GIG REVIEW: Kreator & Vader Live at The Zoo, Brisbane
Sunday night shows are always a hit or a miss in Brisbane and they either go incredibly well or have nobody show up. Thankfully though the return of German Thrash masters Kreator, and Polish Death metallers Vader to Brisbane brought the crowd out in droves for a sold out show.
Vader started the night and were probably the band I was more excited to see having seen Kreator several times overseas but never quite getting the opportunity to see Vader. The band had a few minor sound issues during their opening track, but following that it was all pretty smooth sailing for the quartet who pretty swiftly managed to draw the crowd into a heated mosh.
As a band that has been around for a longer period than half of the crowd in the venue had been alive, they still managed to play at a frenzied pace and put on a decent performance. Piotr Wiwczarek still managed to hold his vocal duties to the highest degree, and the guitar interplay between himself and Marek “Spider” Pajak was astounding, particularly with some of the dual lead solos. Even bassist Tomasz “Hal” Halicki was engaging towards the crowd, putting in a solid effort in his bass work.
Probably the only negative part of their set, which Wiwczarek even poked fun at himself, was the fact that drummer James Stewart was hidden in a back corner. When you coupled this up with the thick smoke that was covering the stage that made it near impossible to see Stewart. Whether he was visible or not you could still hear his thunderous performance behind the kit, so all was not lost (unless you wanted to actually to see him playing, which a few members of the crowd were trying to do…).
While it had been seven years since the bands last tour of Australia, the crowd enjoyed every moment of their set, and it was almost a saddening moment when their normal exit tune, the Imperial March, started playing.
Now, I have seen a fair few bands play at The Zoo before, but I have never heard a band sound as sonically good as Kreator were from the opening of their set. Sonically the sound was tremendous and very difficult to fault – even with open windows in the venue that normally hamper the overall sound quality.
Now the band themselves were performing at another level entirely. I have been privileged enough to see Kreator perform on some of the biggest stages in the world, and can wholeheartedly attest that the energy that the band brought to the small club stage rivaled the energy at any of those other massive festival shows. Where Vader looked confident, yet reserved, up on the stage, Kreator were clearly running with a mindset of having absolutely no limitations onstage, which showed in their stage movement and it absolutely blew all of my expectations out of the park.
Miland “Mille” Petrozza might have been the smallest person on the stage, but that didn’t stop him from being the orchestrater of the nights madness. The crowd was truly captivated with each note that Petrozza played, and moved each time he motioned them to. But while the magic was highly concentrated on the enigmatic frontman, the performances of fellow guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, bassist Christian “Speesy” Giesler, and drummer Jürgen “Ventor” Reil did not go unnoticed with each having their own times to take center stage.
The Zoo isn’t the largest of venues, and with this shows sold out status further restricting the available space for people to move, Kreator still managed to get their very own Wall of Death and consistent circle pit in towards the front of stage, which just goes to show how phenomenal this performance was.
The band setlist covered a decent collection of older and newer material that included some of their thrasher pieces and also those that bit more melodic. But seeing the amount of energy that the crowd was throwing back at the band, they could have picked any combination of songs throughout their career and it still would have had the crowd moving as fiercely as it did. The band wrapping up their set with the knockout combo of Violent Revolution and Pleasure to Kill ended up being the icing on the cake for a spectacular night.
Very few bands have sold out one show across an Australian tour this year, let alone the prestige that comes along with selling out the entire East Coast, but Kreator not only did this, but backed it up with a performance that was utterly world class. When an act performs as polished, instrumentally sound and visually appealing as Kreator did, it’s not very difficult to see why they can sell out shows across Australia – and when you couple that up with a fan reception that the Australian crowd paid back to Kreator, it can only mean there will probably be a short wait between visits for the teutonic thrash legends.