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Static Era - Gig Review: Static Era @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 9/09/2017

16 Sep 2017 // A review by Sass_Metal

I had been looking forward to this show for a good month, if not longer. It was a FREEZING cold night outside with wind and rain and when I first got to the show I wondered if it was going to keep people away but by the time Animalhead took to the stage the venue was filling up nicely and temperatures were rising as everyone jammed in and started rocking out.

Rebel Sound Radio were the first band to take to the stage and I have to admit I missed the first few songs due to the road works around the venue and not being able to find a park. I had been wanting to see these guys live since I reviewed their debut EP last year. After the show I was talking to vocalist Jessie James and I had totally forgotten it was their debut recording because it is still one of my favourite Rock recordings and I listen to it when I feel like an injection of energy mid afternoon and there is nothing about the recording that sounds like a first attempt. 

Live Rebel Sound Radio emulate their recording in that, if you shut your eyes they don’t sound like a 3 piece band at all.  The first song I saw of Rebel Sound Radio was their Motorhead cover of Ace of Spades and other than Jessie James not having the same gravely voice as Lemmy, it was one of the best covers I’ve seen of Motorhead (and I’ve seen a lot since Lemmy’s passing, in fact the only other one I’ve enjoyed as much was of Jon Toogood’s acoustic one which was different for obvious reasons)

During the next song I found myself remember my initial feelings when I first listened to their recording last year and that was of summer road trips, late nights with friends, bonfires and adventures. A Rebel Sound Radio set is full of high energy, in your face, loud and oh so good! You can also tell that Paul Lawrence and the crew at Ding Dong have been making improvements to the sound gear. Rebel sound Radio and Paulie made it so hard to stand still and take notes! Taking notes standing to the side I feel like I did the first time I heard them when I had my first listen to the EP, stuck in holiday traffic going south to Hamilton for a gig and I remember thinking then that I would love to be dancing right about now… so this time I put my phone away and danced for a couple of songs. FINALLY I felt like my soul was feeding on the music. The energy and music made me forget my earlier fatigue.

Next up was Auckland band Animalhead. I feel like I had been living under a rock earlier in the year when I got told they had been playing for a few years as I had only seen them live for the first time earlier this year. I think I’ve seen them 3 times now and each time it’s the same loud, in your face hard hitting heavy rock, with elements of Punk and Heavy Metal. Again another 3 piece Animalhead have been very busy making waves this year and the last time I saw them they won the Ding Dong band competition and I remember then being so blown away by their performance. This time was no different and I spent the first four songs of their set dancing J which doesn’t make this very easy to write.  But the atmosphere in that room was so contagious everyone was there to have fun, and everyone was dancing or jumping or head banging. This was Animalhead’s time to shine and shine they did.

Static Era couldn’t have found two bands more suited for their support bands, they got the crowd jumping and primed ready for the main act perfectly. I have a big grin on my face as I remember Static Era's set, you could see and feel the love in that room and on that stage. Emma and Chris especially looked so happy to be sharing the stage together again!  I have thoroughly missed seeing Emma live in New Zealand and while she has been KILLING it in America it was awesome to see her home again. There was a song I’m not sure what it’s called but it’s about being ‘fucked around’ as Emma put it and I felt like she was channeling the anger she put into one of her solo songs Sold (Take A Shot).

Sold (Take A Shot) is about her treatment by a record label exec in America and her being objectified as a sex object rather than a supremely talented musician. Emma was almost ROARING in that song, her facials, body language, whole persona changed to an angry monster almost. Emma’s transformation in this song reminded me of so many of my metal brothers who off stage are friendly, humble and kind but onstage start to channel some crazy kinds of demons. Emma was ON FIRE! Their whole set she didn’t seem tired or fatigued at all, even though she had already played two shows the two previous nights and was off to play another show the next night.

The next song I have to mention is Dear Me which was a blast from the past for me. It’s a song for everyone who has struggled in life and is about holding on and not being alone. While they were playing this song I felt like it was tugging on my head strings and I had tears in my eyes, especially with the latest spate of suicides in our global rock/metal community in the last few months. Please don’t give up! There’s always a way through –  Dear Me is on YouTube, and I highly recommend looking for it and blasting it if you aren’t in a good place. This is such a beautiful soul baring song and I feel like everyone in the band had their own creative input into this song as this is one they performed tighter than all of the others.

I could go on for pages and pages how amazing it was to see Static Era live on stage again. I miss them so much but I’m proud to see Emma and Chris playing in other musical projects (Chris is in Metaract who are playing at Ding Dong on the 22nd) and Emma’s tour still has A LOT of shows left to go! I hope to get along to one of her solo shows as I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.

Review written by Sarah Sampson


About Static Era

Static Era is an Auckland-based rock band (think Evanescence meets Stone Sour) that formed in late 2010 and features a stellar lineup of musicians.

Double-platinum selling guitarist Chris Yong (Tadpole, Redline, Alt TV) has performed internationally and toured with Disturbed, P.O.D, Alter Bridge and Evanescence.

Vocalist Emma G is a New Zealander of the Year Local Hero award recipient, honoured in 2012 for inspiring others through her music. Despite living with a health condition that has challenged her through twenty three surgeries, including ten brain surgeries, she established a successful singing career at a young age and placed top ten in the Inaugural Play It Strange songwriting competition in 2004. Emma G also teaches tertiary level music and was a vocal coach for eight years.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Static Era


Fit To Fight
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Dare To Fail
Year: 2013
Type: EP
The Start
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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