Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere you are likely aware last night was the final show of the Deathcrusher NZ tour, and I have no need of my (blood and booze stained) notebook to declare it gig of the fucking year. The Kings Arms was more packed than I have seen it in a long time, and the notoriously late Auckland crowd was lining up out the door before eight. It was a tight show, and if you missed it; well…sucks to be you. I do have to wonder who the fuck all these people were though, as most Auckland gigs recently have been embarrassingly dead. So kids, if you want more big bands, don’t forget to support your local scene first.
Kicking off the night with amazing energy as always was locals Dawn of Azazel. Despite somehow blowing half the power on the stage the set played through seamlessly. Rigel is always good fun to watch, in part because he is clearly having a hell of a good time (also, the interesting ways and places he manages to make ‘fucking’ every second word never fails to amuse). The new album drops in a few days, and the songs played last night tell me it’s as good as the others. I’m glad Dawn are playing more regularly these days (after the tragic loss of front man Nigel :P) and they set the tone for the night; hard, fast heavy and somewhat chaotic.
I’ve seen Napalm Death before, and while a brilliant live act it was Carcass I was anticipating more. So it was pretty heart wrenching to hear Bill Steer fucked his hand at the first Wellington gig, and then a massive relief to hear he would be continuing despite this. So it makes the half arsed crowds lack of appreciation all the worse; Carcass were amazing and when the crowd was embarrassing to be honest. I don’t expect everyone to be fans, and I know most were there for Napalm Death, but for fucks sake…when they didn’t know the chorus to Keep on Rotting in the Free World, we were well deserving of the ‘fucking useless cunts’ muttered by front man Jeff Walker. The set was pretty short which was a pretty big disappointment, but you could see that Bill was in a fair amount of pain and powering through. I’ve heard Jeff Walker described as the poor mans Lemmy before; whoever coined that phrase has clearly never seen fucking Carcass; he is a act of his own. He has presence (and a wind machine! ) and while you could compare the two, I wouldn’t bother. As much as I hate to admit it though…the sound wasn’t great. The vocals were pretty muted and muddy, and something seemed to be lost in the noise. It’s a bummer, because you hate to think that one of your favorite bands is over produced in the studio, and I don’t believe this is the case. It was still a brilliant performance, and the out classed many of the many bands I have seen over the years; I guess that everyone has off nights. And lets face it, given the challenges of the night, they still killed.
Napalm Death however… Fuck. They must of played for over an hour and Barney (Greenway, vocals) never waned. Like your dad in knee socks, spazzing out like a motherfucking tantrum*, like a kid with tourettes; the man is a fucking machine. It reminded me of England 15 years ago; the feeling that we could change everything. The rage, the passion and the fight were so strong that I was reminded what things used to be like and why politics and music SHOULD mix. Sadly, this was lost on the majority of the crowd who were oh so funny and calling out football teams. It was quite the disconnect, at first it made me cringe, and then rapidly want to start punching things. Greenway was also the first person I have heard publicly calling John Key’s creepy fucking behaviour what it is; showing an awareness of local politics that I suspect the majority of the crowd lack. Musically brilliant (even when the drummer fucked one of his kicks), it was the emotional connection that made this one of the best sets I have ever seen. And I am full of hope again; sometimes you need to remember why you fell in love in the first place.
Photos thanks to Damien from The Tenth Circle and hopefully more to come.