Words and Photography by Melany Barrington
Celebrating a decade of music, Devilskin delivered their second to last show of their 10th year anniversary tour in Wellington before wrapping it up in Napier. With support from Like A Storm and Black Smoke Trigger, three bands came together touring their home turf to represented kiwi rock and brought a community together at The Hunter Lounge. As their most recent shows in Wellington have been festivals such as Homegrown and playing with rock legends Halestorm, a show dedicated to Devilskins history in the music scene for a decade felt important as the country could participate in showing support at these series of shows.
Warming up the stage and opening the night for everyone came Black Smoke Trigger. Recently releasing singles ‘Caught in the Undertow‘ and ‘You Can Have It All’, the band played these songs with a sense of rock n roll passion which brought excitement towards the upcoming release of their debut EP. As they spoke on the recording process of the EP they shared their interaction with guitarist Mick Mars of Motley Crue when he stopped by the recording studio which was quite fitting as Devilskin had opened for Motley Crue and Alice Copper back in 2015 on The Final Tour: All Bad Things Must Come To An End.
Though the anticipation for Devilskin grew stronger as the openers performed, both Black Smoke Trigger and Like A Storm gave enthralling sets enough to make myself eager for when they’ll be headlining their own shows in Wellington. Following the first band, Like A Storm displayed an emotional performance as guitarist Matt Brooks took centre stage with their cover of ‘Crawling‘ by Linkin Park dedicating it to the inspiration they have as a band and musicians from Linkin Park. They played a range of their songs but coming near the end with ‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ you could tell what song of theirs is most popular within the Wellington audience.
Roaring on stage, Devilskin began their set with the chainsaw rock anthem Vessel from the debut album ‘We Rise’. As the band performed a range of songs from the album including ‘Start A Revolution’, ‘Little Pills’ and ‘Elvis Presley Circle Pit’. The audience picked up their energy and sang along to the lyrics. Unfortunately, ‘Burning Tree’ wasn’t on the setlist but that doesn’t mean we weren’t able to see the emotional side to Devilskin like we hear in the song or lead singer Jennie Skulander powerful vocals. In fact with every song Jennie sung as if she was speaking to the lyrics barely showing a sign of tiredness whilst jumping around the stage and impressive high kicks.
The energy radiating from guitarist Nail was recognisable as he was down by the barricade and even inside the pit with the crowd. Running from one side of the stage to the other his liveliness was contagious and clear that a decade into the band he still has the same vitality as in the beginning.Not to mention both Nail and bassist Paul Martin were quite the photogenic duo, with big expressions on their faces throughout the duration of their set.
With the setlist not only focused on We Rise but also featuring recent single ‘All Fall Down’ and second studio album Be Like the River, there was a wide range of songs for old and new Devilskin listeners to hear live. Three quarters in, drummer Nic Martin took over the show with his iconic drum solo and all eyes were on him, with heads shaking from amazement of his solo before the band jumped back on stage and concluded their set.
Sadly, the Wellington crowd wasn’t as loud or energetic as Auckland and not everyone was pleased with the comparison between the cities. With Devilskin encouraging the capital to be louder multiple times the photo pit seemed to be more active than the mosh pit especially during ‘Endo‘. Wellington may have not came across as the most dedicated show but that isn’t to say there weren’t passionate fans in the mix.
Black Smoke Trigger
Like A Storm