[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]LIVE REVIEW: TWELVE FOOT NINJA + DAN RICHARDSON + ACOLYTE
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne August 26th, 2016
Review by: Bailey Graham
Photography by: Paul Tadday
Melbourne’s heavy metal scene is truly incredible, with a huge flow of home-grown, world-class heavy acts making their mark around the world, but none have risen faster than fusion-metal pioneers, Melbourne’s own Twelve Foot Ninja. In support of their latest, critically acclaimed effort ‘Outlier’, Twelve Foot Ninja were set to perform their first Australian show in almost a year, at the iconic Corner Hotel. Along for the ride on the night were Melbourne’s own progressive metal heroes Acolyte and the quirky, yet intriguing Dan Richardson.
Acolyte were first to take to the stage to warm applause from the crowd. Progressive riffs and melodies of an almost oriental nature enveloped the venue, only to be perfectly complimented by the serene, yet powerful vocals of frontwoman Morgan-Leigh Brown. Having truly created a sound that is progressive in structure, yet completely devoid of any similarity to any other progressive act that comes to kind, Acolyte definitely proved to not only myself, but the entire crowd that they are one band in particular that we all need to keep an eye on, as I see big things for Acolyte in the future.
Like the vast majority of the punters within the venue, I had no idea what to expect from Dan Richardson. In what is perhaps the most extraordinarily different support act I’ve ever seen, Richardson’s digeridoo-beatbox hybrid performance is one that confused some, but brought the rest to a jolly state, where bodies succumbed to the rhythm of Dan Richardson. Grabbing inspiration from traditional African tribal music, Richardson’s digeridoo skills were utterly sensational, and his ability to not only lay down fantastic melodies, but bust out rhythmic beatboxing simultaneously is truly something special to behold.
The sold-out crowd had now massed near the stage, excitement was building, the lights go down. Twelve Foot Ninja wasted no time in giving Melbourne what is in my opinion, one of their best shows to date. Jumping straight into ‘Invincible’ and ‘Mother Sky’, the crowd erupted into a sea of elevated bodies and flailing arms, where not a single person in the venue could stand still as Twelve Foot Ninja executed the tracks almost flawlessly. ‘Sick’ and ‘Post Mortem’, both tracks from ‘Outlier’, proved to be quite the hit with the crowd, with the mosh pits only gaining momentum as the hundreds within began expressing their love for the new album. Bringing it back to their 2012 debut full-length album ‘Silent Machine’, Twelve Foot Ninja unleashed ‘Vanguard’ and ‘Deluge’ onto the sea of punters. As I reach this point in the concert, it becomes increasingly noticeable that there really is other band quite like Melbourne’s own Twelve Foot Ninja, the twin guitar attack of Steve MacKay and Rohan Hayes felt perfectly in-sync throughout the entire night. The low-end brilliance of Damon McKinnon and technical intensity of drummer Shane Russell only made their collaborative efforts feel as though they were born to be in a band together. To only add to their incredible performance of the night, vocalist Kin Etik was completely on-point with his vocal performance from start to finish, showing zero signs of strain during the entire set. Another brilliant excerpt from ‘Outlier’, ‘Collateral’ led straight into more old-school tracks in the form of ‘Portrait #1’ from their 2008 EP ‘New Dawn’.
As the night draws every closer towards conclusions, neither the band nor the crowd have let up in their execution of one of the most energetic performances I’ve ever seen from artists and punters alike. ‘Rogue’ and ‘Child With No Enemy’ gave the old school Twelve Foot Ninja fans something to salivate over as they rounded up their main set with ‘Monsoon’ and what is perhaps the greatest back-to-back arrangements of tracks on a set list, ‘Kingdom’, ‘Coming For You’ and ‘One Hand Killing’, three of the band’s most prolific and adored tracks. It wasn’t long before Twelve Foot Ninja returned to the stage and gave the fans one more sonic assault. This conclusive track is a personal highlight for me, their performance of ‘Shuriken’ completely laid waste to the venue as bodies thrashed against one another as the almost bi-polar sound of the track felt almost sonically transcendent to their ears of not only myself, but every person within The Corner Hotel.
As I’m sure many of you would’ve figured out by now, I really struggled to find a significant flaw in the night’s proceedings. The sound mixing for every band were utterly superb, Acolyte and Dan Richardson proved to be not only worthy choices for supports, but exceeded all of my expectations in terms of what to expect from a support act. As for the main act of the night, Twelve Foot Ninja consolidated their place as one of Australia’s premier heavy metal acts. With only two full-length albums under their belt, Twelve Foot Ninja embrace the stage as though they’ve been around for decades. Not a single noticeable slip up and a set list of epic proportions, Twelve Foot Ninja have set the bar incredibly high for the remainder of their ‘Outlier’ tour dates. If there’s one iconic, historical quote that could perfectly describe Twelve Foot Ninja’s performance, it is simply this – “They came, they saw, they conquered”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_masonry_media_grid grid_id=”vc_gid:1472378236800-d48b1155-83d5-5″ include=”31700,31701,31702,31703,31704,31705,31706,31707,31708,31709,31710,31711,31712,31713,31714,31715,31716,31717,31718,31719,31720,31721,31722,31723,31724,31725,31726,31727,31728,31729,31730,31731,31732″][/vc_column][/vc_row]