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Karnivool Live @ Eatons Hill 08/08/13

22 Aug

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Karnivool have seen themselves dominate the charts in the last few years with their last 2 releases, Sound Awake and Asymmetry (both respectively reaching #2 and #1 on the Aria charts). As well as seeing success in the studio, the band have also seen massive success on the road, selling out show after show and playing some of the worlds biggest stages and festivals. Now Karnivool have embarked on their latest tour in support of their first ever #1 record, Asymmetry. We got the chance to see the band perform in Brisbane and as usual, it was an impressive spectacle….

The lights go dim as the Vool’ enter from side of stage. The familiar sight of the shaggy haired, nordic bearded guitarists, the powerhouse gentleman drummer and their charismatic, always eccentric vocalist, receives a wave of thunderous applause. Our first taste of the Asymmetry album in a live setting then begins with the opening track ‘AM War’. This track (for me personally) fell a bit short on excitement (especially as a set opener) as it was a bit too relaxed but hey, I’m sure the band are sick of opening up with ‘Goliath’ or ‘Cote’ every night.

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The set goes on and never ceases in intensity. The Brisbane crowd is treated to a good mixture of both old and new songs from the Karnivool back catalogue. Songs such as ‘Simple Boy’, ‘Goliath’, ‘Set Fire To The Hive’ and the always epic, ‘Deadman’ gave the fans some nostalgic and energetic moments whilst songs from the new album like ‘We Are’, ‘Alpha Omega’ and ‘Naschash’ were received with audacious cheers. The Vool’ just never seem to stop churning out dem hits.

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Production for this tour is some of the best I’ve seen at a Karnivool show. They just step it up every year. Although I was singing praises for their production on the Sound Awake tour in those smaller venues (where the sound was amazing…but we’ll get to that later) I was very impressed with what they brought on this tour. It was like a mini arena show.

If I could have one negative comment about the show it’d be that niggling issue of sound (in particular for one member of the band). Throughout the night the soundman just couldn’t get Kenny’s vocals right. They were extremely trebly and just never cut through the mix. It’s a shame because not only was I right next to the sound desk (which should be where the gig sounds best!) but the rest of the band sounded amazing! Judds drums sounded lethal, Stockmans bass was incredible and the guitar sounds from Hosking and Goddard was phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong, Ian Kenny was killin’ it on stage, you could tell he was on par as usual, but the sound just didn’t carry through. Could have been that it was the first time Karnivool had performed at Eatons Hill or it could have been a shit night for some of the crew. Reports from the crowd at the front indicate a superb mix, so who knows?

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Karnivool is just one of those bands that you fall in love with. Not for their looks, nor for their gear (here’s lookin at you gear nerds) and nor for their celebrity status. People fall in love with the music. It speaks to you on a level that only some music can. And besides the fact that the band tours Australia and the world relentlessly, that they up their game every year and that they inspire thousands of people all over the globe, in the end, it’s the music that makes us love them. Thanks for another great run of shows, guys. Cya next time!

Northlane – 

Karnivool – 

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Progressive Pizza Party! @ The Tempo Hotel 24/05/13

31 May

It was a Friday night in Brisbane when Morse Code Musics Progressive Pizza Party hit The Tempo Hotel for a night to showcase the best of the best amongst the youngest Prog bands in Brisbane. Headlined by Psychedelic aficionados, Perilium, the night also featured bands, FreeThought, Weightless in Orbit and Spherian. Statistically speaking, a gig like this should have gone under the radar and gathered a crowd in the double digits. However….. it far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

It’s 6pm and doors have just opened. The crowd is scarce and hopes for a packed audience were looking dim. However towards the final moments before the first band hit the stage, the crowd began to gather….

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Spherian was  first to hit the stage. These guys are primarily a Groove Metal based band and this being the bands first show, expectations were low. However, people could not have been more wrong whilst the band smashed their way through the set. Their playing was incredibly tight, their sound was crisp and their creativity was unique. You would have thought this band had been playing shows for years. These guys will definitely be major contenders in Brisbanes Prog scene within the next few years.

