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  • Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves @ Neck of the Woods, Auckland 08/06/2018

Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves @ Neck of the Woods, Auckland 08/06/2018

09 Jun 2018 // A review by butch181

One of the big questions in the music scene in the last few months has been, who will pick up the slack now that the Kings Arms Tavern has shut down. Galatos, Ding Dong Lounge, Tuning Fork, and Whammy have been doing their bit, but when it comes to rock gigs, one of the venues that have been overlooked in the past is Neck of the Woods. Potentially because the venue generally has more of a clubbing vibe to it, however size-wise, and being on Auckland’s K Road makes it a prime location.

Doors opened at 8pm, and there were several fans lined up outside awaiting entry. Clearly, these were the fans that were not wanting to miss a moment of the show, as no set times had been posted on the event pages. Their eagerness was unnecessary though, as the opening band, Minimal Silence did not begin their set until nearly two hours after doors opened. The house music held a lot of variety as they switched from pop to heavy metal, to R&B, to classic rock, to EDM, and every possible hybridisation in between, but the standing area remained scant, as the punters waited around the bars and merch area awaiting the show to begin.

Just short of 10pm, the winners of last year’s national college Smokefree Rockquest, Howick-based trio, Minimal Silence took to the stage. Since last seeing them perform at Storm the Gates, their confidence has grown immeasurably, and they look much more at home on the small stage performing late at night with the crowd right at their feet (rather than the fans being 30 metres away in a separate GA section). Performing a mix of grunge rock and punk, they have a definite mix of 90’s influences in their sound, with Logan Anderson’s vocal style comparable to Daniel Johns early-Silverchair style. 

The standout member of the trio would definitely have to be Mark Tohovaka on the drums. With an immeasurable intensity on such a limited drum kit, he controls and leads every single song. Almost Grohl-like in power and strength, his high paced drum rolls kept the energy of the mosh pit high throughout the set. I mention mosh pit, as Minimal Silence are all about crowd participation, incorporating breakdowns into nearly all of their tracks, and encouraging circle pits and walls of death for nearly every song. While there are only maybe 15 people really getting into the mosh, they are REALLY getting into it. 

Fitting in a cover of Highly Suspect’s Postres, we can see the style fits well with Anderson’s voice. Minimal Silence is their name, and they made sure the crowd new, re-introducing themselves at least five times throughout the set. Seeking to make a lasting impression, guitarist Sabastian Munro (who had suffered some technical issues towards the end of the set) flung his guitar to the ground, before picking it up again by the neck and swinging his instrument forcefully into the stage several times. Who says Rock and Roll is dead.

Over the years, headlining act Written By Wolves has evolved from the four-piece prog-rock act, into a much more dynamic set incorporating a digital element to their music thanks to the addition of Oli Lyons to the band. As time has gone on that electronic influence has expanded, and it is fair to say that the fall of the Kings Arms could be a positive in the timeline of the band. As a result, they have found a new home in Neck of the Woods, which carries with it a much younger clientele, expanding their audience. 

Finally hitting the stage as the clock neared 11pm, the screen behind them lit up with visualisations as the four instrumentalists hammered away at their synchronised tom intro. The audience thickened as people started pushing towards the front of the stage. There is little to really say about their performance from this point, Written By Wolves are nothing if not consistent, and high energy, which most of the band jumping around swinging and flipping their instruments, keeping the movements up to keep the crowd moving too. Playing pretty much every original track released the crowd were treated to the likes of Not Afraid to Die, To Tell You The Truth, Explode, Follow Me, Timebombs & Hurricanes, and the track with the most EDM fused into it to date, Starlight

For those that had seen their performance at Storm the Gates earlier in the year, they wouldn’t have been surprised by their short tribute to Chester Bennington (it will be a year on July 20 since he took his own life) covering the breakdown and final chorus of Linkin Park’s One Step Closer. An adrenaline-fuelled night is always guaranteed when Written By Wolves is involved, but they weren’t happy with it just being a typical night. To celebrate their first headline show, and their partnership with Tenfold Agency, fellow agency artists rappers TIMES X TWO made a guest appearance performing a track with the band infusing some hip-hop and R&B into the set. Having performed three times at the Rhythm & Vines NYE festivals, these two are no amateurs when it comes to making music, and they jumped in feet first to strut their stuff in front of a new audience.

Personally, my first time in Neck of the Woods, and the venue has great potential as a venue for rock artists. A great choice in location for Written By Wolves, and a fun night overall.

Review written by Alex Moulton
Photos by Chris Morgan Photography


About Written By Wolves

Written By Wolves are a fresh and progressive, cinematic rock band and one of the most exciting new rock acts to come from New Zealand in recent years.

Having announced themselves on the world stage with their debut release, Secrets in 2019 they then combined with some of the biggest names in Rock Music in 2021 to release The Collab Project, an EP and mental health initiative aimed at giving their fans, friends and followers a platform to talk about their mental health and a reminder that no matter what they are going through they do not have to do it alone. Featuring Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D, Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens, Trenton Woodley of Hands Like Houses and Sydney Rae White of The Wild Things, the EP has received critical acclaim, millions of streams and has delighted fans world wide.

Renowned for their highly energetic live show, the band have already shared the stage with international heavyweights such as Machine Gun Kelly, Limp Bizkit, Pendulum, Sublime With Rome, Suicidal Tendencies, Hed PE, Falling In Reverse, Escape The Fate, We The Kings, Four Year Strong, Stevie Stone, Kehlani and have recently completed back-to-back tours with two of New Zealand’s biggest Rock bands - Devilskin and Blindspott.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Written By Wolves


The Collab Project // Secrets
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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