Words Wal Reid

Unlike their Aussie counterparts The Wallabies, Sydney band Northlane smashed it, finishing off the job they came to do. And do it they did.

Their undoubtable hardened metal sound with brutal riffing, coupled with Marcus Bridge’s melodic power vocals have shaped the band into one of the genre’s unequivocal gems.

Along with compadres In Hearts Wake, another top-notch Aussie band, the crowd was packed to the brim, with lines running out the door up the street, it was sight to behold, the likes never seen before at the old historical pub.

Just one listen of Citizen or Leech will convince the most avid metal fan of this talented band’s longevity. As they strutted onstage they lunged into Paragon & Colourwave off their latest album Mesmer, singer Marcus Bridge every bit the frenzied frontman as he screamed & hissed at the audience.

As the heat engulfed the mosh pit, I took my signal exiting side of stage as the band unrelentlessly piled upon the crowd, Rot, Savage and Dream Awake, with guitarists Alex Milovic, Jon Deiley (the masked one) and Josh Smith deftly in sync, heads swayed in time with Nic Peterson’s beats, while their guitars screeching in unison.

As Bridge motioned to the crowd to stick up their hands if “they were here the last time they played.”, the crowd were drenched in sweat resembling a hot yoga session, however they weren’t kept waiting very long, as the instrumental intro lull of Solar gave a quick respite from the heat.

The band ending the set off with an incredible version of Quantum Flux and Obelisk. It was literally ‘breath-taking’ stuff.
It’s no secret The Kings Arms is closing next year, however keeping the doors closed was perhaps the dumbest move ever, well, at least those stage diving were having a good time, oh yeah, and the Mexican wave was a nice touch. Another first at The Kings Arms perhaps?

Bridges & Co did a stellar job. It was a show full of gusto and conviction, their performance hinting they were glad to be in Auckland, especially after their Wellington gig the day before. You couldn’t find a better bunch of guys or a better crowd to play to– nice one Northlane, look forward to the next one.