Jakob – Kings Arms February 3, 2018

Napier three-piece Jakob brought their 20th Anniversary tour to Auckland, performing a wordless 80-minute set that, nonetheless, spoke volumes.

And speaking of volume, there was plenty of it as two of Hawke’s Bay’s finest metal bands, Come To Dolly and Horusset, got things warmed up in the Kings Arms.

With rain falling intermittently, the garden area didn’t get much use, yet the vibe was good with folks relishing one of their last times at the old club which will close down in three weeks.

It was just after 11pm when Jeff Boyle (guitar), Maurice Beckett (bass) and Jason Johnston (drums) clambered on to the stage.

We heard a low drone, that eventually got louder, with a thumping bass drum joining in followed by a low, heavy bassline.

Having been playing together for over twenty years, this is a band that doesn’t take long to find its groove and so, the musical journey began. But not without some complication…

When the music exploded into a climatic crescendo about five minutes into the set, so did a couple of audience members near the front of the stage.

As soon as the pushing and shoving began, bassist Beckett seemed to shut the bad behaviour down simply by the power of his piercing stare.

When he first spoke to the crowd a few minutes later, thanking  the audience for being there to celebrate with them,he then said, “Before we carry on, keep your fucking hands to yourself. Have fun, but don’t fucking fight. You wanna fight, fuck off!”

Beckett’s eloquent message got through as the remainder of the show went off without incident. In fact, I was impressed with the amount of attention the crowd gave the band.

This is all-instrumental music that is, as the band themselves describe it, “cinematic, atmospheric soundscapes”. Yet, from this point on, the entire room seemed mesmerized, standing and watching and listening intently, with heads nodding.

Near the end of the set, as the music got more intense, I did witness some rather expressive “interpretive dancing” going on near the side of the stage.

The impressive thing about Jakob is how these three musicians play together. No one takes solos, no one showboats, it’s all about the ebb and flow of the music and the communication between these three men.

There are plenty of dynamics, each one of them will drop out and come back in as needed, with Jeff Boyle’s guitar often starting a song alone with the other two joining in and building a soundscape around the initial guitar line.

It all makes for a thrilling, unique listening experience that easily held this audience rapt for well over an hour.

This is what twenty years of musical communion and communication sounds like.

Marty Duda

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