GIG REVIEW: Voyager, The Algorithm & The Stranger Live at The Zoo, Brisbane
It’s a very rare treat these days when an Australian act gets to play headliner on local soil with an international act in tow, but as luck would have it that is exactly the treatment that Brisbane fans were treated to on Saturday night as Prog metal mainstays Voyager performed in support of the release of their latest album ‘Ghost Mile’ accompanied by none-other than The Algorithm from France.
Opening the night were local act The Stranger who have been quietly working behind the scene for some time now and seem to be reaching the point where the band can show their stuff on a larger scale, and if their performance at this show is anything to go by then they are sure to impress a few. The modest crowd that had turned out early were treated to some songs that they received pretty favorably, but I must admit I feel a little bit for the band beings sequestered to a small section at the front of stage. The stage at The Zoo isn’t the biggest at the best of times, but with gear from the two following bands on stage The Stranger wasn’t able to move around as much as they probably would have liked. It was still a good performance with the environment that they were given though.
The Algorithm followed and holy shit did they deliver. When you hear something along the lines of ‘two member band, one playing drums and the other playing guitar, occasional bass and samples’ you’re always going to be intrigued with how it turns out, but the sheer showmanship of Rémi Gallego was that flawless I wasn’t sure if I was at a concert or watching a DJ at an EDM festival. The band’s fusion of Djent, progressive, mathcore, electronica and progressive metal translates into one hell of a sound, but coupling that up with a light show and you’ve got yourself a highlight gig. While the open windows of the venue didn’t do anything to assist and improve the band’s sound, it didn’t matter, because this was a set that held everyone in the venue captivated for its duration and that’s about all I can really say about it. An amazing performance from an amazing band and another reinforcement to the statement that this is definitely a band you have to see live at least once in your life.
Following on from that performance was always going to be a ridiculous feat, but if anyone was up to the challenge it was Voyager. Buoyed by the fact that their album was sitting 14th in the ITunes Rock Charts the band came onto the stage full of energy and kept the crowd going from start to finish. I’ve been watching Voyager for some years now and I must admit that this was the most lively I have seen them. By the start of their set the crowd had swelled down to the front with guitarists Simone Dow and Scott Kay getting their own little fan groups down the front, with the rest of the attention focused squarely on vocalist Danny Estrin. I’m not sure what it is about the growth of this band but every single time I see them, I feel like I’m watching a fresh band. Estrin’s vocals provide such a palatable finish to the already impeccable instrumental side of the songs and his charismatic persona on stage just helps to draw the crowd in with him. Alex Canion on bass provides the perfect offsider as central focus on stage with his harsh and clean vocals keeping well in harmony with Estrin’s.
The band covered a very wide variety of songs from their history, but all the importance was placed onto their new songs which not only slotted seamlessly into their set, but also translated well into a live setting. Not to be outdone by their French predecessors though, Voyager continued a long standing process of including an electronica interlude in their set, but opted against the usual ‘Sandstorm’ by DaRude and instead injected a cover of the Mortal Kombat theme song into their set which got the crowd rather excited.
The band closed up with their seminal closer Meaning of I, before the raucous chants for an encore had them return to perform an old classic in White Shadow to draw a final close to the night’s festivities.
Many in the crowd moshed from the first note in the band’s set until Voyager’s final encore, and even if they weren’t, most of the crowd seemed to be enjoying the show, which is the true hallmark of a good night in my eyes. It was through the energy, performance and more importantly the sound that made everyone leave this show happy and made a resounding success. If you enjoy progressive metal then definitely mark all three of these bands on your list to see.