Obituary - Redneck Stomp Over Australia Tour - The Prince Bandroom, Melbourne, 17.05.07

Event: Obituary: Australian Tour
Written by: Raiden
Published: 31.07.2007


Obituary - The Prince Bandroom, Melbourne, Australia, 17.05.2007 by Raiden (20)

Obituary lost their Australian touring virginity in May this year when they undertook their Redneck Stomp Down Under tour which covered four dates around mainly the east side of Australia. Many old school fans of the band were really excited about the show, seeing it as their one big opportunity to see the veteran Death Metallers live. The venue for the Melbourne show was to be the Prince Of Wales Hotel. Well, strictly speaking it was the Prince Bandroom, which is the building adjacent to the pub. So after the 2-3 hour drive, I finally found the venue, and entered to check it out. The Prince Bandroom is a fairly decent place for a metal concert. It sounded quite well, but there was also enough space considering its not huge size, and you could be where you wanted to be. One annoying thing about the place though was that there was a thick support pole right in the middle near the front of the stage, which blocked some people's view. I know something had to hold the roof up, but it was a pretty bad spot for it. When Obituary came out to play I made sure I was off to the side a bit so I could see the whole band properly. There was a bit of a delay on the first act, so people were just generally hanging out. I'd met a cool bloke at Deicide near the end of last year, and we'd planned to meet here for Obituary too. He was telling me that he got Cause Of Death for his 18th birthday back when it was first released, so he was one of the excited old school fans that I mentioned earlier. So he got a beer (which cost $6 mind!) (I was driving and had already had a couple of lights) and we just chatted until Darkest Dawn, the first support act, made an appearance.

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Darkest Dawn as it turned out is a seven piece Melodic Death Metal band. They boasted two vocalists, one male and one female, three guitarists, one bass player, and a drummer. They were previously unknown to me, but they put on a reasonable show. They had both harsh and clean vocals and some of their music was quite listenable. The room hadn't really filled out yet, but they had a pretty good reception and people were nodding their heads to the music. It was interesting to see them play though, as there were so many of them, they spread right out across the stage (which was lucky for them that the stage was wide!). But overall, their performance was pleasing, even if it wasn't overly spectacular.

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So Darkest Dawn cleared the stage and everyone chatted again while waiting for the last support act Alarum to appear. Alarum was the band I had heard of. They're a Melbourne based Thrash/Death band with some progressive influences. Still, I hadn't heard a whole lot about them, so it was nice to catch a glimpse. Initially, the instruments the band was using struck me. Their guitarist, Mark Evans, had a guitar with no head and Mark Palfreyman, their bassist/vocalist had a six string bass guitar! Their bass work was actually a highlight of their show. He was quite talented, often pulling out solos, or giving us prominent technical pieces. The drumming was also fine, as was the guitar work, but the bass playing really stood out. Alarum did well to set us in the mood for Obituary. I guess that's what a support is supposed to do, but they did it well! It was thrashy Death Metal, which got us excited, but the Progressive elements in there made their show, well...entertaining. By the time Alarum had finished, we were generally pretty impressed, and also really ready to hear from the main act of the night, Obituary.

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After another wait (I think there were yet more delays) Obituary finally stepped on to the stage. To rather rapturous applause I must say. We saw Donald, Trevor and Frank come out first. Obituary was opening with the intro track from Frozen In Time. Redneck Stomp is the name of the intro, and it makes for just as perfect an intro to a live set as it did on the album. It's extremely heavy, and just the perfect way to get you in the mood. Every single note of it brought extreme delight to my ears. John wasn't present for this intro (as it has no vocals I guess) which I think was good, because it gave the spotlight to the musicians. Once the intro finished, John jumped onto the stage, and the extremity continued with their first song Back To One. The rest of the night was to contain some further highlights and the odd disappointment. Really, overall, it was a good show though. I think that the absence of Allen West put some old school Obituary fans off though. I didn't know about his jail incident until around then, and my understanding of it was rather shady. I'd actually forgotten about it until when the band came on. But it wasn't until about halfway through their set that I noticed there hadn't been any solos. It had just been a solid ball of Death Metal up to that stage. I guess maybe people thought there wasn't as much variety as there could be. I must admit though, when I only saw four members come on to the stage initially, I got the feeling like there was something missing. Performance-wise, Obituary did quite well though. Donald's drumming was thunderous, Trevor's guitar-work was really heavy and solid all night and Frank's bass playing sounded fine. John's vocal performance was great too. He had great stage presence, moving around to all sides of the stage. He even moved off to the edge of the stage for parts of songs like Slow Death. You could see him on the side though, really getting into the music. He only did this sparingly of course, but as I said earlier, it was good of him to give the audience's attention to his band mates. His vocals sound great live though. His growls were harsh and also thorough. As fans would know from their recorded works, he does a good job of slowly churning forth harsh lyrics. And I think these days he does it better than ever. The band took a break halfway through their set and the lights dimmed ready for the second half.

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As the band put down their instruments and walked away, you could still hear sound coming from them as the guitar strings vibrated. This turned quite whiny pretty quickly and their amps had to be turned off. Soon enough though, we saw Donald emerge again. He treated us to a very well played and technical drum solo. I thought it was a nice mid-performance portion, but I think some fans thought it was a bit more along the lines of time wasting. Nevertheless, the rest of the band came on and treated us to some more of their great Death Metal anthems such as Slowly We Rot and tracks from Cause Of Death like Chopped In Half and Dying. By this point the crowd was quite into the show, as you'd expect. During some of the better songs there were people crowd surfing near the front of the stage (perhaps the only useful thing the pole in the middle provided for) and there was some serious headbanging going on. A couple of songs later, and the band retired for the night.

So overall I think Obituary's performance and the whole night was a success. There were perhaps some things that let the night down a little, but I was left with the impression of witnessing something good. I think most people felt the same way as me, but others perhaps enjoyed themselves a little less. Some people thought the set list could've been better for example. They played a lot of songs like Slow Death, Back Inside and Insane from Frozen In Time (which suited me fine because I really liked the album). But maybe some fans felt their quota of favourite songs fell a little short. Even though I thought their older albums were taken care of quite nicely and they played most of my favourites. There were a couple of technical problems throughout the night too, but nothing that stopped the overall performance from being nothing less than quite reasonable and enjoyable.



Comments: 1   Visited by: 10 users
31.07.2007 - 14:51
From what I read, this is almost exactly the same show I've seen in Toulouse in 2005 for the Frozen In Time Tour, except that they were 5 onstage then. This is one of the shows I've really enjoyed a lot, because I love Obituary and because it was really blasting. They're not really the expansive type, they don't run everywhere and they don't look overly happy, but they deliver the goods. Their performance was really powerful and the response of the crowd was enthusiastic (especially on old tracks such as Slowly We Rot and faster ones like Threatening Skies). I remember I was also amazed at the sound, which was as crystal clear as on albums.

Oh, and you're right, Redneck Stomp is as great an opener as can be

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