Archive | October, 2012

PROGFEST BRISBANE – The Beetle Bar 20/10/2012

25 Oct

Progfest is one of those rare gems in the Australian music industry which showcases some of the greatest bands you’ve never heard of. It’s a real celebration of music and musicians. A festival made by musicians for enthusiasts of boundary breaking music. If you’re an aspiring musician, Progfest is definitely one of those inspiring and motivational shows that will push you to become better (or perhaps give up and sell your instrument on Ebay….But hopefully not!) Progfest hadn’t made its way to Brisbane in the past couple of years but when the announcement came that it was heading our way in 2012, a little wee came out to say the least. With a lineup consisting of FEED, Caligulas Horse, Echotide, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, Arcane and Ne Obliviscaris, it was guaranteed to be one hell of a gig.

The night is humidity and heat ridden and you can easily sort the locals from the visitors with a quick glance at what leg attire they were sporting on the night. (shorts for the visitors, pants for the locals). In other words….Fuck it was hot. Anywho, the show starts strong with powerful sets from the openers. FEED and Caligulas Horse show why their gaining a bit of a name in the local scene and display a fine set of technical prowess and ballsy riffage. The bar has been set high and expectations are suddenly risen.

Next to hit the stage is Echotide. This was Echotides album launch for an album that has taken about 5 years to complete. Having seen this band live a couple of times before, I always think I know what to expect….yet I’m still blown away and left completely inspired. Each time they play, these guys seem to just get better and better. Was a pleasure to hear the new album live and if you haven’t listened to it already, please do yourself a favor and go check it out.

Onward to a band all the way from Perth. Tangled Thoughts of Leaving. This was my first time seeing the band perform and to be honest, I expected a lot of random, impressive Jazz wankery. What I got pretty much convinced me that this was one of the best instrumental bands on the Australian circuit right now. What a fucking band! These guys absolutely tore up that stage and unleashed a barrage of infectious energy and power that filled the venue. Their music was uniquely structured, incredibly powerful, virtuostic, beautiful, intense and basically everything you want in a band. I’ll be seeing them again, enough said.

Local Prog pioneers Arcane then hit the stage, delivering what we have all come to expect from them, immense power, energy and awe inspiring music. The band goes through what feels like a short set, with much of the material focusing on their successful album ‘Chronicles of the Waking Dream’. ‘Asylumn: Acolyte Zero’ was a song I’d been wanting to hear live for a while now and it’s a fucking killer live. Progfest hasn’t disappointed yet, one more band to go.

The mighty Ne Obliviscaris then make their way onstage. Predominately bearing shorts instead of their trademark black pants as for a Melbourne band, the Brisbane heat was probably just ridiculous. The band seems hardly phased by the heat and humidity though. Powering through a selection of tracks from their debut album ‘Portal of I’. These guys never cease to amaze me. This is a band that does everything right and is leading the pack in terms of involvement in the Australian Progressive music scene. A band well deserving of the Progfest headlining slot.

If you’re a musician or even just a lover of music, Progfest is an amazing initiative created to inspire, showcase and bring awareness to a scene that possesses some of the most talented and amazing artists Australia has never heard of. To everyone involved in making Progfest a success, thank you. Thank you so much for creating something that has inspired so many people young and old. I cannot stress enough how much we appreciate this festival. We can only hope that Progfest continues to get bigger and bigger and with the kind of lineups we’re seeing, that shouldn’t be a problem at all.

 

Photos by William France

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PROGFEST Brisbane Next Week!

15 Oct

Steel Panther – Eatons Hill Hotel 04/10/2012

8 Oct

Steel Panther were finally on our shores for their first ever headlining tour of Australia and their first stop was in Brisbane. What a mammoth of a start to the tour they got. Thank fuck I don’t have to physically speak about this show as my vocal chords are now torn to shreds thanks to this band. Luckily though, I can tell you thanks to the wonderment of the internets…

The lights go dim and the crowd erupts into a giant frenzy as Stixx makes his way behind the kit. What shortly followed was perhaps one of the coolest rockstar moments I’ve ever witnessed. Satchel finally makes his way on stage and right on queue, a beam of light reveals his position and allows him to start the show. The full band then erupts into their set and the crowd goes fucking nuts! (now I was around about the middle of the audience and within 5 seconds of the show starting I found myself about 3 rows from the front). This was never going to be a regular concert. It was going to be a battle, with one of the coolest bands of the modern era playing in the background.

Occasionally during the show, the band would break into comedic banter with the audience. Often this banter was either about their cocks, cocaine, how cool they are or breasts. There was never a dull moment. Two hours of pure ecstasy. If you’ve never experience a stereotypical Rock concert (or at least the type that the churches are protesting about) then go see Steel Panther. Never have a seen so many pairs of boobs in one night. In fact my neck is still sore from looking at them all (not that I was trying..err). One little thing that I must confess is….I had no idea it was an all ages show until after….So I guess those were some fine underage tittays on the top balcony…

Stage Presence was over 9000. I can’t even begin to fully describe just how good these guys are at crowd interaction. Every single audience is just as important to the show as the band itself. How do play that music (how Satchel solos whilst humping the air a thousand times escapes me, or even whilst his face is buried in a paid of DD’s).