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Next up was Progressive Metallers Weightless in Orbit. With a sound similar to Between The Buried and Me, Tool and Animals as Leaders, this was a band that people have been waiting to see for some time now and like Spherian, this was the first taste for an audience to see them live. The band powered their way through an intensely brutal, beautiful,  and technically flawless set which must have covered close to 20 genres of music. These guys have immense talent and played as though they have been on the circuit for years. Their final song was concluded with thunderous applause from the audience. Keep an eye on these guys, I wouldn’t be surprised if they achieve some incredible success.

At this point of the show the venue was filling up quite quickly. It was hard to move around, it was a bit stuffy and the energy was exciting. The night was far exceeding everyone’s expectations and it was only halfway through.

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FreeThought were next to show their talent. This was maybe only the 2nd or 3rd show the band had played and once again, they shocked everyone by sounding like a band that had been around for years. Their modern metal sounds coupled with hints of Classic Prog and Power Metal influences made for a very exciting set. These guys will be another great addition to Brisbanes Prog scene and have a sound that isn’t much seen around these days. Keep and eye on FreeThought folks.

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It was then time for Headliners, Perilium. These guys hit the scene a couple of years back and since then, have slowly become well known in Brisbane as ‘that young Prog band’ (Funnily enough they were the oldest band on the bill tonight). The crowd was anticipating something special. House lights go down, intro tape rolls and Perilium make their way on stage. Their set included 2 new additions as well as favourites from their 2012 album, ‘Optic 72’. The boys powered their way through their set and gave the crowd the high they desired. It was a set high in energy and luscious in colour.

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This show far exceeded anyone’s expectations. It was so inspiring and amazing to see such a great attendance for newly established bands. If anything, this was a showcase of Brisbane’s future Prog scene and after witnessing this show, it has nothing to worry about…It’s in very good hands.

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Photos by William France

Osaka Punch Farewell Show – The Zoo 18/05/13

27 May

The 18th of May saw Osaka Punch play their final show with good friends Vayer and Le Suits, before heading towards potential domination of Europe. This was a highly anticipated night by Brisbane locals and garnered massive buzz and discussion. What makes this gig even more astonishing is the fact that it was hardly promoted. Osaka Punch have always been a band that has been successful purely from word of mouth advertising and the sheer love and dedication from their amazing fans. This was sure to be a special show for all involved….And it certainly was.

Vayer kicked off the night with the power and precision that has made them a favourite amongst Brisbane music lovers. Their intense and energetic show got the crowds attention and brought up the excitement in the room. Up next was the lovable Le Suits. This band along with Vayer is one of Osaka Punch’s favourite bands. No one knows how the 9 piece band was able to fit on the Zoos small stage, but somehow they managed. They then proceeded to tear the roof off the place. Their infectious grooves, engaging personas and unique sound was more than enough to get the crowd extremely excited for the headliner.

The venue was close to capacity by the time Osaka Punch began setting their stage (an absolutely monumental turnout for an unsigned local band who only just released their debut album). The crowd was buzzing with excitement when the band finally hit the stage   and went into their much loved single ‘Eat Red Carpet’. The rest of the show featured everything we have come to love about Osaka Punch. They haven’t changed a thing since their former days of being called ‘The Kidney Thieves’ and that’s why we love them.

The show was one of the best they’ve ever put on and definitely reassured their fans that they’re better than ever. The ever so energetic and bashful, Dane Pulverenti absolutely slayed it on the drum kit and is truly a contender as one of Australias great drummers. OP’s great leader, Mr Jack Venables showed us once again how to get crazy. Chrispy Town brought the funk and layed down the heavy with his brilliant and tight guitar work and the stylish and sleek, Trav Jenkins offered up some incredible guitar solos and hair whippery. Together, they are Osaka Punch and together, world domination awaits them. Thanks for the memories, lads. We hope that you’ll stick around a bit longer and create some more.

