Karnivool ‘Sound Awake’ Livestream at The Heath Ledger Theater in Perth

Karnivool playing in the theatre

Karnivool are a prog band from Australia. They’ve been around for a while, originally formed in 1997 by vocalist Ian Kenny; they released their debut EP ‘Persona’ in 2001. Their releases have been spaced out quite a lot, with almost five years between each album. Their earlier releases had heavy alternative metal influences, but their 2009 release ‘Sound Awake’ took that sound and developed it into a more progressive area.

Pre-covid times, Karnivool announced some tour dates that they had to cancel for obvious reasons, so to make it up to their fans, they decided to play the entirety of their 2009 release ‘Sound Awake’ and livestream it. They were even nice enough to include three different streaming times for the event so that fans in different timezones could still rock out.

The livestream took place at The Heath Ledger Theater in Perth, Australia. As you’d expect, they kicked off the show with the album opener ‘Simple Boy’, but before that, we had some shots of the theatre from outside and someone walking into the theatre. It felt like a movie, the cinematography was absolutely gorgeous and crisp.

Drew Goddard playing some leads

‘Simple Boy’ starts off with a simple Xylophone melody and immediately goes into the heavy distorted low-end rich groove that we all know and love. Ian usually does the backing vocals in the studio but here they were done by both guitarists Drew and Mark. Their performance was amazing right off the bat, they sounded even better than they did on the album. The production was really clean and everything, I mean everything was audible and sounded nice. Ian sounded great, I could discern all the lyrics,  and his energy was just through the roof.

You’d think that by the time they reached ‘Deadman’ they’d be exhausted and would sound a bit weaker than before, but that was not the case here. The sheer consistent energy emitting from these guys was insane, I could barely stay still while watching. Every song they played was beautiful and almost surreal and by the end of ‘Deadman’ that surreality was pushed by a hundred when the final section of that song started and suddenly appeared a Didgeridoo player that just boosted all the energy that was radiating. The didgeridoo definitely added so much to the ambience and helped transition into ‘Change’ perfectly.

And as if playing the whole of ‘Sound Awake’ while also having a didgeridoo was not enough of an experience, they also played some extra tracks. ‘Fade’, which is a song from their EP ‘Persona’, was performed due to popular demand. They also played ‘Aeons’ which is a song from their last album ‘Asymmetry’, and after that, Karnivool gave us yet another surprise and performed ‘Roquefort’ from their 2005 album ‘Themata’ but with a horns section; that performance was incredible, the horns added so much to the atmosphere of the song.

Steve Judd rocking out on the drums

Last but not least, they graced us with a new song called ‘All it Takes’. This song has been played live before but that was the first time I heard it in high-quality audio, and that was also an absolutely gorgeous experience. The song is HEAVY; Might be one of their heaviest tracks. It has an odd groove that is the basis of the whole song and some nice vocal hooks like you’d expect from a Karnivool song.

They had some technical difficulties on the first stream with ‘Illumine’, the stream died out of nowhere for a couple of seconds but was fixed quickly. They mentioned the problem on their Twitter and offered a rewatch to the people who caught the first stream.

This was one hell of an experience, I mentioned that I couldn’t stay seated throughout the livestream and I mean it. The pure energy this show gave me left me speechless, I was blown away. Everything came together fantastically, the production, the cinematography, the performance… I really enjoyed that show and would happily watch it over and over again.

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