Tomahawk Live @ The Metro, Sydney

The Metro was at roughly when the house lights went down for the support band. Although no one quite knew who was playing support, I highly doubt there was anyone in the venue that could have predicted what was about to occur.

After screening a 10 minute documentary about bungee-jumping native islanders (I am not kidding), the support band took to the stage. They were a minimalist/ambient/experimental/electronic duo that didn’t play songs, so much as a sequence of noises whilst their vocalist who looked like a demented Bob Brown ranted in some kind of free-form verbal poetry about “getting out of this f**ing town.” It was captivating, hilarious and a bit painful to watch all at once, and they seemed to revel in making the audience uncomfortable. They certainly went over a few people’s heads and crowd reaction ranged from bemusement to hostility. I personally left the whole experience feeling enlightened in some way and have a new mantra gained via an exchange between an audience member and the aforementioned Bob Brown lookalike. “We are all wankers on the stage of life, my friend.” Bafflingly brilliant indeed.

After an agonizingly long wait, the members of Tomahawk casually walked out on stage in front of a sold-out crowd and with a curt wave from Mike Patton, they proceeded to aurally demolish the joint. The front of the stage was absolute pandemonium. An absolute stampede of women pushed to the front in an attempt to get within a modicum of Patton’s breathing space. The band itself was on absolutely top form, able to instantly shift moods from calm and serene once second, to hyper-energised the next. Kevin Rutmanis’ bass shook the house with every note and Duane Denison’s guitar-work was restrained and classy.

The set itself was fairly comprehensive of their discography, with much of the material culled from stunning new album Oddfellows. Patton was on top form as well. It may be redundant to say, but the man is one of the most talented and charismatic frontmen in the business today, and a master of stage banter to boot. Closing the show was a 1 2 punch of fan favourite God Hates A Coward and a cover of George Jones’ Just One More that had Patton doing his best country twang and let the evening end on a rather laid-back note, like a quiet glass of whisky on a summer’s eve.

Written by Matthew Foster

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