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Review: Rise Against at the Powerstation 31/03/09 by underground

Previously of the Chicago hardcore underground scene, Rise Against is no longer under the radar. Their latest album, Appeal to Reason, made it all the way to number three on the Billboard 200 in the States, and their latest single Audience of one is played on even the most commercial pop radio station. Punk elite may slate the band as sell outs, but when seen live it is evident that the passion and grit evident in their first album, The Unravelling, remains.

Having seen RA a couple of times before, I knew what to expect before their Powerstation show in Auckland. However, the crowd at the latest show was very different to their previous shows, with many dressed as though they were going clubbing as opposed to a punk show, indictive of how much this band had connected to a different audience of recent years, or even just months. Accordingly, their new songs were greated with cheers from the fashionably attired, whereas the earlier tracks were met with some bewilderment. From their first album, Stainglass and Marble bought the diehard old fans charging forward to scream the song in unison, whereas Re-education, Audience of One and others from Appeal to Reason got the younger fans singing along.

While some bands fail to take their songs from the studio to the stage, RA has no such problem. Vocalist Tim McIlrath’s voice never fails, replicating even the persistant, yet audio, scream of State of the Union as capably as on the original recording. After a lengthy set, the band left the stage, before returning with acoustic guitars to perform the awesome Hero of War, and the crowd favourite Swing Life Away. The volume picks up for three more encore songs, ending on the passionate Prayer of the Refugee, before the band depart and the house lights herald the end of an entertaining Tuesday night.

Sales of the band’s first four albums must have increased after that show, after the punkrock virgins got their first taste of what real live music sounds and looks like.

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Review: Elemeno P & Supergroove at the Coroglen 03/01/09 by underground
January 4, 2009, 9:57 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Initially I thought $55 to see two Kiwi bands at the Coroglen Tavern was really steep. Following Elemeno P’s set I was still feeling a little ripped off. An hour later I knew I had got my money’s worth.

When I was 10 I listened to whatever my dad listened to. Whilst I was listening to Cat Stevens and Meatloaf, the rest of the kids in my standard 4 class were listening to Supergroove. Eventually I caught up, hearing their hit songs on the radio, but by then they had broken up.

Recently reformed, Supergroove play their famous songs like it was the early nineties. Che Fu has an incredible voice which is accompanied well live by the large enthusiastic and talented band. The energy which flowed throughout their diverse set was topped of by a band member climbing onto the rafters during scorpio girl. It was bedlam.

Elemeno P were good, but I found them lacking. Sometimes I think this band doesn’t really know what genre they should be playing and they do none well. Apart from the well known radio songs, and including some of them, I found them a bit boring, until they lifted the tempo. Many of their slower songs do not come across well live and they didn’t have the energy I expected. When followed up by Supergroove this was really exposed.

With a mix of old and new, hits and solo Che Fu, the crowd were treated to everything Supergroove had to offer. The crowd was as diverse as the songs played, from those who had probably seen them the first time round to those who had only discovered them this millenium.

It might be Crowded House or the Exponents who you hear at the cricket or every waterfront bar in the country, but Supergroove is the quintessential Kiwi band. Missing them is a greater cost than any ticket price.