Karnivool, sleepmakeswaves, The Redcoats @ The Tivoli, Brisbane (20/07/2012)

By the time the last chord had faded out, the rafters at The Tivoli had been rattled and the floor shaken by the thunderous energy of three great Australian rock acts. You know you’ve been to a great show when bits of ceiling start to fall down to the stage.

Following an opening set from sleepmakeswaves, The Redcoats from Melbourne took the stage. Their performance possessed a timeless quality reminiscent of a 70’s band, but with a current psychedelic rock edge. Performing songs that often juxtapose beautiful vocal melodies over heavy drum and bass lines, their sound is thick and cohesive. It’s no wonder why they, (after releasing their single Dreamshaker) went onto do a national tour with Stone Temple Pilots.

The eager fans were excited for Karnivool to take the stage. Their passionate performance proved they are worthy of being referred to as Australia’s leading progressive rock band. It was nearly impossible not to be swept away by the raging undertow of their music. The entire building shook with the momentum of each song.

Lining the stage on either side of the drums were Andrew Goddard (lead guitar), Ian Kenny (lead vocal), Jon Stockman (bass), and Mark Hosking (guitar, vocal). This stage set up gave the distinct impression that there is balance and equality within the band.

It’s refreshing to see a lead vocalist stand side by side with his band mates. There is an endearing humility about him (and the band as a whole) that draws the listener. Goddard’s writing sensibilities and talent is foundational to the success Karnivool have had so far. Barefoot and ready to rock, he added his talented guitar tones to the massive Karnivool sound.

Stockman carved out some meaty bass lines, while Hosking’s stage presence, brought an excellent energy to the mix. Steve Judd sat shirtless, enthroned by his sparkly drum kit, ready to throw down some hard-hitting drumbeats. Drenched in sweat after only a few songs, it was easy to see and appreciate his intense talent and focus. It’s interesting to note that his ride cymbal was swapped out between several songs, much like a guitarist would trade guitars with their tech. He delivers every hit with intensity and precision.

Goliath and Simple Boy wound up the mostly twenty-something audience, who responded by jumping and shouting lyrics back at the stage. During the song Set Fire To The Hive from their album Sound Awake the atmosphere was like a wild beehive swarming with frenzied fist pumping. The soaring vocal in the chorus of All I Know, had fans singing together at the top of their lungs.

Aptly named Melodias Frescas, this tour is all about the future of the band. The set list was peppered with new material. From the reaction of the crowd throughout the show, it is evident Karnivool has a very solid fan base in Australia who are ready for the latest edition in an already powerful discography.

The set finished with a fantastic three-song encore. Aeons was first, then into Themata which pushed the atmosphere to new highs. A New Day was a perfect end to this show as that is what Karnivool fans are anticipating, and what the band is forging towards. Karnivool has been said to be Australia’s best-kept secret, hopefully their forthcoming album lets the cat out of the bag.