Date: 7th October 2018
Review By: Courtney Solloway
Photography By: Graham Hilling
After having been in hospital with a severe viral bronchial infection, singer Tommy Vext returned to the stage to join his band mates for their show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire this past Sunday.
Vext’s return was mightily triumphant and well received. Unless you had known about his recent hospitalization I don’t believe you would have been able to tell as I myself couldn’t. Without losing his breath or messing up the vocals he delivered a wonderful show alongside the rest of Bad Wolves.
With an explosive start into Officer Down the band gets the crowd riled up and ready to go for the rest of the evening. A personal favourite for me other than their final song of the evening was Better The Devil.
With exhilarating drum fills and a strong, heavy bassline the band demonstrates how heavy metal should be done. Filled with passion and crowd interaction, from Vext going to the front of the crowd or getting mosh pits and a wall of death set to go it was truly entertaining to watch.
On a more relatable note to get the crowd amped up Vext asks the crowd who hates their job, who hates school and who wants to Run For Their Life – a fitting title for the song and for their sets.
A very special end to the set started with Dan Waite who works with their label, coming out to award them their European certified diamond records. A huge achievement to say the least Vext takes the microphone to explain how they got there and emotionally opened the start of their last song of the evening Zombie.
With lighters, phone torches and all kinds of light in the air in memory of Dolores O’Riordan, Zombie starts and every member of the crowd sings along, either in Bad Wolves’ modern take or with O’Riordan’s unique ‘eh’s’. I actually at this point began to feel quite emotional as I was a fan of The Cranberries having been raised listening to them.
The tribute itself was beautiful and as the song nears its close Vext almost collapses to the ground in tears for the fallen artist that left us in January. An emotional end to what was (at least to me) the highlight of the evening before introducing Three Days Grace.
All in all Bad Wolves know themselves and what they do already in their early infancy. I think that this is a band to be closely followed in the future and I cannot wait to see what they do.
Nothing much happened between sets for a while, that is until Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer started. At which point the crowd breaks out into a thunderous “Woah we’re halfway there” that shook me as I was making notes about Bad Wolves. Only to be followed with laughter at how it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do Living On A Prayer gets everyone and you will always sing along. Quite fitting as its sudden end halfway through introduced Three Days Grace at which point the crowds roaring cheers took over the entire venue.
Starting with Mountain singer Matt Walst runs around the stage from side to side and making his way into the crowd from time to time whilst fans pulled at him, all trying to grab hold of the man they admire.
Followed by more of their hits they carry on till they slow it down massively and do an acoustic session to break up the show for a while. However, I found that this went on for a little too long and didn’t find it as entertaining as the rest of the show.
Strangely for me one of the biggest stand out songs was their cover of You Don’t Get Me High Anymore by Phantogram. Their rendition was a new and exciting take on the song with a heavy bass which really made the song.
They closed their set on one of their biggest hits to date Riot which was more enjoyable to me than the other songs as I knew this one quite well. Unfortunately for me, I am not a big fan of Three Days Grace, however, I appreciate their music and their energy on stage.
They know their crowd and they know how to get them up and moving and how to create a good atmosphere for a wonderful night.
All in all both bands created an enjoyable evening and I would recommend seeing both bands if given the chance, however, for me I would say that Bad Wolves definitely stole the show.