12/1/18 // Twelve Foot Ninja, Caligula’s Horse, IBUILTTHESKY // 170 Russell, Melbourne
IBUILTTHESKY. What a way to start the night!
Ro & co were tasked with the hard enough job of warming up an already near capacity room and instead of easing into things they proceeded to give the audience a non-stop onslaught of riffs and pure showmanship.
Sams bass was so utterly dialled I could feel it rumbling my guts as I took the stairs down into the venue. Lighting was a bit all over the place so catching a glimpse of the fret work was dicey at best but Ro’s guitar was right up front and centre of the mix and not a moment was missed. Drums were tight and punchy, shred-levels were high and over all played a great mix of album highlight tracks too. The best thing about these cats is that the music is very melodic and not TOO proggy so you can just listen and enjoy it. Crowd loved it too.
Not even 10 minutes later ‘Caligulas Horse’ were taking stage.
Vocals were incredibly clear. Falsetto to die for. Total control and projection, u could see how much effort they put into the performance.
I’m not the most familiar with all of their work but the subtle differences between the 2 guitarists tones and even playing style really stood out to me.
Highlight moment of their set was the utterly killer djent moment at the end of ‘Rust’. Heads were banging and the room just throbbed. The band played a range of newer material from ‘In Contact’ as well as a few older songs and sounded as good if not better than albums. Especially for the older material with which I am most familiair.
+1 floor tom sounding amazing. Seems weird to mention but the drums were huge and that one in particular…was effing huge.
Next up Twelve Foot Ninja.
They took way too long in between acts to come on forcing us to endure some of the worst house music imaginable. Sometimes I wonder if sounds guys/bands are being ironic or they just actually don’t care? Maybe it’s time to get some DJ’s to spin tracks in between bands? Just a thought.
IBTS and Caligulas Horse were only like 10minutes between them..super impressive. TFN made us wait like 20+ …bastards.
Loved the theatrical entrance though, big lights blinding and with a with a big fuzzy whoosh they launched into ‘Monsoon’ (the Indian tune from outlier) with the familiar bouncy middle eastern riff. You’d think this is where it all goes off, the build-up, the explosion after all that anticipation! Nope.
It was the mix. Sounded like we were outside the venue waiting to get inside. But I WAS INSIDE. Considering maybe my spot was dodgy, I shuffled about the venue to the left side, to the right, behind the sound desk. All the same. The sound was just awful.
‘Mother Sky’ was second up, crowd goes mental at the start with the bass throbbing in the intro. Should’ve felt crushing when that riff launched but instead it was..well..like listening through cardboard headphones. Muddy..kind of hollow and really really noisey. Nothing was clear, nothing cut through save for the kick drum which sounded more like a ‘click’ than a thud. Eww.
Crowd participation was high all-time high though with punters screaming the choruses back in force. Feels great to share in those moments and I almost forgave the sound issue. Almost.
The crazy sounds Stevic pulls with his rig were seamless and his feet are fun to watch as he dances around his pedal board (I mean guitar computer). Sadly though anytime the big heavy bits were supposed to rupture spleens and punch faces, they just felt messy. Like yeh it was loud and the music is recognisable but when the two support acts sound almost better than their recorded work..and the headline band (highly regarded for this fact themselves) come out sounding like they’re only half mic’d up, you have to wonder what’s going on.
The crowd singing the ending coda of ‘Oxygen’ was an evening highlight. The band stopped to let the people chant and then broke back in with the audience and jammed along in an extended groove. Very very cool.
Great stage presence from the band as expected and they really gave it their all. The enormous backdrop of the outlier ninja behind them made for a great spectacle too. Other unexpected highlights included the sale of the ‘Silent Alarm’ graphic novel which I bought without hesitation.
Overall great song selection of huge tracks from ‘Silent Alarm’ and ‘Outlier’. Anyone remotely interested in the bands work would have been stoked to hear all the favourites. ‘Collateral’ was another massive moment with all its dynamic ups and downs. It just really sucks that the sheen and polish of such a great band was diminished by the poorest live sound I’ve heard outside of a high school battle-of-the-bands in the local gymnasium.
(+1 for Rohan trying to teach the crowd his highly complicated spirit finger/worship dance. He’s a special one. Clearly they still take the piss and haven’t lost their humour after touring for like ever)