing familiarity to the show. White lights and blinders have been a staple of the Shihad live show and again tonight, complimented such a powerful performance, proving no tricks or gimmicks are necessary, just a great performance. As it has always been, Shihad's crowd interaction and participation was exceptional. They are a band who truly understand what it means to engage and to connect with their audience and it's reciprocated ten fold from an audience screaming and clapping along, hanging on every word, every note and every beat.

It wasn't a long time, but it was a good time. As the band departed and the punters headed to the merch desk, my ears rung softly to remind me that I had just experienced 3 pretty exceptional live acts. In a time where we are told Rock and Roll is dead, tonight at the Triffid proved how very wrong that statement is.


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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