KARNIVOOL / VOYAGER – Live – Adelaide, Australia Nov12

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KARNIVOOL / VOYAGER – Live – Adelaide, Australia

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KARNIVOOL / VOYAGER – Live – Adelaide, Australia

It’s going to be a huge night here with proggers Voyager and Karnivool in support of the mighty Deftones. The last time I saw Voyager was in support of Nightwish where their high energy stage presence and straight up rock won over the crowd. It would have been easy for them to be forgotten with Nightwish and Taberah on that bill but, no way, they delivered that night.

So, here we are, a few months later and it’s the same faces in the band but they have grown. Persistent touring with a host of names have helped hone this band into the real deal. They are a blend of high energy prog and straight out hard rock. From the off, the crowd was into it. Part of that appeal is guitar heroine Simone Dow who has to be one of the most expressive guitar players out there at the moment. For those in the media accusing Steve Vai of having, ‘guitar face’ then come watch Simone high kick, power point, face full and tongue poke her way through the set. Not only a guitarist worth your review but a photographer’s dream performer – thank you Simone. But that goes for the band who are together, unified and playing off each other, enjoying every moment. I can even forgive the fact that they dropped Darude’s Sandstorm into the set. I should have expected it given they played a melody of dodgy covers at ProgPower in the US, finishing with America, F**k Yeah! I should have been expecting Voyager to pull this off but the bloke next to me went into a crumping dance frenzy for the next two minutes. The stuff you see at prog gigs.

Great performance by Voyager and it’s time for an Australian headlining tour because there is so much material that a support spot just doesn’t do it the justice and recognition it deserves. Hyperventilating was the song of the night. Any chance of a TesseracT / Voyager double header??

As one Perth band leaves the stage, another comes on-board and it’s time for Karnivool. The chant from the crowd goes up and the band kick into Simple Boy with a growling groove that’s deep down in the basement somewhere. Front man Ian Kenny is, in my opinion, right up there with Clint Boge in terms of vocals and the best that Australia has to offer. He is a great front man and an immense vocalist. If there is a local edition of some dodgy dance show then there is a separate career for him there as well. From the outset the band are in the groove and it’s clear that a large chunk of the audience is here for Karnivool.

As the set progresses we get another track from the Sound Awake album and it’s time for Set Fire to the Hive. When I had originally heard this on release back about seven years ago there was a riff half way through it that came back at the end of the song and was more Gojira than prog. Hearing that live again… it’s a gem of a song, from a cracking album. The very under-rated, in terms of chart activity, Themata is up and it’s far more expansive than the album edition. This song sounds huge tonight and the crowd know every word. Just take a moment Ian, we have this.

The set closes with a New Day. It’s a fine closer to bookend an immense performance from both Voyager and Karnivool. This is smart planning, whoever put this tour together, as these bands cover the complete genre through progressive to alternative. Both the support bands could have stood on their own tonight but if you were the Deftones could you really hope for anything better than this? If you haven’t seen either of these bands then it’s time to get amongst it. For Voyager you really can’t go past the album V. Let’s imagine that you don’t know Karnivool…then have a listen to the album Sound Awake

Review: Craig Grant

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