Thursday, September 26, 2013
You would be hard pressed to find a more polite yet ecstatic crowd than the one that filled Metro City to its absolute limits this past Thursday. The surging sea of black shirts and long hair did little to cover up the cheek to cheek grins of eager fans awaiting the ear thrashing of a lifetime.
Aptly beginning the night with Swarm, which swirls its way around your head into a buzzing storm of electricity, Meshuggah threw down song after song, barely pausing between, giving Perth fans as much eclectic extreme metal as possible. It wasn’t difficult to see why many bands do indeed ‘rip off Meshuggah’ as Devin Townsend suggests, what with their seemingly vastly superior grip on complex polyrhythms and intricate patterns, creating a mind melting mix of experimental and progressive metal. Although their innovative genius did not quite seem to translate so well to a live stage show, mainly due to a slightly lacking stage presence, there were more than enough die-hard fans and enthralled novices spurring Meshuggah on throughout the dizzyingly sophisticated set. Unrelenting and baffling double kick patterns with trashy china smacks during the opening of obZen solidified drummer Tomas Haake as one of the greats.
‘What’s up Perth?’ bellowed Lamb Of God front man Randy Blythe, bringing cheers from the crowd who were undoubtedly relieved to see him back on a stage where he belongs. Even though following Meshuggah is not the most well laid plan, what was up was spirits, as Lamb Of God punished eardrums and loosened necks even further with their heavy as anything set. Randy called for care during this ‘bogan extravaganza,’ and it was easy to see why, once the powerful and punchy Walk With Me In Hell began. Luckily his cautioning didn’t fall on deaf ears, only slightly ringing ones, and despite the formation of several circle pits there were no major dramas. Many more crowd favourites were served up during this high energy set, such as the lyrically echoed and catchy as hell Now You’ve Got Something To Die For, the fast and frenetic The Undertow, and the constantly tempo changing and surprisingly groovy Contractor. After a brief interlude, consisting of the monologue opening from Omerta, Lamb Of God showed their softer side with melodic instrumental song The Passing, however this quieter pace was short lived. The crowd didn’t need to be told twice ‘Nobody stand still, dammit!’ during the decidedly Pantera-channelling Redneck. The thwacking snare lead up to the final song of the night Black Label rang through the packed venue, sounding like a marching beat calling out for the troupes of fans to march on out, but not without a little Ric Flair ‘woo woo!’ to send them on home.
_ LIANA KELLY