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  • Fire For Glory - Gig Review: Fire For Glory @ Save Ding Emothon, Dead Witch, Auckland - 25/03/2022

Fire For Glory - Gig Review: Fire For Glory @ Save Ding Emothon, Dead Witch, Auckland - 25/03/2022

26 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Tonight was the Save Ding Emothon, with DJ sets in the main bar and then Fire For Glory playing a gig at Dead Witch upstairs. Of course, the decision was made that they would not start their set until 10:30 which was a pain in the neck as I decided that I was going to have dinner at the bar, so I was there for just after 7:00! Mind you, it did mean I had plenty of time to chat with the wonderful photographer Ginny Cocks before the show which was a very pleasant change indeed as normally we are both working so don’t have much chance for conversation. This was going to be my first full-on electric show for a while, but the COVID rules meant that everyone still had to be seated so it was quite a strange setup. The building had also suffered a major flood on all levels on the Monday prior, and one of the victims was the sound desk so a new one had to brought in for tonight. With the bar suffering so much due to the lockdowns this is not something which was wanted or needed. Still, the aim for this evening was to support the venue and show just how much it means to everyone, and there was a good crowd in.

Before they started playing Josh checked in with guitarist Cam and bassist Steve to see if they were okay, much to the delight of the crowd. When a band doesn’t take themselves too seriously and is going to have fun then it is pretty much a guarantee it is going to be a great gig and launching into the pop punk of Life of the Party they soon showed that is exactly what it was going to be. This was followed by Not The Enemy, with Josh using falsetto and it was great to hear a lot of the audience joining in, with many of them obviously knowing the words. This is a song of many sections, with Josh holding notes when he needs to and also producing some death style growls at others which was totally unexpected. Having not heard any of their music prior to tonight I was already having a great time, as their exuberance and energy is infectious while their songs are packed full of hooks.

The band have had some changes, and tonight were using a backing track for rhythm guitar, but this was not slowing them down at all with everyone throwing everything into it with stacks of energy. Grant blasts his way around the kit, Steve plays his bass with a huge grin on his face all the time, Cam crunches the riffs and then at the front is Josh. Not only is he a great singer but he is a consummate frontman who reminds me a great deal of Mark Colton of Credo, as he will do anything to get a reaction from the crowd, putting everything into his performance. By now the audience were looking quite strange, as they were singing, punching the air, moving around like crazy things, all without ever leaving their obligatory seats!

What’s New Scooby Doo? led straight into Fall Out Boy’s Sugar, We’re Going Down and this gig was definitely turning into a party. This is pop punk with elements of hardcore and they blend and segue through the different styles in a way which makes so much sense. If they are like this when the crowd is seated one has to wonder what happens at one of their gigs when everyone is able to mosh. This is music designed to get people to move, and even seated that was something everyone was doing. Tonight was my first rock gig in quite some time as most heavier bands decided not to attempt to play under the restrictions, but Fire For Glory certainly showed this could work. The word for tonight was “FUN”, as this is music about having a great time on stage and bringing everyone else along for the ride. Most of the set was their own material, with some songs going back a decade, but they also played a few covers with that material fitting in seamlessly with their own. They wrapped up the intensity when they went into A Favor House Atlantic, which I am sure is the first time I have ever heard a band attempt a Coheed and Cambria number, with Josh very much in control. Then they kicked into the only other cover of the night, Rise Against’s Savior, where Cam took on the role of lead singer for much of it as Josh had not done his homework and learned the lyrics. Not only was this a great cover (I cannot believe the audience stayed seated as there was so much energy coming off the stage), but Josh’s self-deprecating confession beforehand just endeared him even more to those watching.

They then lifted the intensity even further with Stray Dogs, an emo power pop punk anthem if ever I heard one. By now some guys down the front had decided the seating arrangements were there to be ignored and just had to get up and move, and I can’t say I blame them. This is another which has links to melodic hardcore which has bene influenced by the likes of Atreyu and is simply a load of fun. Josh had to start singing the next song at the bar as he needed to get himself a beer, but somehow this little sidestep made perfect sense in the context of the night which was both light-hearted and deadly serious with some great music being played at full bore.

Last song of the set was Loser, which contained some of the quickest passages they had played tonight, yet there was also room for the melodic pop punk hooks which are such a mainstay of their songs. This was a great set from a wonderful fun band who don’t take themselves too seriously, and I am looking forward to seeing them again when the crowd is allowed to move like they need to when a band is creating vibes like this.

Photo Credit: Ginny C Photography


About Fire For Glory

Fire For Glory were a pop-punk band based in Auckland (Now known as Stray Dogs). Bringing together elements of 2000’s era pop punk and post hardcore, Fire For Glory delivered high energy live shows that won them a solid local following throughout New Zealand, and the band made their second successful self-funded venture to Australia. As a result of a hard working, DIY touring ethic, the band earned themselves supporting slots with bands such as Motion City Soundtrack (USA), Hawthorne Heights (USA), Joyce Manor (USA) and Silverstein (Canada).

Fire For Glory saw great commercial success, having both of their EPs Phantoms, Ghosts and Monsters and The Kid’s Got Guts, and their LP Shipwreck! all reaching #1 on the iTunes New Zealand rock chart. The single Frog Prince from the second EP was also featured on Spotify’s official rock playlist, and gained the band high amounts of streaming attention.

Fire For Glory is now known as Stray Dogs!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Fire For Glory


Life of The Party
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: Album
The Kid's Got Guts
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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