The crowd of people amassed in and around The Triffid is beaming with excitement from the moment the doors open and so they should be, they’re about to bear witness to one of the greatest live bands this country has to offer.
Karnivool have been pretty quiet the last few years, appearing briefly for the odd live show here and there but over the last 6 months or so their activity has been ramping up and tonight it takes the form of The Praxis Tour hitting one of Brisbane’s premier live venues for the first of two sold out shows.
Opening for Perth’s progressive rock powerhouse tonight is Southeast Desert Metal, a quartet labeled as ‘the most isolated heavy metal band in the world”. They hail from the small indigenous community of Santa Teresa in Central Australia and they instantly express how grateful they are to be here playing their music for the small but appreciative crowd.
They power through a solid 40 minutes of Metallica-esque riffage opening with Disturbing The Spirits from their self-titled 2015 album. Or the first part of the set they give off an early Godsmack vibe with their chunky riffs and solid rhythm section but later it evolves into a more Master Of Puppets-era Metallica sound, especially on the song Suicide.
Singer/guitarist Chris Wallace’s voice breaks through the fray of their powerful tunes and soars high above as he and fellow guitarist Gavin Hayes deliver flawless solos one after the other. Keep your eye on these guys.
Up next is the main event and as the lights go down a green light washes over the stage and one by one the members of Karnivool take their positions and ready themselves for the show. Receiving the most energetic crowd response, vocalist extraordinaire Ian Kenny appears and the band waste no time launching into the 10+ minute epic Change from 2009’s critically acclaimed album Sound Awake. It’s a bold move to open with such a long song but the crowd love it from the epic opening to the subtle outro of Kenny alone on stage with just his voice and an acoustic guitar.
Before the crowd can catch their breath, the opening notes of Simple Boy resonate throughout The Triffid and again the crowd goes wild. They sing every single word back to the band and you can tell that the boys in Karnivool love and appreciate the support. Dual guitarists Mark Hosking and Drew Goddard are in fine form both with their guitar work and the backup harmonies they provide for Kenny’s impeccable vocals.
“Welcome to the show my friends!” Kenny declares as Jon Stockman’s solid bass line opens the hit single We Are from their 2013 release Asymmetry. Again the sing-alongs are in action and it’s obvious from here on that Kenny his musical cohorts have the crowd in the palms of their hands.
Digging back further into their catalogue, Karnivool deliver a crushing rendition of Mauseum from their debut effort Themata. The crowd enjoys this just as much as the more recent material and are just as boisterous throughout the entire song. “Thank you very much my friends” Kenny greets the crowd before launching into the blistering Set Fire To The Hive which features one of the more epic light shows of the evening and some extremely furious fretwork from Goddard.
It’s been a while in between albums for the band and tonight the fans appetites for new music are somewhat satiated with the debut of two new songs Animation and the darker, more brooding Reanimation, both of which are extremely well received. The fans listen closely to their first taste of new material in years but also throw back as much energy as the band pump out.
They delve back into Themata territory with the crowd favourite Shutterspeed before they play yet another new track, one which has been played on their previous tour supporting Deftones, All It Takes. The energy in the room continues to climb through Goliath before simmering for a brief moment during the softer number Aeons. Closing out the first part of the set with the titular track from Themata, Kenny and co. exit the stage to enormous cries for an encore. And of course they deliver! Quickly busting out Roquefort much to the crowds delight, the band say their thanks and announce the last track of the evening to be fan favourite New Day which sees Kenny getting intimate with the front row of the crowd for a massive sing along in the songs closing moments.
It’s a show for the ages, it always is with Karnivool and as they leave promising to see us again soon you can’t help but wait with bated breath for the moment you get to see them again.
KARNIVOOL - THE PRAXIS TOUR
With special guests: Southeast Desert Metal
TIX ON SALE NOW VIA KARNIVOOL.COM
29.05 The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay NSW
30.05 Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
31.05 Roundhouse, Sydney NSW
01.06 Kambri ANU, Canberra ACT
02.06 UOW Unibar, Wollongong NSW
05.06 The Croxton, Melbourne VIC
07.06 Pier Hotel, Frankston VIC
08.06 Rock Rover, Fremantle WA