Twelve Foot Ninja
170 Russell, Melbourne VIC
January 12th, 2018
Supports: Caligula’s Horse and I Built The Sky
Twelve Foot Ninja bookended their Monsoon Tour with a hometown show on Friday night, bringing Caligula’s Horse and I Built The Sky along for the ride. And if that weren’t enough, in true Melbourne style, mother nature brought the monsoon itself, with storms lashing the city in the lead-up to their sold-out show at 170 Russell.
Before doors opened, there was a long and winding line heading back down the seedy alley above 170 Russell, which is always a good sign for the night ahead. First support duties fell to I Built The Sky, a band who I am only familiar with by name. They delivered an impressive set, using their instruments to create a striking, heavy sound which reminded me of the breakneck pace of Gojira, though without the use of vocals. Next up were Caligula’s Horse, who I have had the pleasure of seeing only once a few years ago. Confidence and charisma oozes from their set, delivering an incredible performance which screamed “headline act”. It’s a sentimental night for the Brisbane band, with vocalist Jim Grey commenting on the fact that Twelve Foot Ninja were one of the first bands to give their act a slot to tour on, introducing them to Australian audiences many years ago. I’m sure many beers were shared backstage in appreciation of this fact!
With their stage lighting set up to resemble the arches of a dojo, Twelve Foot Ninja are met with a rapturous reception upon entering the stage. Opening with ‘Monsoon’, they hardly break a sweat, delivering a performance for the ages. Vocalist Kin storms the stage, deftly balancing melodic vocals and trademark growls. The set mixes up songs from both of their LPs, but sadly fails to acknowledge much of their EP tracks. Despite this, it’s hard to find a fault in the show. TFN have always struck me as a band who could have been seen as a gimmick with their ninja themed clothing and stage presence. Instead, they have successfully used it to give their music a persona, one which deserves to be recognised as a powerhouse presence of Australian rock.
It’s always a pleasure to be amongst a sell-out crowd for Australian bands, but it’s an even greater feeling when all three bands deliver world class performances. The triple-threat! Each act held their own tonight, solidifying the sure-fire fact that they each have successful roads ahead.
I Built The Sky
Twelve Foot Ninja