GIG REVIEW: Twelve Foot Ninja, Ecca Vandal & Figures Live at The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Twelve Foot Ninja have to be one of the most innovative bands coming out of Australia right now and potentially the world, drawing influence from jazz fusion, reggae, funk and of course groove laden metal, they have a voice so unique that you simply couldn’t mistake them for anyone else. A voice which translates to an incredibly powerful and exciting performance on the stage, as exhibited on the first date of their ‘Sick tour’ at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne.
Starting off the night we had Figures, a melodic rock band who displayed a mature songwriting ability, strong sense of dynamics and great stage presence. It was very refreshing to hear a modern heavy band not simply following the same path which many bands before them have tread and the crowd seemed to be of the same opinion. If you’re a fan of bands who can get heavy and hold down a groove whilst maintaining a sense of melody then these guys are for you!
The second act came in as an enigma, a pre-gig trawl of Ecca Vandal’s social media revealed remarkably little information regarding sound or style, going in blind I had no idea what to expect, especially when the band members started loading a computer and some DJ gear on stage. Ecca (the frontwoman of the band) burst out on stage and immediately got stuck into what I can only describe as a mish-mash of grunge and alternative rock, somewhat akin to No Doubt but with momentary throwbacks to Rage Against the Machine or the Beastie Boys, this seemed to throw the audience a bit at first, however Twelve Foot have never been afraid of stirring the pot. In the past I have seen them perform with Avant-Garde metal/glitch artist The Algorithm and even an acoustic performer who simply sang and looped his guitar.
Once the crowd had a chance to warm up to Ecca Vandal there were many dancing bodies and nodding heads, especially from the female audience members. As the main support set came to a close the curtains were drawn and the anticipation was palpable, chants for Twelve Foot were breaking out and the audience was growing rowdier by the second. When the curtains finally did part they revealed a dark and empty stage and the crowd was hushed, this didn’t last long as they burst into a roar when the band walked on and immediately hit hard and fast into their first song for the night accompanied by an impressive light show of blinding strobes and song matched changes.
The audience went ballistic, with so much jumping and moshing that the security guards were forced to start spraying water over everyone just to try to keep the temperature at a safe level, this only seemed to spur the moshers on to get wilder and more frantic. Highlights from the show include Stevic putting his guitar aside for a moment during ‘Post Mortem’ to holder a shaker up to the microphone, the excellent Jazz guitar solo from ‘Point of You’ and watching the crowd surfing get out of hand during ‘Adios’.
Twelve Foot Ninja are a must see live band, pulling off a challenging and technical set with style and character whilst keeping the audience hyped to breaking point is not an easy task, but one they excel at in every sense of the word.