Krisiun, Dawn of Azazel, Tzun Tzu, Closed Casket @ Live on Light Square Adelaide, 22/04/09

Krisiun blasted and shredded their way through an awesome set, and several encores, at a mid-week Adelaide show, to a crowd that just didn't want to let them go.


Despite the lack of obvious official promotion for the Krisiun tour in Adelaide, local excitement had been building for quite some time, thanks to the support acts here who went their hardest to make sure people knew about the show. And so it was that on a very mild 22nd April we cruised down to Live on Light - which is no longer in the Night Train Complex, but situated right next to the carpark on Light Square famous for its Doorways to Nowhere - in anticipation of a good night.

It was the first time I'd been to the relocated Live on Light, and heading into the venue was like stepping into a warped version of venues from the past. The place reminded me of the In:Zone, a club from back in the day that hosted stacks of quality acts, but which was renowned for the shit quality of the beer and the tiny little stage. Thankfully, Live on Light isn't afflicted with shitty beer, and has a much larger stage than the one to which In:Zone could have laid claim. It does, however, have a similar vibe about it, and I imagine that if it were packed with people, and with more couches in the front bar, it would be even better.

We turned up to see all the tables out the front of the venue filled up with excited death metal-heads. People were pretty well spilling out of the venue. However, this turned out to be deceptive because there literally just over seventy payers.

The first support act, local young fellas Closed Casket, played a ripping set of grindy death. Their overall performance was notches above the last one that I'd seen, and they were a great choice for warming up the crowd. As per usual Adelaide protocol, all bar maybe three punters stood well back from the stage, in their characteristic arms-folded, evaluative stance. To foreigners in our town this looks like people are unimpressed; to the trained eye, the packed-in nature of the crowd, and the nods that prevailed, said that a lot of people really appreciated the set. Closed Casket have improved a lot since the last time I saw them, putting everything they have into what they do.

It was after this first set that many other people who, like me, hadn't been to Live on Light, started to ask each other whether the venue actually had a dedicated PA. To all appearances, it didn't look like it: you could see a stack here and a stack there, but as to whether there was any permanent audio infrastructure was anybody's guess. It became apparent later in the night that there must have been something permanent, because it gradually on dawned on me that each set was also cranked through large speakers in the front bar as well.

Next band to take the stage was Tzun Tzu. I'm a big fan of Tzun Tzu, so I always look forward to seeing these guys live. I was looking forward to it even more this night because I'd heard - before the first band was on - a sneak of the band's upcoming split release with Altars (pre-mastering), and was rather impressed by it. Having been given a heads-up that these guys were going to play some of their new material live also helped to pique my anticipation.

It's unfortunate that the sound at Live on Light was complete shit. People (including myself) bagged the crap out of Fowler's for years because of the poor quality of its sound, but that was golden compared to Live on Light. The sound was muddy as hell - way muffled, booming low-end at one of the venue, and a raw, irritating, too-much-high-end at the other. It was bearable in the middle, but then if you're short (like me), then you can see bugger all.

Tzun Tzu played a good set. They made errors in songs they hadn't played live before, but they got over them gracefully and moved on. In fact, if vocalist/guitarist Don Taylor hadn't shaken his head at the point of the error, I bet most of the people in the venue wouldn't have noticed. The change in Tzun Tzu's style of late is largely due to an increased tempo, thanks to drummer Selen Gol. Gol has helped Tzun Tzu move past where they were and start to evolve; and it helps that he's easily one of the best drummers in Adelaide.

But, of course, a Tzun Tzu set wouldn't be complete without at least one technical hitch. Right at the point where second guitarist/vocalist Nick Seja was due for a solo, he fell right out of the system thanks to a faulty cable. After much rushing about and pitching in by keen hands to help Seja out, he was back on deck. And then it died again. Suffice it to say that it was sorted in the end, but it did kind of cast a pall on the set. What these guys played of their new material wasn't as good as what I'd heard earlier in the night off the band's forthcoming release, but it was still a step up.

In between Tzun Tzu and Kiwis Dawn of Azazel, we headed outside for beers, smokes, and conversation... and got stuck outside during almost the whole of Dawn of Azazel's set. While I didn't get an eyeful of their performance, what I heard coming through the speakers in the front room was absolutely killer. Everyone that I spoke to after the set echoed what my impression of it was, which is that it was great.

While I rather enjoy checking out new venues, and supporting people who do their best to open a new live venue in a town with limited options, it was really quite shitty that there were such enormous delays between bands. This is something that was an Adelaide standard back in the day - that shows would start late, that people appeared disorganised and you'd have to wait forever and ever between bands, and so on - but not having had to put up with it for the last few years, you forget how frustrating it can be. And, actually, it put people off on a Wednesday night to hang around for so long.

All of which was forgotten once Krisiun hit the stage. Even the crap sound that the venue assaulted us with couldn't diminish the experience of these Brazilians tearing the place apart. These dudes blasted and shredded their way through a full set and three sets of encores. They ripped through several of their works, from 1998's Apocalyptic Revelation, to 2008's Southern Storm; they dedicated songs to Marty of Bleed Records, and to Dawn of Azazel; they were incredibly grateful for people turning out on a Wednesday night, and repeatedly told us how happy they were to get to Australia (and that hopefully they'll be back again in 2010).

The punters went hard for the whole set. They yelled and screamed, they hanged their heads hard. In fact, it was such an old school show, that there wasn't a circle pit: people had a bit of a push and shove as you expect and enjoy, but mostly it was mosh and windmill your way through the set. Some of the punters right at the front of the stage hassled and hassled Krisiun to play Apocalyptic Victory (from 1998's Apocalyptic Revelation), to the point where frontman Alex Camargo called on the punters to chill out, saying something like, 'I hear ya man, we're gonna play it. Chill.'

Being an all-ages show and mid-week no less, Krisiun weren't able to play a very long set. This mattered not a jot to the punters, who yelled for the band the moment they stopped playing. This went on three times, vastly extending the set as the band played three or four sets of encores. It wasn't surprising, given how tight the set was, and how much they evidently enjoyed doing what they were doing. Being brothers, I suppose it could work either of two ways: they wouldn't work at all, or they would work brilliantly together. Clearly it's the latter, if their performance is anything to go back. And, with the three brothers being such nice dudes, they had a lot of time for everyone who wanted to talk to them and get their merch signed before they headed off.

Let's hope these guys get out here again next year, because it was really an awesome show.