Karnivool @ Metro City, Perth (15/04/11)

“Thank you for supporting nothing but local music tonight” George Green, vocalist of support act Sleepwalker, beamed. It’s difficult not to go out and support the local scene when we have such quality music sitting on our doorstep, as demonstrated by the calibre of bands playing tonight. Excited fans gathered at Metro City well before the doors were due to open, waiting to be part of what will likely be Karnivool ’s final home show for the year.

Opening the night were a fairly new band on the Perth scene, Coveleski. Musically, they were very tight. Combining dirty vocals with complex guitar patterns, they played their punk tinged rock very well together, but the between song ‘banter’ made it painfully obvious that they are a new band. Vocalist Al Rhoades seemed sheepish between songs and mumbled in incoherent sentences, showing his lack of confidence. He became a completely different creature whilst performing the songs, however. The band really should have more confidence in themselves, because they have a lot of potential. Judging from the nodding heads and cheers, the crowd enjoyed their set.

On the other end of the scale, the second band to perform, Sleepwalker exuded confidence. They owned the stage the minute they hit it. Guitarist Drew Mayhills and vocalist George Green used as much of the stage as they possibly could and really played to the audience. Cheeky Green bribed the audience to participate by throwing out Allen’s snakes to the crowd. Not that the audience needed any convincing to respond to the music, the audience were lapping up every note in their dark, melodic tunes. Sadly it was drummer Glen Rees’ last show with the band because he is moving to Tasmania. During the final song, all members of Sleepwalker crowded around the drum kit and played to him. A heart-warming tribute. The crowd were now well and truly warmed up for the final act.

By this point the venue had reached capacity. Packed in like sardines, the restless crowd began their ‘KAR-NI-VOOL!’ chants half an hour before the band were due to hit the stage. After what seemed like hours, all but one small light went dark, giving the stage an angelic glow. The crowd erupted as the members of Karnivool casually strolled onto the stage. As soon as the bass heavy riff to Goliath sounded, all hell broke loose.

The crowd went crazy!

Simple Boy started a trend that would continue for the rest of the night. Every voice in the building sang, word for word the songs back at the band. It’s amazing how one punter singing on their own sounds terrible, but singing in unison creates a truly beautiful sound. Although this occurred for every song, it was particularly evident during fan favourites, Themata, All I Know, Set Fire to the Hive and New Day.

Front man Ian Kenny, pitch perfect as always, clearly feeds off the energy of the crowd. Although he never fails to put on a good performance, he seemed really tired and lacking in energy at the beginning of the night. Four songs into the set and it was a completely different story. He launched into the off-kilter dance moves he is famous for, which continued for the remainder of the show. All members of the band were enjoying time away from the studio, as evidenced by their beaming faces.

Although the mosh had been energetic all night, Set Fire to the Hive attracted the most violent reaction for the night. The blaring sirens were the calm before the storm as the audience prepared themselves for what was to follow. As soon the easily recognisable drum pattern and guitar riff rang out, the crowd became a sweaty mass of swaying bodies, not even the punters observing the show from the stands could stay still.

Much to the pleasure of the passionate fan base, the bare-footed guitarist Drew Goddard, assured the fans that the band have been hard at work in the studio. Tonight they were kind enough the preview a new song titled The Refusal. The new track solidifies Karnivool as masters of building a song. They take all kinds of weird effects and time signatures, smoosh them together and somehow manage to make it run smoothly so that nothing seems out of place. The song starts off heavy, Bassist Jon Stockman even adds some screamed vocals, progresses to a softer sound with clean guitar melodies, and then returns to the heavy sound in which the song began. In essence the band took all elements of what they do best, then took it a step further. A promising taste of what the new album will sound like.

Teasing the audience, the band left the stage, but they were fooling no one. As they reappeared in preparation for an encore, the crowed sang the first verse of Fade in unison, hoping the band would follow suit, but sadly it was not to be. They more than made up for this by treating the old school fans to a rarity, Synops, a song which has not been heard live for many years.

The possibility of this being Karnivool’s last home show for the year made it all the more special and a huge spectacle to behold. One thing is certain; all those in attendance will not forget this night.

Karnivool Set List


Simple Boy

Fear of the Sky


All I Know




Set Fire to the Hive

The Refusal

New Day



Change (Parts 1 & 2)