Filter – Powerstation: April 3, 2024 (Concert Review)

Filter return, 24 years after their last visit, to Aotearoa…delayed by artistic malaise, substance abuse, the failure of others (PledgeMusic going bankrupt) and the Covid pandemic.

Filter, formed by Richard Patrick following his departure in 1993 from the Nine Inch Nails touring band, with Brian Liesegang, exploded in the late 90s with two platinum-selling albums melding industrial electronica and post-grunge guitar. After an extended 20-year hiatus of visiting Australasia, Filter returns, featuring Richard Patrick, a completely different band lineup, and half a dozen additional albums under his belt.

FilterOn the back of 2023’s The Algorithm, an album that reaches back to the halcyon platinium days of Short Bus (1995) and Title Of the Record (1999) and builds on the industrial flavour of 2016’s Crazy Eyes, it feels like Filter are climbing off the mortal coil that has blighted them since 2002.

2023 saw Filter on the road as part of the Freaks On Parade tour which also included Ministry, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. Tonight’s show features not quite the same lineup, with new drummer Tosh Peterson joining the originator Richard Patrick alongside Bobby Miller on Bass and Jonathan Radtke on Guitar. The setlist from a recent show in Germany, showed Filter reaching deep into their kete of songs, boding well for a night not just focused on their hits.

Black Smoke Trigger

Napier homed and founded in 2018, released their debut EP, Set It Off in 2019, to then be interrupted by the ruckus of COVID, until a slew of singles: The Way Down in 2023 was followed in 2024 by Perfect Torture and Proof Of Life. With their eyes on the prize, overseas success (they are supporting Filter in Australia and then off to Europe opening for Bruce Dickenson (Iron Maiden), Black Smoke Triggertonight’s performance is a rarity in Tamaki Makaurau, though they have played with Haelstorm and Devilskin previously.

It’s like the 90s never left Napier. The ’90s when cool bands like Skid Row, Warrior Soul, The Black Crowes and BulletBoys, reinvented early Aerosmith on the back of Guns n Roses worldwide success. Past local bands like Whisky and Lace, Dead Flowers and Push Push did it so well.

Black Smoke Trigger are competent musicians, especially the drummer, love the double floor tom arrangement. Don’t love the cliches, so many, and the attire is so dated: Leather waistcoat, leather pants, white open neck shirt and suit waistcoat to boot.

I try, but I can’t get past the singer’s melodramatic prattles between songs, sounding like a Coast FM DJ. Welcome to the Napier School of (Pub) Rock. Some in the audience are kinder, but then again the average age is about 50, not a lot of tastemakers in the Powerstation tonight.


There is a lot of aroha from Richard Patrick, as Filter takes the stage, as the audience shows aroha, they launch into 2002’s You Walk Away. A quarter of the way through the setlist and 2023’s The Algorithm features prominently, Richard Patrick is obvious in his passion for the band’s latest album, and his fellow musicians are additionally energized onstage, in particular 22-year-old Tosh Peterson who shows skills well beyond his meagre years.

As (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do enters the fray, the audience responds as if it were 1997 again, Spawn was a bit of a ratshit movie, but it did bear many great songs. Obliteration from The Algorithm follows quickly and maintains the energy, it’s a co-constructed song, and that magic makes it stand out from other songs on the album. 1998’s stand-alone single Jurritsal comes momentarily after and together with the preceding three, creates a score when Take a Picture, a welcome respite from the aggression, spreads melody and aroha into the room. Couples hold hands, emotion takes over, and as it ends Richard Patrick quips about getting the feel from the song.

Richard Patrick and politics have a rambunctious relationship, his dislike of Trump’s social policies has seen Filter suffer audience loss and venue cancellation (how woke!) 2020s Thoughts and Prayers displays Patrick’s anger about empty platitudes that pervade modern America. The platitudes are repeated later in 2002’s American Cliche which Patrick dedicates directly to Donald Trump.


Dose, the second banger from 1995’s Short Bus sees Patrick join Radtke on guitar, it sounds dirty, punk rock, reminiscently old school original Filter, as is the Infectious, hooky bass line in 1997’s  It’s Gonna Kill Me from Title Of The Record.

As the show opened, Patrick threatened two hours. It doesn’t seem quite that long, there’s been so little filler, and no algorithmic method, the show flowed with focus, As the last two songs are introduced, Patrick preaches no encores as Filter ends with the first songs off their first two albums

The audience is in rapture as the sultry tones of Welcome To The Fold and Hey Man Nice Shot follow each other succinctly. 

Simon Coffey

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Chris Zwaagdyk:


Black Smoke Trigger:

Filter Setlist:
You Walk Away
The Drowning
For the Beaten
What Do You Say
Face Down
(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do
The Take
Take a Picture
Captain Bligh
Thoughts and Prayers
It’s Gonna Kill Me
American Cliche
??? (may have been So I Quit)
Drug Boy
Welcome To The Fold
Hey Man Nice Shot

 Simon Coffey