Rosemount Hotel, WA
May 6th, 2018
Support: Sikth, AlithiA and Make Way For Man
Perth, let’s finish this baby off, right! Australia have been treated to some excellent live music over the past week as humble U.S. proggers The Contortionist returned once again to sample their glorious talents. As per usual nowadays, the lineup was packed with remarkable artists that fit the bill quite nicely.
Local outfit Make Way For Man have been scoring support slots for some big names over the last couple of years; the band have undergone member changes, style progression and musical maturity. The West Australians sampled some tight tracks, emphasising impressive riffs and pounding drums. Make Way For Man exercised strong unison on stage with growling exhale vocals leaning beautifully on the breakdowns dependent of others. It seems like the band are really finding their feet in the style that they flourish in.
What came next was something that no one expected (unless you had a sneak peek into them already). Reigning from Melbourne, AlithiA, a highly experimental band who took fans on a mystical journey; it felt like we had exited the wardrobe to Narnia. The six-piece band openly huddled and launched on stage with blistering confidence to introduce Perth to a new approach to prog. After a minute’s cagey introduction begging a squinting curiosity from the crowd, AlithiA squandered structure to the crowd before returning to a chaotic mixture of drums and crunchy riffs. The space rock band delivered an interesting set that ranged between harmonious and heavy, with a closing track that culminated to an appreciative crescendo leaving a fine taste in the mouths of Perth fans.
The Rosemount Hotel was certainly alive on this fine Sunday night in Perth, with a musical evening only halfway through. The nest in the west have been waiting many years for British metalers Sikth to grace our shores and showcase over a decades’ worth of fine existence. It was abundantly clear that the crowd were largely made up of hardcore fans of the dynamic outfit. Sikth highlighted their djent-focus on stage with a technical set that balanced the spotlight of both vocalists Mikee Goodman and Joe Rosser. The band were highly interactive with the crowd, encouraging participation (including circle pits of course) and general banter. They were stoked to make it down under, to Perth specifically, and made a point of acknowledging our country’s calibre of original bands. The Brits launched breakdowns across the venue with style and precision, urging fans to beg for more, with one even requesting a headline gig immediately.
Despite the schedule running a little over time, it was definitely worth the wait to witness The Contortionist modestly enter the dimly lit stage to platform gems from their latest record Clairvoyant. The American group have a way of captivating the attention of others, and its through pure mastery. The thing about catching a set from these guys is, not so much hearing your favourite tracks live on stage, but rather catching a glimpse of an authentic virtuoso team. The Contortionist are incredibly talented at merging the art of progressive metal and harmonic symphonies. It’s less about the metal and more about the experience.
As they usually go about their shows, the boys from Indianapolis band entrenched themselves in the mood of Clairvoyant, dedicating the majority of their set to it – working in their favour. Each track transitioned seamlessly to the next. Michael Lessard’s vocals were on-point as usual, yet still showcasing ongoing improvements. The singer embraces the harmonies of the band’s climaxes as he stands side-on to the crowd with his eyes closed and body feeling every note – beautiful scenes in Perth. The crowd nodded in synchronicity to the band’s flowing energy.
Before winding things up in Perth, the band returned to their timeless duo ‘Language’ and ‘Language II’ which urged a roar from the satisfied crowd. All-in-all, it was an excellent evening that boasted an incredible value for money, showcasing some incredible musical talent for progressive metal across three continents.
Gig Review by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Make Way For Men