I’d also like to add (as a budding local musician and myself a lover of local music) how inspiring and uplifting it was to see a local Brisbane band nearly sell out a venue such as The Zoo. It reassures you that it is possible to achieve that one moment every musician lives and strives for. When the band finished their set and were finally able to bask in the glory of their success, it was an amazing sight to see. I hope any local musician in attendance at this gig was as inspired as I was.

Work hard, be nice, love what you do and you will be successful.

Watch out Europe, you’re not even going to know what hit you.

Photo by Jerry Nicholls

This Will Destroy You & Tangled Thoughts of Leaving @ The Zoo 19/03/13

22 Mar

Dynamic bands Tangled Thoughts of Leaving and This Will Destroy You completely destroyed minds last night with their atmospheric and technical music. With them both being of the post rock genre the whole night was just pure bliss and awe.

On arrival everyone was prepared for the night, people were settling in and anticipating the amazing acts that were soon to follow. The mixture of people that were attending was also amazing, from metal heads, to hipsters. Something you don’t see that often, and all of them being there to enjoy themselves and the mu

With the local Brisbane band Arrows opening up with their soft but intense sound and with beautifully mixed vocals they definitely opened up and drew the crowd in for what would be an amazing night. Like always with the post sort of sound the tightness of the band is a must as it is needed to hold the attention of the audience and this is exactly what Arrows did.

Not long after Arrows had finished their set out came Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, an Australian band that I believe does not have the recognition they deserve. Coming from Perth, TToL came out with pure fury right from the word go, holding the crowd’s attention with their insane stage presence and what I would call mathematically insane time signatures. The band was as tight as ever and unlike a lot of ‘math rock’ styled bands, they did not just sound like a cacophony of noise. Their dynamics and tempos changes seemed to lead into one another perfectly. The best way to describe their sound is that they are a 4 piece Orchestra attempting to lead you on a musical journey.

For the main headline act of the night, This Will Destroy You was near the complete opposite of TToL. In comparison to TToL’s pure technical bliss, This Will Destroy You led a much simpler approach to the post rock sound, but held the audience’s attention for the whole hour they played. For the first time in a long time, I saw very little people with their phones out and they actually immersed themselves into the show. With a very elegant stage presence and the lighting dimmed, the audience were able to venture into to the bands dynamic and purposeful instrumentals.

Overall the night was fantastic, each band bringing their own sound of post rock, from the technical mayhem of Tangled Thoughts of Leaving to the much simpler yet beautiful sound of This Will Destroy You. With the whole audience being drawn in the instant each band played, it will definitely be a night to remember. To those who are on the fence about seeing any of the bands on the bill I highly recommend forking out the cash you have to catch these bands.

Photos by William France

For full gallery visit: http://www.facebook.com/Monolithsound

Earth Frequency Festival 2013 Photos

28 Feb

Photos by William France

65 Days of Static & sleepmakeswaves @ The Hi Fi 03/01/2013

5 Jan

Warning: Members in either band are un-insurable due to insane stage presence.

It’s a kind of new age thing, this whole Post-Rock genre of music. It seems as though any bunch of kids can pick up a delay pedal and a looper and call themselves a Post-Rock band. It’s something easy to get into…But extremely difficult to get just right. The following show was an example of Post-Rock genius.

Making my way into Brisbanes popular venue, ‘The Hi-Fi’, the crowd was quietly mingling amongst each other whilst sleepmakeswaves (one of my favourite Australian bands) prepared their stage. The band then leave the stage and the intro music is queued. The bands first number was ‘To You They Are Birds, To Me They Are Voices in The Forest’. I’ve seen these guys a couple of times now with this song as their opener and I’ve gotta say, it never gets old. This is a perfect introduction for the band and really showcases what they’re all about. Sleeps then power through their set with incredible presence. The sound is perfect and the tone is nothing but superb. These guys are leading the way for Australian Post-Rock and it’s not hard to be convinced of that.

