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  • Devilskin - Gig Review: Slash w/ Myles Kennedy and Devilskin @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 26/01/2019

Devilskin - Gig Review: Slash w/ Myles Kennedy and Devilskin @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 26/01/2019

27 Jan 2019 // A review by Sass_Metal

As per usual I was running late to the show, so I missed the first few opening songs of (not so local, now) legends Devilskin. Writing this now I am so gutted I didn’t get to witness their powerful set in its entirety as, in my opinion, they showed up the headliners and it was clear from the amount of Devilskin merch that fans were wearing around the show and from the crowd response that this was indeed Devilskin’s night. I don’t live in New Zealand anymore and it’s been extra special seeing my NZ musical family doing their thing live again on their home turf, as the last time I saw Devilskin was a birthday gift in England. After touring Europe and the UK last year, Devilskin have become a name on many people's lips all over the world, and on my travels they are one of the few Kiwi bands that the European Metal Community know - along with Alien Weaponry and Ulcerate. I was pleasantly surprised with how many people were there for Devilskin, as I’ve seen many support bands play at the arena to a half filled crowd and Devilskin played in Auckland twice last year - one of the shows only being last month at the Logan Campbell Centre.

What can the uninitiated expect from a expect from a Devilskin show? Death Metal growls layered over almost funky bass lines, blast beats and soaring guitars. They incorporate so many different sounds and obviously have different influences as no two songs sound the same. They are fast, heavy, hard and in your face. They have a ‘take us, or leave us’ attitude when they are playing, but in person they are friendly, kind and very genuine. They did a meet and greet after their set and when I was making my way back inside the Arena about 20 mins after their set, and the line had well over 400 people in it - again this is a local band who have played to at least 1000 people the month before. They don’t just stand still and play their instruments, regardless of how big or small the stage they are playing on is - they use every inch available to them. In England the stage I saw them on was tiny, but Paul, Nail and Jenny were all jumping on the front of house stacks and doing solos or egging on the crowd, last night Jenny was in full acrobat mode with handstands and cartwheels - which I can safely say I’ve never seen a lead singer do. I wanted to be up the front, on the barrier, where I saw them in England. If you are a Slash/Myles Kennedy fan and contemplating missing Devilskin in Australia - you will be missing out on an amazing show and I’m sure their army of supporters will agree with me.

On to the headliners! I am not overly familiar with Myles Kennedy or his band - other than of course the legendary Slash! At heart I’m more of a Death Metal/Grindcore fan live with some exceptions (Black Sabbath and Red Hot Chilli Peppers are still the best bands I’ve seen live), and so often when I am checking out a new band or seeing a band for the first time I normally tune into the bass lines and drum beat - as most mosh pits seem to go in time with the drums (there’s nothing like a good mosh pit!). With Slash playing I knew that it would be a different experience for me and expected the guitars to be the focus in the mix.

While the vocal style isn’t my usual cup of tea I did really love the slower ballads. For me the best parts of the Myles Kennedy show were the instrumentals - those guys CAN PLAY! Their bass lines shone through the mix perfectly mixing with the drums perfectly in sync - often playing off each other, almost sparring. I did expect the guitars to be louder in the mix, but as is often the case with the Arena, the sound can get distorted and lost in the rafters. I felt that initially, technically there were some issues with this set - it could have been the stage set up and lack of on stage monitors, but there appeared to be some timing issues and some of the vocal harmonies weren’t quiet on point to start with, but as the band warmed up they became more of a united unit. Maybe it was my excitement of seeing Slash again, but I was disappointed with the Myles Kennedy band and felt they weren’t up to standard that I would expect Slash to play with. The stand out moment of their set was Slash’s guitar solo with his double necked guitar - that was the moment I was waiting for and in fact found myself transported out of my seat and into that magical, mythical place you travel to in your mind when ‘feeling’ the music. Guitarists and fans of Rock n Roll, especially Guns n Roses will love this show with perfect covers of Nightrain and Alibi Doctor. I’m happy I went and happy I had at least one moment of feeling the music. This is definitely a show worth checking out!

Photos courtesy of Ginny C Photography


About Devilskin

Devilskin formed in June 2010 in Hamilton New Zealand and features the spectacular Jennie Skulander on lead vocals. Her powerful and compelling voice and alluring stage presence sets her apart from any vocalist New Zealand has put up so far. With an unerring gift for melody, Jennie's incredible voice sweeps from whisper to roar, rips with power, drips with melody and captivates with sincerity.

Jennie previously fronted Rotorua band Slipping Tongue garnering a swathe of fans with their videos, EPs and album. Slipping Tongue also impressed many when they opened for Coheed & Cambria in 2008.

On lead guitar is Nail from the popular Waikato band Chuganaut who won the NZ Battle of the Bands and the World Battle Of The Bands in 2004. Played BDO in 2005 and opened for Iron Maiden at Mt Smart stadium in 2009. Chuganaut has played numerous national tours and released several singles, EP’s, videos and an album. Nail's searing guitar work and high energy performance bring real intensity to the live show. Nail also performs with Beckoned.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Devilskin


Year: 2024
Type: EP
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Be Like The River
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
We Rise
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Live At The Powerstation
Year: 2014
Type: DVD

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