Supported by Born Lion

By Meghan Player

It’s a rad state of affairs when one of Australia’s biggest prog bands and a band that is threatening to dominate the rock scene, combine for one huge night of heavy riffage – and tonight’s bill is just that.

Sydney locals Born Lion open the night with their infectious, in-your-face tunes. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I dig this band, and it’s for the same reason each time. They not only play their sets with enough energy to power a village [and enjoy every minute of it], but they get straight to the point; no mucking around, no bullshit, no fluff – just straight-up, honest rock and roll.

Unsurprisingly, the band manage to blow me away again tonight, demonstrating how far they have progressed in the last year or so – their confidence building with each gig and growing crowd numbers.

Tonight’s crowd however, is dominated by Karnivool fans; and from the opening minute, it’s not hard to see why.

The lights dim, the curtains are drawn across, and the band bask in the moody lighting of the HiFi as the rapturous applause and animalistic noise of the crowd threatens to crush the sound barrier to pieces. And then it really begins.

Heavy, melodic, crunching guitars and bass are met with tight-as-fuck drums that rip through whatever is left of my dwindling hearing. The only thing making the sound even more melodically epic is frontman Ian Kenny‘s soaring vocals that rise above the crowd, transporting us to another world – if not another dimension.

The contrast of vocals to maximum riffage on any Karnivool album is a thing to behold, but to hear it in a live setting, prepare to be completely in awe.

The band power their way through a predominately older song set list, with the newer Asymmetry tracks brilliantly highlighted in between. However, it’s when Kenny takes to the stage with nothing but an acoustic guitar, that the crowd seem completely mesmerised; caught under the melodic spell.

Certainly, tonight was a triumph in every sense of the word – with both Born Lion and Karnivool showcasing just how alive and kicking the Australian music scene is.


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