Just saw these guys last night, and once again they put on a fantastic show.
My best friend had our tickets but he was running late so unfortunately I missed Northlane's set. Buy the time we got in Karnivool were just about to begin.
It's really cool when you see a band from the early stages grow and evolve to bigger heights. From seeing them even before Steve Judd was in the band during the Persona days up until now, watching the audience also grow in numbers over the years is pretty damn awesome. A massive venue such as the Melbourne Town Hall was just perfect for this band.
The lights went off and Assymetry samples kick in. Drew Goddard was the first to step out, played the chords as the rest of the band followed suit. Once it ended, he quickly changed guitars () and the band went right into kicking off the night.
It was a mix of old and new and whatever in between where the first few numbers were balancing between new hard hitters like A.M War and Nacash to sing-along anthems like Themata and Cote (the crowd went right off here). My friend commented that 4 songs in no Sound Awake material yet, but right afterwards, the band unleashed the fury of Golliath and the crowd reacted accordingly. The favorites continued on for the next 3 songs to a point my friend and I were singing all the harmony parts and even the ooohs on Deadman, and losing our voices at the same time... fun times that we do every time we see the Vool.
The musicianship of the band is always a sight to behold. The constant touring and festival shows have made the band command a bigger stage better and it certainly showed. Ian Kenny, still the same old weirdo we all love, sang and hit every note like a true intense frontman. The rhythm section was just as thunderous as ever. Jon Stockman (who looks more like Theon Greyjoy these days) played bass with tremendous authority, even showing a few tricks like loops on Alpha Omega. It's a good reminder how much the band is really bass/drums driven. Steve Judd, aside from hitting the gym a fair amount lately, is still the same monster behind the kit. All the new complex songs were flawless. And he showcased the art of drum dynamics on We Are by naturally fading out, a practice often forgotten by rock/metal drummers.
Drew was as cool as ever ripping some nice tasty solos and showing off his impressive PRS collection as well as an SE Mike Mushok Baritone for The Last Few. No mandolin this time around though... The biggest surprise is Mark Hosking. Not only showing an equally impressive PRS collection (some with midi pickups installed), he had the most elaborate setup and played the most unorthodox bits. Synth chords on We Are, as well as his electric xylophone with laptop and iPad by his side. It's like watching a mad scientist at work. Of course he wasn't restrained during his rockstar guitar moments too. I was also aware that he played with a broken finger, but that didn't stop him at all. Truly a gifted bunch.
Now towards the end of the set, a lot of the Assymetry material was played. And it was obvious that not all the crowd was fully into them, especially when back to back with the crowd chanting the lyrics for New Day. Hell, it came to a point where my friend was yelling "PLAY FADE!" or me yelling "LET'S GET MUNTED AT TAPPYS AFTERWARS!"... really obscure reference that very few will get. Yes, as mentioned, the new album takes some time to fully digest, and yes many have expressed their dislike for it altogether. Admittedly Alpha Omega was one of the tracks I didn't really get into initially, but all that changed when they began the song. It was dark, atmospheric and great for such a classy venue. Returning with Aeons was a great way to end the night and solidified that the new album material is much better experienced live.
Now I've seen Karnivool at least once for every tour they've done and while it may sound biased for me to say this, they really are a band that keeps getting better and better. For the rest of the world, see this band live! Those in Melbourne who didn't see them last night, they're playing again tonight, highly recommended.
Setlist (from what I can recall):
All I Know
Amusia/The Last Few
Set Fire To The Hive
Overall: 5 Dios.
I would go into complete nerdgasm if I could get a list of equipment they're using, particularly what Mark is using for MIDI.