Tits aside, Steel Panther put on one incredible live show. So much power, so much fucking talent. Definitely one of the best concerts I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. Go see one of the hottest shows on the planet right now. Just don’t be a fool and wear high heels and stuff…I bet those girls regretted wearing that shit to a Steel Panther moshpit.

 

 

 

 

Joe Bonamassa Live @Qpac Concert Hall 03/10/2012

4 Oct

As somewhat of a ‘raw music’ enthusiast myself, I was very keen to check out Joe Bonamassa’s 2012 Australian Tour. I had the privilege of seeing Joe in 2011 when he played at the Tivoli and was thoroughly impressed at the power and presence of his show and this time around it was much of the same.

Unexpectedly, Joe opened the show with an acoustic set (bad for us considering they only let you photograph the first few songs), playing various numbers from his latest album, ‘Driving Towards The Daylight’. This was a nice and mellow approach to opening a concert. This set also had some pretty powerful and impressive moments with both Joe and drummer, Tal Bergman flaring up with solos and wicked instrumental breaks.

The set then finished and the lights go dim. The band then erupts into what they do best. Raw and powerful Rock music. Albeit a few sound issues in the beginning, you can tell it’s the only thing holding the band back from full force. A few tracks go by until the sound is rectified (during one of Joe’s best, ‘The Ballad Of John Henry’). Without notice, you feel the full power of Joe Bonamassa and his band. Incredible tones and style fill the hall and no doubt, every member of that audience had shivers going down their spine.

Throughout the night, Joe mixes the set up with various songs from his illustrious back catalog. There were numbers from Bonamassa albums, Black Country Communion albums and even a few covers thrown in here and there. But as always, Joe makes them his own and adds his personal, unique touch to each one (especially his famous encore ‘Just Got Paid’).

Production wise, this was not overly technical. This was definitely a show for lovers of music and not show. You’re eyes were fixated on each member of the band and their brilliance. Joe caresses his guitar like a beautiful woman and shows just why he’s considered one of the greatest guitar players of his generation.

It was a real pleasure to watch Joe Bonamassa play in such a fine concert hall. You cannot  fully appreciate the talent and genius of this man until you see him live. Go do yourself a favor and see one of the greatest guitarists of our time.

Photos by William France

Between The Buried & Me 2012 Australian Tour Kicks Off In November!

4 Oct

Having left a seriously lasting impression on Aussie fans after their 2010 tour Down Under, Between the Buried and Me have announced their return, bringing with them their latest and seventh studio album The Parallax II: Future Sequence, out November.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a metalhead who hasn’t found something about BTBAM to obsess about, be it their ruthless pace, their meticulous instrumental proficiency or their progressive sensibilities. For the most part you’ll find it’s the way all three blend together. The North Carolina-based 5-piece will be stopping off at all major cities, bringing the madness with them each time.

The tour is of course in support of the release, which is the band’s first through Metal Blade. Having sold more than 400,000 albums so far, the release had big shoes to fill, though the band always had high hopes. Tommy Rogers (vocals, keyboards) sums up the releases as: “A conceptual journey that takes the listener to worlds that seem familiar and worlds that make you scratch your head. From start to finish this is music we want to create, not music we think people want us to create. We create songs that keep us (and hopefully you) excited about heavy music.”

Supporting BTBAM on the Aus tour dates will be seminal US instrumental metal act Animals As Leaders. The trailblazing trio really need no introduction. They’ve had a bit of a tough run of it lately, though they will be coming down for their first Aussie tour ever.

Tuesday 13 November – Amplifier Bar, Perth (18+)
Tickets: www.heatseeker.com.au, 78′s, Mills, Planet Video or Star Surf

Wednesday 14 November – Fowlers, Adelaide (Lic/AA)
Tickets: Moshtix on 1300 438 849 or www.moshtix.com.au,
Venue*Tix on (08) 8225 8888 or www.venuetix.com.au

Thursday 15 November – The Zoo, Brisbane (18+)
Tickets: Oztix on 1300 762 545, www.destroyalllines.oztix.com.au, and Oztix Outlets

Friday 16 November – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Tickets: Corner Box: 57 Swan St Richmond 10am-8pm Mon-Sat, 03 9427 9198 www.cornerhotel.com or Fist2Face (03) 9095 7911

Saturday 17 November – The Metro, Sydney (18+)
Tickets: Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au
Metro Theatre Box Office 02 9550 3666 or www.metrotheatre.com.au