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Words and photography by Elizabeth Sharpe | @ummagummamumma


It’s been a long time coming! The inaugural night of Karnivool‘s ‘Tri Continental Drift’ Tour at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall is finally upon us! I, for one, am SO ready for this and I’m certainly not alone… the line for the doors weaves and wraps its way around to Warner St as the punters steadily make their way into the sold-out venue – as a matter of fact, all shows on this tour are sold out, and it’s to no surprise at all. It’s been a long time between Karnivool drinks and we’re all thirsty as hell!

The Fortitude Music Hall is buzzing with anticipation, and the merch desk is busy right from the get-go. Everyone has just enough time to grab their drinks from the bar and get themselves a spot in the hall before the lights dim and the five members of Sleep Talk take to the stage, receiving a very warm welcome from the crowd who have already well and truly packed out the venue.

From the first beat of Salt Of The Earth, we can tell these guys are not here to fuck around.  The Adelaide melodic hardcore outfit expertly blending elements of post-hardcore and alternative rock with a raw energy that is commanding the punter’s attention.

“We love this shit!” Vocalist Jacob Grinrod yells out, before letting us all know that they’ve just put out a new EP (no prizes for guessing what’s being added to my playlist tomorrow!) and they carry on to set a high bar for tonight’s show.

Grinrod’s impassioned delivery resonates through the hall, and during the instrumental sections, absolutely nothing can wipe that smile off his face – this visual display of gratitude is matched as he takes a moment out of the set to “give a massive thanks to Karnivool for having us here!”

Their setlist, includes their tracks Watch You Leave, from their 2016 ‘Growing Pains’ and Charged and Spite Lines from their latest release ‘Go Be Happy’, showcased their dynamic range and ability to connect with the audience.

Between bands, the stage (the whole hall really) is flooded with smoke.  The lights are all switched off and the house music comes to an abrupt halt causing the mass of Karnivool fans’s to reach fever pitch. Steve Judd takes his place behind the kit and settles in for the ride – he begins the powerful drum sequence for the opening of All It Takes as the other band members emerge from the shadows and assume their positions.

Cote is the second song of the night, and it looks like security has already pulled one all-too-eager fan over the barrier… maybe a sign of rowdy things to come!! The first few hits on guitar for Goliath, and the crowd goes wild—it’s yet another fan-favourite. With the energy and pure skill this song exudes on record, witnessing it performed live is a whole other level.

Mauseum beckons the crowd to chant along and from that song on, the singing from the crowd don’t stop, won’t stop, as everyone simultaneously takes their chance to play Ian Kenny’s backing vocalist… we can all dream, right?!

Launching into an electrifying rendition of Simple Boy, the intricate guitar work of Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking works wonders with the pulsating rhythms of Jon Stockman‘s bass and Judd‘s masterful drumming, all weaved to perfection with Kenny’s vocals to create a masterpiece right before our eyes.  Each member of Karnivool demonstrating their virtuosity and musical cohesion.

“How you doing Brisbane? You feeling good?!”

One punter yells out “Come play the coolly hotel?” Kenny replies with a laugh, “Yeah man, we’ve played that place a thousand times, and what sad news about The Zoo man, we’ve played there too, rest in peace!” With the recent, devastating news of The Zoo‘s impending closure, this was a heartwarming /breaking mention from Kenny for the local crowd.  Considering these guys have come all the way from Perth, it’s clearly a loss that is being mourned country-wide.

The setlist was a carefully curated blend of old, new, and unreleased utter magic, seamlessly transitioning between newer cuts like Aozora, the introspective beauty of Animation off their upcoming album, crowd favourites like Roquefort and Themata as well as progressive epics like Aeons. Kenny‘s vocals were a highlight, effortlessly shifting from haunting whispers to soaring melodies, captivating the audience with every note.

Visually, the concert was a complimentary spectacle; ranging from ethereal hues to explosive bursts of colour, enhancing the mood of each song and creating an immersive experience that mirrored the sonic landscapes Karnivool is known for.

“This one’s called New Day – til the next time my friends!” Says Kenny, leading us into what was surely one of the most poignant moments of the night, with the band delivering a soul-stirring rendition of New Day, leaving the crowd in awe and gratitude for Australian prog rock titans and the musical journey they had just experienced.

In essence, Karnivool’s ‘Tri Continental Drift’ Tour opener is yet another testament to the band’s evolution and enduring impact on the progressive rock scene and Australian music scene as a whole. It was a night of musical transcendence; a mesmerizing exploration of musical genius and emotional depth. Boundaries were blurred, emotions ran deep, the band left it all on the stage, and the audience was left with a profound sense of awe and inspiration.

Thanks to Deathproof PR

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