17 Jul 2019

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Anti Matter - Gig Review: Riot Grrrl 3 @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 30/06/17

01 Jul 2017 // A review by Sass_Metal

Right from when event promoter Courtney took to the stage to introduce the first act and exclaimed excitedly that while it was the 3rd Riot Grrrl event it would be the first all female line up, I knew we would be in for a treat. All through the night and into this morning I’ve been trying to rack my brains trying to think of another music show I’ve been too that had only female musicians play and I honestly don’t think in the 9 or so years of me running, attending, reviewing and working on music events that I can recall ever being at a show with only female performers. It was a very different crowd and atmosphere to the shows that I normally attend with no familiar faces and Anti Matter being the only performer I had seen previously. 

First to take to the stage was Hi Supreme Vibes and instantly I was transported in my mind to when I was studying at MAINZ in 2009 as it has been that long since I have witnessed a female solo artist take to the stage and perform only using her voice as an instrument with a backing track. It was a short but very sweet set showcasing her vocal range beautifully. From heart ache and pain to dreams of the future yet to be fill filled  it was a set that takes the viewer on an inner journey tugging on the heart strings of memories both bitter and sweet and emotions we can all relate to. I would love to see what she could do with a band or live DJ on stage with her.

Next up was Scarlett Lashes. How to put into words the insanity that is Scarlett Lashes, and I write that with a grin on my face knowing that never in my 9 years of music have I witnessed ANYTHING like Scarlett Lashes (and I’ve seen bands with udders sewn to shirts and one person play bass and drums at the same time while wearing a softball helmet with a mic taped to it!) Right from the start Jess commands attention and every person in the room was instantly transfixed and after warning us her first song will make us all hungry she was straight into it. There is no need for a stage as Jess weaves in and out of the crowd making eye contact and creating an intimate atmosphere making sure that the crowd was very much part of the performance, while singing her first song about her preference for chicken thighs over breast. She instantly drew me in as it seemed she walked straight towards me making eye contact all the time before turning and weaving through the crowd. Each song was widely different, all with backing tracks reminiscent of 80s synth pop with Jess being occasionally joined on stage either as a two or three piece with Peachy Keen and Nat Attack adding both vocal and visual elements to the performance. Scarlett Lashes was about GIRL POWER, strength, unity and really not giving a F**K! With topics varied from light hearted songs about chicken and girls nights out on the town to more serious topics about sexual harassment and what being a female today means with the patriarchal society we live in. 

Following Scarlett Lashes was Anti Matter who is also Courtney the promoter of the event. Anti Matter is the only act I’ve seen previously and as always I was looking forward to her performance. Anti Matter has been a duo act a few times but last night Courtney was solo with her keyboard. I’ve always admired Courtney for her attitude when she is on stage, her strength she portrays, her ‘don’t give a f**k’ attitude and how she isn’t afraid to discuss deep topics like Capitalism, sexism, sexual harassment and death in her songs. She doesn’t sugar coat her messages and themes and like a lot of my favourite heavy metal musicians I love how off stage she is one of the kindest, friendliest people you will ever meet but on stage she becomes strength personified. Two of Anti Matter's songs that I love that were performed last night were Heroine andF**k Boi. Heroine is about ‘girl power’ about breaking down societies views of who we are meant to be as woman and not caring and being that person in our heads that we all want to be, but often don’t have the courage to be. F**k Boi is my absolute favourite song by Anti Matter and it was introduced as being a response to ALL the songs out there by male mainstream artists calling women bitches and sluts. It’s about all the guys that go around f**king over women and saying what they think we want to hear to get us into bed. It’s about heart ache and pain and a song I’m sure every female can relate too. I’ve talked to Courtney a few times about the song and it’s one I’d absolutely love to own if she records it (please do!!)

Closing the night was Auckland 4 piece punk band Hagseed. They were the first whole band of the night and the energy in the room instantly went from an intimate, chilled, peaceful vibe to full on electric with an almost static energy coursing through the crowd. All it took was for one female fan to get up the front and start pushing people around to get the crowd moving and that was in the first song so it was a high energy turn around straight from the first beat. Every-time I see a Punk band live I always wish I went to more Punk gigs as I was a HUGE punk fan growing up. Hagseed was the perfect act to end the night on.  Full on, in your face, raw power perfectly embodying the girl power message of the night. 

Chatting to Courtney about the idea behind the night of a place to empower female musicians, to provide an environment where regardless of your gender identity or sexual orientation you are safe and free to be yourself. The whole event was an experience and one that I would encourage every music lover to get out to at least once. I became a fan of three new acts last night and I will most definitely be going out of my way to see all of them again. I can’t wait until Riot Grrrl 4!


About Anti Matter

We are the darkness that lives in your heart. We are the electronic punk rock of a robot generation. We are the ghosts on your TV screaming at you to live. We are the vague experience of life and matter. We are the master plan.

Some people run from their demons, we party with ours.

Anti Matter came from the depths of creativity of songwriter Courtney Newbold. With a large interest in post hardcore and punk music, and a growing interest in electronic music, she set out to start a band to satisfy these curiousities. The band was preconceived as an activist band, with strong musical and songwriting elements so the band can have a message, as well as meet Courtney's own artistic vision. Thus Anti Matter was born

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Anti Matter


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