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Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin @ The Royal, Palmerston North - 28/04/2023

30 Apr 2023 // A review by River Tucker

It was well worth getting in early to catch Devilskin’s exclusive VIP performance at The Royal in Palmerston North last Friday night. Following on from a successful show at Homegrown, Devilskin has embarked on their much-anticipated nationwide Let Me Breathe tour, brought to you by The Rock, after a short hiatus that, if anything, has made their current shows all the more sweet.

Support band East York, who Devilskin plucked from obscurity for this tour, nicely warmed up the growing and enthusiastic crowd, particularly when they played a cover of Shihad’s You Again halfway through their set. It’s not often that you’re treated to a drum solo by an opening act, especially one where Meshuggah blast beats are so precisely executed. Despite briefly losing amplified bass guitar, East York provided a high-energy performance that was a well-chosen opener for the night’s main event.

The Royal was by this stage pretty packed with a friendly crowd who were there to have a good time. Of course no gig is perfect with really long changeovers causing a small chant of ‘hurry up’ before Devilskin took to the stage. High-end reflections from the concrete walls and ceiling also detracted slightly from the overall epicness of the gig.

However, the star of the show, Jennie Skulander, didn’t let those small details hinder her performance. Devilskin’s singer was in fine form belting out their numerous hits with abundant mic control and mostly pitch-perfect precision. From the very first chorus of their opening song Start A Revolution, Jennie held the audience in the palm of her hand and once they were there she didn’t let up one bit.

Devilskin has perfected the art of call-and-response and their high-octane blend of Rock, combined with a lot of hard work and good promotion is a big part of their success. Their cohesive sound integrates tried and true musical ideas into a style all their own, effectively giving a nod of musical appreciation to the bands they and their fans grew up with. Some might say there’s a rock-by-numbers element to their sound but Hard Rock is huge worldwide and will remain a big part of popular music for the foreseeable future. Fans don’t mind one bit that Devilskin has borrowed heavily from other successful bands to fulfill a need in New Zealand’s music scene.

During the show guitarist Nail swapped out his main Gibson Les Paul Sunburst guitar for a number of equally stunning axes. A lovely Flying V provided All Fall Down with added sharpness, while an ESP lent Limbs an exquisite darker edge. It’s not always easy to get a Les Paul to chug but Nail’s Zakk Wylde guitar did exactly that when Devilskin closed out the main part of their show with a first-rate performance of Corrode.

A fully amped crowd chanting Devilskin soon brought Jennie and Nail back on stage to perform what was arguably the standout song, Unborn. For this moving ballad Nail sported a gorgeous double-necked Epiphone SG with its 12-strings giving an added dimension to the choruses. The depth of feeling Jennie summoned into the mic during this heartfelt rendition was truly amazing! Devilskin ended the show on another high note with crowd-pleaser Voices, followed by heavier hitting Violation.

Faultless apart from a small hiccup during their new song Insects, drummer Nic Martin efficiently delivered nearly every Kiwi metal beat you could wish for, including some intricate fills similar to those developed back in the day by former HLAH drummer Mark 'Hiddee Beast' Hamill. Throughout the show, Paul Martin on bass was the epitome of rock-solid.

Don’t let their mean looking personas fool you. Devilskin are some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet and have incorporated some poignant messaging about suicide and endometriosis into their releases and shows. They also regularly donate their energy and time into raising awareness for these worthwhile causes.

Make sure you get along to check out Devilskin on their Let Me Breathe tour at a good music venue near you.


Photo Credit: Amanda Hodge / It's The Little Things
Devilskin Gallery
East York Gallery

 

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

Releases

Red
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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