After ranting for about a week how Karnivool was going to show up in Chennai & Kolkata but NOT Delhi, made me exasperated! But then miraculously Up Your Arts and Play Floyd pulled some strings and it was announced that Karnivool will make a quick stop to Delhi as well, in a festival called Lockdown Festival.
‘Kingdom of dreams’ was chosen as the venue, a place where mostly weird ass dance shows and the like are performed, a place for family outings, as well as showcasing some Indian heritage, which ultimately makes it a majestic and dream-like venue for live performances. Gold giant elephants, epic palaces, an Indian bazaar like food court, mainly everything that resembles a ‘medieval India’ is what KOD is.
After three opening bands (Yonsample, The Uncertainty Principle & The Circus), finally Karnivool took the stage without much chit chat, and there was a thunderous ‘Goliath’ inception to the show. The rumbling deep bass tone came up to be joined with angelic vocals by Ian Kenny. The overall sound was of the highest order; sometimes almost comparable to studio-like precision. The lighting arrangement couldn’t get better and accentuated the whole experience.
Karnivool has varied with every one of their three major releases, starting from a nu and alternative metal sound with progressive elements to formulating something that is completely their own. Most innovative track on their first major release Themata, the title track paved the way for their evolution and that track is the reason I got caught in the fanboi-isms and obsession for them. Catching this track live was surely a life changing incident and it felt upgraded with their more solid and produced present sound. Although they didn’t play the extended live version that they usually do, I was more than content.
Karnivool jelled out most of sound awake in their set list, dropping most of the lighter tracks and going on with the shorter and medium length songs, playing least off their most recent release Asymmetry. The impeccable intro of Set Fire to Hive , the hypnotic mind churning bass and beat of We Are coupled with The Refusal’s heavy mosh driven riffs and neck damaging hooks showcased how mood altering Karnivool can be. The rhythm section was an absolute beast with Steve Judd and Jon Stockmann creating the impenetrable base for Karnivool’s sound. The sound levels seemed perfect (from at least where I was standing, which was perfectly in front, with the barricade) except the guitars volume could’ve been just a little more high. The electronic sounds/ambience was also executed above par. Guitarists Mark Hosking and Drew Goddard gave unbelievable intense performances.
Out of the lighter tracks, Karnivool played Umbra and All I know, which was a transcendental experience to witness, to say the least, and I wasn’t even high that night. They belted out fan favourites from the Themata as well, which gave a completely time travelling feel. Mauseum, Cote & Roquefort were nostalgia driven and with a ‘give-your-neck-a-cramp-for-the-week’ execution.
Vocalist Ian Kenny was seraphic in his performance (eccentric dances and grooving like a boss) without a single hiccup throughout the gig and surely so was the band! I just cannot stress enough how spectacular the vocals went in sync with the overall sound of the band both at heavy and relatively lighter parts of their set.
The only cons I could think of was almost nil band-crowd interaction (maybe because the barricade was quite far from the stage), even though the crowd was full of people reciting lyrics word to word. There were waterfalls and more ‘aesthetically’ pleasurable things around the stage which made it a lot less wider arena for the crowd. Though the venue couldn’t have been better for the band (with all those Medieval Indian feels and Golden extravaganza) the shorter attendees had a bad time trying to view the stage as maybe floor wasn’t slanted as it should be for a stage show.
New Day was the encore song and boy, was it perfect. Ian could completely control those high notes in this extreme difficulty of a vocal song. It WILL be hard to get this show out of my mind as I have neither had the opportunity of watching one of my top favourite bands nor I have seen anyone this impeccable live. Top notch stage act from the Aussie Proggers!
Set Fire to the Hive
All I know