The King’s Arms Tavern has been a surrogate home to some of the best international bands to come to New Zealand over the years, and with its closure imminent (insert tears here), the venue is seriously upping the ante over its last few months of functioning as a music venue.

Wednesday night’s show saw main support from New Zealand’s own Heavy Metal Ninjas, providing the crowd with a mysterious and unique interpretation of heavy metal. The band’s unique vibes were expertly highlighted by the lack of vocals, as it forced the attention of the crowd to be focused on the magnificent musical talent without the distraction of lyrical content – something that is not common amongst bands of their genre. Based on the crowd’s reaction, HMN are clearly a New Zealand fan favourite, and were a perfect choice for Protest the Hero’s opening act.

Canada’s Protest the Hero shook the King’s Arms to such an extent that it wouldn’t have been too much of a shock had yet another noise complaint shut the place down. Thankfully, this was not to be the case, and the enthusiasm and energy that influenced the crowd’s openness and fluidity towards the overall experience was consistent from start to finish. Their choice of opening song was surprising, as it seemed most of the crowd were expecting fan fave Clarity, but while disappointing at first, it was a decision that kept the audience engaged throughout the first part of the set as they built their way up to it, resulting in what was probably the most brilliant and hectic part of the set.

Throughout the rest of the night, PTH consistently engaged with the crowd, jokingly poking fun at individuals and ensuring that each audience member felt included, and thus important. This was only further solidified when, following an intense and riveting performance, PTH enthusiastically accepted the encore, showing the appreciation that they have for their audience. The varying mix of songs from the band’s older albums, as well as the most popular song from the newest album Pacific Myth led to a unique yet memorable performance and experience for all progressive metal fans.

Check out the photos from the show below. All credit to CPM Photography.

Setlist

Sex Tapes
Yellow Teeth
Clarity
Nautical
Underbite
C’est La Vie
Tidal
Sequoia
Harbinger
Limb From Limb
Bloodmeat

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