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  • Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written by Wolves @ Raynham Park, Auckland - 16/11/2019

Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written by Wolves @ Raynham Park, Auckland - 16/11/2019

20 Nov 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

"Guaranteed to be a good time" were the words I posted on my Facebook status, summoning friends to join me as I left for Written by Wolves’ album release performance at Raynham Park. I swore by those words as I’d witnessed them give 110% opening for Devilskin, headlining their own sets at Neck of the Woods, as well as (figuratively) setting fire at Muzic.net.nz’s 20th Birthday earlier this year. This time it’s the start of a new chapter for the band, as they would be performing their thirteen new songs from start to finish; I entered the venue with full confidence the Wolves would deliver the goods, and then some.

Having never heard of Raynham Park previously, let alone set foot inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find a simplistic layout: A square art gallery, not huge but sizable, and no green rooms. Just a stage at one end, merch and drinks at the other, plus a skylight in the ceiling with a disco-ball at its centre. One could tell it was going to be both intimate AND rowdy at the same time.

With a projected backdrop bearing the band’s logo, Coridian's Dity Maharaj and the three Raven brothers ascended the stage ascended the stage to warm applause, visibly eager to start the show. At times, as the lighting reflected off the white ceiling, it seemed to envelope entire the stage instead of just the musicians, creating a living room-esque atmosphere.

As usual, with each perfectly-timed hop, Dity commanded the audience to move with him as he let out soaring notes. Guitarist Mike ripped up riffs, beard-banging during every chorus. On the drum set, Kris held down the solid rhythms and smooth grooves, with assistance from Nick on bass guitar.

Audience numbers started to fill out the venue, as Coridian made their way through a nine-song set, including their hit singles Blind Faith, Reflections, and their newest release, Rite of Passage. Oh, and their cover of Chris Isaak’s classic Wicked Game went down a treat, particularly with that nice, rigid breakdown near the end.

As the main act Written by Wolves were limbering up to jump on stage, a cosy crowd of attendees had gathered, gleeful and energised. The set began with the haunting, digitally-altered acapella exhibited by their album as the first track, as lights slowly faded, and the Wolves blasted off into Start the Fire. Appropriately, with sparkler jets either side of the stage cued by surges of every chorus.

Animations and graphics lit up the back-wall, changing to suit each song, and varying from displaying lyrics to the songs’ accompanying music videos, most notably, the kick-boxing inspired Tell Me What You’re Running From.

In showing off their freshly squeezed, all-new hits in a live format, the band showed confidence, and kept the songs professionally tight, and the results were very well-received by attendees, from front to back.

Michael’s voice never gave in or sounded strained throughout. He effortlessly pulled off piercing shrieks, high-octave notes and also croon smoothly on the slower, what I call 'respite' songs like Lucky Stars. Guitarists Bahador and Davey pogo-hopped on the spot at every four-to-the-floor beat drop, in their trademark stage appearance, while effects and samples master Oli hammered away at the rear, conjuring the rhythmic magic along with drummer Karl.

Of the entire set, the audience enjoyed most the groovy hip-hop beats of Secrets, with many yelling in time to the pre-chorus refrain. The biggest crowd-movers were, Be Careful What You Wish For, The Way Out and, as I predicted in my review of Written by Wolves’ album, the thrashy Better Luck Next Time.

Upon concluding the album’s final act, the band bowed and waved goodnight to the audience, graciously thanked everyone for witnessing their latest efforts and made their way off the sides of the stage. No more than two seconds after, the crowd began calling for more. The quintet had barely left the stage before they relented and eagerly hopped back under stage-lights; Wolves have always been about giving back to fans, so of course there was time for an encore. The group chose their party-starter anthem Not Afraid to Die, the heartfelt ballad To Tell You the Truth, and saving the best for last, their internationally well-received cover of Sia’s Elastic Heart. This final performance well and truly blew up the audience for good measure, as everybody moved to the verses and belted out choruses along with the band.

At the very end, Michael, with an elated look on his face, thanked the entire audience once again for giving their energy and supporting the band, as the rest of the band hugged and high-fived attendees at the front. Karl even celebrated with a couple of crowd-surfs!

Although tired, the band looked happy and projected victorious confidence. The excited smiles around me proved that Written by Wolves were, indeed, the champions at creating a fun, positive atmosphere, bent on taking over Aotearoa one stage at a time.

Be sure to catch them as they tour in support of their album Secrets; follow Written by Wolves on Facebook and Instagram to find out when they’re next rocking it your town!

Photos by Darryl Brown


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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