The band then finishes their set and are received with thunderous applause (winning about 99.9% of the audience, except that one guys girlfriend who doesen’t really listen to this kind of music but her boyfriend bought a ticket for her so she thought what the fuck, might as well go).

Enter 65 Days of Static. Not having heard much from this band (but knowing that quite a few people like them) I didn’t really know what to expect. These lads had come all the way from Britain so I guess they weren’t going to put on a mediocre performance. The band walks out to thunderous applause and erupts into a frenzy of Britains version of Post-Rock. Straight away you could hear and feel that classic British undertone that English bands so often possess. Their sound comprises a mix of Post-Rock, techno and DnB.  65 Days is a much more powerful and ballsy kind of Post-Rock band, dealing with interesting rhythms and heavy, dark tones.

It also struck me that Post-Rock bands seem to have the best sound engineers. I’ve never heard a bad mix from a Post-Rock band. For how complicated and rich the sounds of these bands are, they always sound crystal clear. Good work sound techs. Jolly well done.

65 Days power through their set with each track increasing in power and size. These guys show how it’s done and tear the audience a new one. Rhythmically this band is incredible. Energy wise, this band is also incredible. I think what I’m trying to say is…this band is incredible…

I left the show feeling inspired and satisfied. sleepmakeswaves had kicked my ass again and 65 Days of Static proved why their considered to be one of the best.  Post-Rock is somewhat still an underground sub genre, but with bands like these…Won’t be too long until Rolling Stone catches on.

The Parkway Drive Experience

21 Dec

Recently I had the chance of experiencing Parkway Drive in concert at Brisbanes iconic Riverstage. I had been hearing about just how insane and chaotic their shows can be so naturally my balls were tingling with excitement. I’ve had my fair share of crazy moshpits and sweatfests at metal concerts, but something in my mind told me to prepare something else..

On Friday the 14th of December, I made my way down to the Riverstage, courtesy of the Queensland rail system. Packed full of the usual pre pubescent teenage Parkway fans, the train ride in was rowdy and uncomfortable due to the foul mouths and annoying gestures of the fans. If I were Ghandi, I would say ‘I like your band, but not your fans’. But whatever, It’ll be worth it right? I finally arrive at the venue and the journey continues as I make my way through the hordes of fans, security and merch stands. Media pass collected, and pen and paper in hand, I cut the line and enter what I can only describe as ‘The War Zone’. Here, tonights willing participants will subject themselves to the music of their gods and idols. A frenzy will take place here, one full of energy and excitement.

There’s a real energy in the air, a certain vibe that you feel when you know that some real shit is about to go down. You’re uncertain of what but you do know when. The anticipation builds as each supporting band completes their set to positive and generous reactions from the crowd. I wasn’t a particular fan of any of the supporting bands but it was good to see the kids getting a kick out of it all. Better them here than on the streets doing stupid shit.

The lights go out and the volume of the crowd goes up. Parkway Drive is about to take the stage. The energy surges and I can feel the strength of the crowd rise. Parkway bring the heavy and the frenzy starts. Each member of the crowd gives %110 back to a band which gives nothing but everything to their fans. This is a proper metal show for sure. The kids up front are going mental and unleashing some of the craziest and most embarrassing dance moves I’ve ever seen. But they didn’t care, no one did, everyone was having a fucking great time and fuck you if you weren’t.

Nothing lets up the whole time Parkway is on that stage. Each member just kicks your ass and doesn’t give you a moment to rest. I’m fucking loving this concert in all it’s momentous glory of metal. Even though I didn’t venture down to the front (it looked like a massacre and I’m probably too old to be moshing with 14 and 15 year olds anyway) I still think I felt the full force (or at least 98%) of the Parkway Experience.

Parkway Drive is one of those gems that Australia produces maybe a couple of times every decade. Seeing them live and feeling their energy in person made me realize that they’re more than just a band. They’re an inspiration, something to aspire to be, something to model yourself on. Maybe, just maybe, that Brazilian kid was right. “If home is where the heart is, then where ever Parkway Drive is, that is home”. Well said buddy, well said.