GIG REVIEW: Dragonforce & Chronolyth Live at The Triffid, Brisbane
Sunday night shows are always hit and miss. On one hand certain bands can pull any night of the week, but on the other hand there is a large contingent of people that won’t head out due to their earlier start the following morning. Luckily, faithful fans gathered en-mass at The Triffid on Sunday night to watch Dragonforce perform to a nearly sold-out room.
Having only one opener afforded local support Chronolyth a suitable amount time on stage; time in which they took every opportunity to engage the crowd and draw them in to their performance. It wouldn’t be an easy job trying to win over a crowd as a dark, groovy, melodic metal band which sounds almost the polar opposite to Dragonforce’s bright and bubbly power metal, but whether it was through sheer stage performance, brilliance of their songs, or maybe having half the crowd came out in secret to support their local, the reception for these guys was insane and definitely warranted their presence as support.
There is one thing I love seeing more than anything in the world for local bands, and that is when the headliners actually take the time to check them out. Normally the headlining band will just relax out the back, warming up and getting ready for the show, but Chronolyth were lucky enough to not only have the Dragonforce crew watch them from side stage, but also Marc Hudson for the entirety of their set. This to me speaks volumes about the band, and if the interactions between Chronolyth band members and Dragonforce during the headliners set were anything to go by then I think some friendships may have been forged.
One of the only detraction from Chronolyth’s performance in my eyes was that through their emphasis on creating an engaging stage show, there were certain sections where the vocal delivery was lost because the microphone wasn’t close enough to the singer’s mouth. A minor complication in the scheme of the entire performance as it only occurred once or twice, but that was still something that stuck out. Despite this hiccup the band proved to be a suitable opener, filled with maximum energy that definitely helped the crowd get in the mood for the headlining act.
By the time that Chronolyth had finished, there was a sizable crowd which wasn’t very apparent during their set (maybe it was because of the giant circle pit), but surely enough that crowd continued to grow and grow until the lights went out signalling the entrance of the nights headliners.
Now, I have seen Dragonforce perform well over 10 times now in different corners of the globe and one thing that’s guaranteed with their shows is that that the band will always deliver with a great degree of joviality and humour. Their performance in Brisbane was no exception from the moment they hit the stage, and I can’t quite tell if it was because it was the last show of this leg of the tour or if there were other factors involved, but the band just looked like they were having one of the best times on stage. This was particularly apparent through the duel guitar onslaught of Herman Li and Sam Totman who seemed to be having an absolute blast, and I know there are several great duos of guitarists in metal but these guys have to be up there with some of the best.The interplay between these two, the crowd and the remainder of the band is one of the highlights of the entire Dragonforce experience, and was something that was heavily on display in Brisbane.
Marc Hudson has been around long enough now that his influence on the newer material, and even on the classics is becoming more and more profound, and his vocal delivery and the ability to reach those heights, particularly at the end of a fifth consecutive night of shows never ceases to amaze me. Fred Leclercq was not to be outdone on bass and harsh vocal duties and did a stand up job, even providing a brilliant guitar solo interlude towards the end of the night, and I must admit that each time I looked throughout the set I don’t think I ever saw drummer Gee Anzalone not smiling.
Making a performance unique is quite a difficult thing to do these days, but that certainly wasn’t an issue for Dragonforce in Brisbane, with Hudson addressing the crowd on several occasions in response to some of the chants coming from the audience. Taking the time out to mention towards a fan dressed as the Norse God Odin who he had “heard a lot about” that kept initiating crowd chants of ‘Yes’ (even when there was no need for a yes chant), or inviting one fan on stage to drink a shooey on the stomp box, were just a few of several occasions in which the crowd got to see a lighter side to the band. This self-aware nature of the band was also something which was hilariously enthralling throughout the bands songs, with Totman constantly gesturing and yawning at Li’s solo’s, Li looking over Totman’s shoulder at times to see what he was doing, and to a lesser degree Hudson walking off stage to drink during some of the more longer duration guitar sections.This is all part of the Dragonforce appeal, and this performance was filled with these little moments that brought the whole evening together.
Whether you had been a fan of the band for their later albums, earliest releases, or just one of those people that had spent hours upon hours in Guitar Hero trying to nail that 100% play-through of “Through the Fire and the Flames”, there was a song in the set list for everyone, with particularly high crowd responses for “Operation Ground and Pound”,“Cry Thunder”, “Heart of a Dragon”, “Valley of the Damned” and of course “Through the Fire and the Flames”. But it was through their new songs that a different level of emotion was reached, particularly during their performances of “Judgement Day”, and “The Edge of the World”.
Closing their set by announcing that they were going to be at the bar afterwards helped fill out the beer garden following the show, and true to their word the band attended to meet all the fans while also reinforcing their status as some of the more humbled stars in the circuit, and providing a unique and personal touch to the experience of any fan that stuck around.