The last few days in Brisbane have been very wet, not just like an occasional drizzle of rain here and there, like pouring rain and storms. Brisbane’s Twelve Foot Ninja fans were hoping and praying the weather would clear up for Saturday night’s gig at The Valley Drive In, but alas that was most definitely not the case! Being an outdoor venue with no wet weather back up plan, it was either brave the rain or go home. Definitely the wettest gig I have ever been to, but definitely worth getting drenched for. Twelve Foot Ninja still delivered a phenomenal performance despite the fact the rain did not stop for the entire set.
Arriving early the line up was already all the way up Warner street with eager fans ready for a night of live music. The rain was already drizzling as local Brisbane ‘Party Prog’ alternative rockers He Danced Ivy hit the stage. Twelve Foot Ninja posted on Facebook a few months back asking fans to tell them who they wanted to see as local supports for their tour. I feel like Brisbane chose the perfect support band in He Danced Ivy; these guys are out-of-control talented with frontman David Cheney’s vocal range blowing me away. This guy can sing. In fact, the whole band can, the backing vocals were also on point. Cheney is a born performer; his animated and enthusiastic performance is matched by his band mates who interacted with each other as well as with the crowd making for one awe-inspiring performance. The stand out song for me was most definitely Guillotines with an awesome spoken word intro and I also loved New Stain which the guys have just released a new film clip for. They payed tribute to the late Keith Flint, covering Omen by The Prodigy. Reminding me of a mix of Mammal and Osaka Punch; two of my favourite bands, I am completely sold on these guys being a new favourite local band of mine after last night’s show.
Perth’s prog pop metal quintet, Voyager have had a huge year so far, playing Download in Sydney and Melbourne and touring with Twelve Foot Ninja. Unfortunately, by the time they hit the stage the rain was bucketing down, and it was hard to see or hear them from the few small undercover spots towards the back of the venue. Huddling under the small awning on the pop-up bar I did my best to stay dry and take in their performance. Voyager are all about the synths and riffs combined with faultless clean vocals. They remind me a little of a wicked, twisted combination of The Presets, Devin Townsend and Karnivool; they really do have a sound that is quite unique, and it is easy to see why they have such a big following. One of the stand outs for me was their tribute to the late Keith Flint with their cover of Firestarter by The Prodigy. They also played their newest single Brightstar in the middle of the set which they have just released a killer new video for, followed by my personal favourite song Hyperventilating. Voyager are also playing Dead Of Winter Festival as part of the epic line up the DOW team have for Brisbane music festival fans this year. I will be keen to check them out at that after not being able to fully appreciate their performance due to the weather last night.
So, at this stage of the night, the rain was clearly not slowing down; if anything, it got heavier, and a few fans sadly bailed on the night. Those who stayed, including myself, gave in to the weather and after stashing my phone in the car and being given a large garbage bag to make into a poncho from the staff at the venue, I braced myself and made my way to the front to catch the band we had all been waiting for; Twelve Foot Ninja. With rain stinging my eyes and so much water in my connies I felt like I was standing in two small swimming pools, I had the best time ever seeing one of my favourite bands delivering an unforgettable show despite the sky relentlessly throwing buckets of water down at us. The band came on later than planned with guitarist/producer Stevic Mackay stating “The reason we couldn’t come on stage was that we could have got electrified, so while we were waiting I just got really drunk!” later saying “You realise it’s like putting a hairdryer in a bathtub being up here, that’s how much I love you guys” The rain did not stop but that did not stop Twelve Foot Ninja, they played anyway and they were just as good as I had heard they were to see live. The immense energy and vibe coming from the stage was insane. These guys know how to put on a show, and they wowed the crowds with a set that was high energy and brilliantly delivered from start to finish.
Kicking off with one of their biggest and most loved hits, One Hand Killing which has one of the funniest intros to a film clip I think I have ever seen and gave us the infamous quote “As busy as a cat burying shit on concrete” we knew we were in for a top shelf show. The set also included Sick, Coming For You, Mother Sky and a stack of other hits, all of which had the fans pumping and loving every minute. The banter with the crowds was hilarious with Mackay at one stage taking a sip from his beer and saying “Stone & Wood tastes like a fruit salad threw up in my beer” Twelve Foot Ninja are as funny as they are talented and the combination of these things creates such an amazing presence on stage and through their music. This was a gig I will never, ever forget!
You can catch Twelve Foot Ninja on Saturday the 23rd of March in Adelaide for the last show of the ‘Upload Tour’ in Australia before they head to Europe to continue the tour.
Tickets available HERE.