Karnivool @ Melbourne Town Hall – 1 & 2 Aug ’13

There is no denying that Karnivool effectively took my soul, messed with it and returned it to me at in a slightly altered, yet vastly improved state of existence at the conclusion of a two night run at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Seeing these guys live in the past has always been a monumental experience in the gig and festival memories of years gone by. This time was all about hearing the noticeably different sounds of Asymmetry in a live environment after being officially released a few weeks ago with all its complexity and intensity.

After the anticipated stage entry to Asymmetry, opening with A.M War made these complexities evident with the uncertainty of rhythm leaving some of the crowd in a standstill without murmuring a single lyric (just give it time…) but by following with the more familiar Themata, everyone was on board.

Karnivool @ Melb Town Hall - 1 Aug

Karnivool @ Melb Town Hall – 1 Aug

Nachash is a powerhouse on the album, but it comes into its own live roaring through the venue before the rolling rhythms of We Are accompanied by emotive crowd sing-alongs. In fact, all the intensity of Asymmetry is heighted live, as it should be and further evidenced by The Refusal and The Last Few exploding through, and the dynamic contrast between the delicate and extreme in Alpha Omega.

New material was not incorporated at the expense of Themata and Sound Awake, the band’s first and second full length albums, with the amazing intensity of Goliath gracing ears early on in the set, along with the epic Deadman and ripping Set Fire to the Hive. Small changes to the set each evening meant hearing older favourites  C.O.T.E and Shutterspeed on Thursday, and replaced by Simple Boy on Friday with a sea of heads moving in almost perfect unison.

Nothing on either evening could surpass the chorale of New Day as the defining moment, with voices raised to the height of the ceiling and beyond. Aeons is probably the surprise track from the album in the live set, a surprisingly fitting end to both evenings with roaring cheers and the unavoidable disappointment of the venue lights beings turned back on.

Karnivool @ Melb Town Hall - 2 Aug

Karnivool @ Melb Town Hall – 2 Aug

There is something absolutely captivating and soul-stirring that hits you, losing you in the music and taking you somewhere else when you see Karnivool. There is no one element that is attributed to all the gut wrenching, heart stopping and shiver inducing moments that made even the most macho fans lose themselves in the music. Individually each of the band members is incredible to watch but together there is an unmistakable synergy that creates something truly magical whilst still remaining humbled and gracious for the support of their fans.

Unsurprisingly exceptional, particularly with an overtly committed and enthused crowd on Friday night, the shows were another reminder of the sheer brilliance of seeing Karnivool live. Of course, there were a handful of tracks that I would have loved to see on the set list, but there’s always next time…

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