20 Dec 2018
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Gig Review: Dragonforce @ The Kings Arms, Auckland - 01/07/2017

04 Jul 2017 // A review by Alex Moulton
Sitting in the car in the car park, the clouds had let loose a torrent of rain, with 10 minutes until doors open, already there was a line of at least 60 people standing out in the rain waiting to get inside and stake their position up front of the stage.

Not long after the crowd has started to filter in, the first opening band takes to the stage, Stormforge. Vocalist Courtney O’Leary takes to the centre stage wearing some form of leather armour, that gives him the appearance of a hybrid Dwarven-Viking ready to battle for Middle Earth, or pillage some villages, depending on his mood. With no expectations at all, I was pleasantly surprised. Introducing the first track Madness, O’Leary immediately releases an almost operatic vocal style that clearly impressed the audience. Stormforge didn’t mess around, with some solid power metal compositions from Fredriksson and Singarajah, and a varied vocal style that had the crowds’ fists in the air within the first three songs. By the end of their set, the crowd had already started headbanging, and the long hair was flying everywhere. The crowd was sufficiently warmed up.

Up next, was Wellington-based metal outfit, Bulletbelt. With the guitarists sporting dark beards and shaved heads, the focus naturally fell to the heavily tattooed, leather bound, reptilian contact wearing vocalist Jolene Tempest, who also sports a head of powerfully red hair.  With a heavy thrash metal sound, that maintains a high tempo throughout, we are given a feast of impressive, albeit abrasive shrieks and growls from Tempest. Steve Francis is a monster on drums, and keeps the bass consistently thumping deep into the pit of your stomach. While I remember being impressed with the growls of Jennie Skulander from Devilskin when I first saw them live, Bulletbelt’s Temple is in a completely different league; while I found most of the lyrics unintelligible, and lacking in melodic variety at times, the dependability of Jolene's voice was astounding, given the detrimental effect that it clearly had on her normal speaking tone as the set progressed. Instrumentally, their sound is solid and has a great maturity to it, and while Stormforge certainly felt a better fit with Dragonforce genre-wise, Bulletbelt gave their all, and the crowd followed suit.

Waiting for the stage to be set for Dragonforce, the monitors are removed and replaced with some additional raised surfaces at the front of stage. As the anticipation began to build it was obvious that the guitars would be in your face, both literally and metaphorically.

Dragonforce finally emerge onto the stage to the backing track of Reaching Into Infinity, before charging into Ashes of the Dawn. Within seconds the crowd is jumping as high as they can, as if they can’t see the guitar legends standing before them. Vocalist Marc Hudson, is clearly hindered by a sling on his right arm, but continues to throw his arm in the air, encouraging fist pumps from the crowd as he blasts out the vocals.

Greeting the crowd, Hudson takes the opportunity to address the injury that he acquired while in Australia, when the tour van he was in began to unexpectedly roll down a hill and he was forced to jump from a moving vehicle. But Dragonforce never cancel a show, so they continued on. Hudson’s vocals were powerful in the highs, and melodic in the lows, but the focus always stayed on Sam Totman and Herman Li, who were constantly jumping up to the front of stage to outperform each other. Totman and Li are clearly incredibly talented individuals on the guitar, but even they are able make their own songs look simple. Whether it’s playing the guitar one-handed, kicking the guitar in the air mid-song, or just fake yawning and eye-rolling while they play, they make it look easy. Amongst the smoke, lights, and hair flying about on stage, was an amazing spectacle of instrumental prowess. It is no surprise that Dragonforce are a big name in the power metal genre.

Their set consisted of 12 tracks, with at least one track from each album, and a quarter of the setlist from their recently released Reaching Into Infinity. Two-thirds of the way through their set they stop for a break, allowing bassist Frédéric Leclercq an opportunity to pick up the guitars and showcase his own talent. Coming into the final portion of their set, Dragonforce played their new marathon of a track, Edge Of The World, topping over 11 minutes in length, before getting the crowd to help out on vocals with Cry Thunder, from 2011’s The Power Within, and re-emerging for an encore performance of their most well-known track (of Guitar Hero III fame), Through the Fire and Flames.
 

Other Reviews By Alex Moulton

Paper Cranes - Album Review: Voices
19 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Due for release January 18, 2019, Voices is the second full-length album from Indie Folk duo Paper Cranes. While comprised of ten tracks, the album has a short overall runtime of just over 35 minutes.
Read More...
This Pale Fire - Single Review: Float Out
17 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Float Out is about the process of letting things go, moving forward, learning from your past experiences, growing as a result. As such, the track has an intrinsically emotional weight to it.
Read More...
EP Review: Miller Yule Live
17 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Miller Yule Live is a good length EP, consisting of seven tracks with a total runtime of over 30 minutes. Performing a setlist that is mostly sourced from his 2016 EP Shoot Me In The Heart (reviewed here), Miller Yule has also added in his single Diamonds (released in November 2017 and reviewed here), a stripped down adaptation of Six60's Don't Give It Up, and a new track to spice it up further.
Read More...
Mako Road - EP Review: Local Safari
10 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Local Safari is the latest release from Christchurch Indie group Mako Road The four-piece provide a very laid-back and relaxed (albeit short) EP as we enter the prime summer road tripping season.The EP begins with its titular track Local Safari, with some pleasant keys and a generally unhurried pace, controlled by a simple hi hat and snare drum combo.
Read More...
Kerretta - Single Review: Chroma Queens
10 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Chroma Queens is the first single from upcoming LP release Exiscens (due for release on December 14), which is the first release from Auckland experimental rock act Kerretta for over four years. The band are comprised of bass player William Waters; drummer H.
Read More...
Gig Review: Ghost Who Walks @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 30/11/2018
06 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Cheers and squeals are let out around Auckland’s Anthology Lounge as The Rubics take to the stage. The six-piece group have been working on making a name for themselves as the groove-makers of the Auckland scene, and from the sound of the audience, they know exactly what they are in for.
Read More...
Gig Review: 2Cellos @The Civic, Auckland - 3/12/2018
04 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
People were abuzz as they filed into The Civic to get to their seats. Many eyes were enjoying the venue itself as one of Auckland’s last remaining atmospheric theatres, with its soft-top design that floats above the auditorium, with stars and clouds that recreate the Southern Hemisphere sky-scape.
Read More...
Lisa Crawley - Single/Video Review: Baby It's Fine
30 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Lisa Crawley’s latest single Baby It’s Fine is a delightfully unhurried and soulful pop track. Starting with a slow strum of the guitar and an almost acoustic vibe to the bass, there is a slow melancholic edge to the song.
Read More...
View All Articles By Alex Moulton

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • THANK U, NEXT
    Ariana Grande
  • SHALLOW
    Lady Gaga And Bradley Cooper
  • SWEET BUT PSYCHO
    Ava Max
  • SHOTGUN
    George Ezra
  • WITHOUT ME
    Halsey
  • SUNFLOWER
    Post Malone And Swae Lee
  • SICKO MODE
    Travis Scott feat. Drake
  • BETTER
    Khalid
  • HAPPIER
    Marshmello And Bastille
  • EASTSIDE
    benny blanco feat. Halsey And Khalid
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