Manning Bar, Sydney, AUS, 26 July 2014

By Rahul Menon

02 August 2014

The very awesome Pelican made their return to Australian shores, and it promised to be an amazing sonic experience. The night was, simply put, amazing! The vibe at the Manning Bar was excellent, the support bands brought out their best performances, and Pelican, as expected, were sounding absolutely huge!

Starting off the night was Sydney's very own We Lost the Sea. I had the opportunity to see these guys before when they were supporting Caspian earlier this year, and this time they were even better. They got my complete attention within moments of them starting to play, and their performance was one incredible progressive post rock journey. Starting off the set with slow, brooding, and haunting tunes, they slowly and steadily picked up the tempo and the heaviness and around the middle of their set they washed over the Manning Bar with an incredible sound. They were trippy, emitting great moving energy, and they successfully transported the fully immersed concert goers to a whole new world of blissfulness. The ambiance and atmosphere they created was just so good, and they should be well and truly proud of their performance.

Next up on stage were Mish. I had heard a lot about these guys but never had the opportunity to check them out. They were so awesome! Their energy and intensity made the whole venue rock out. A definite change from what We Lost the Sea provided, but at the same time, they didn't stray into chaotic death metal or anything, but there was that good kind of chaos. With some crazy time signature and heavy riffs, combined with some beautiful clean segments, they took the energy to a whole new level. The drummer was a beast - pounding away on the kit with a variety of beats and making use of the full potential of the kit. The bassist was busy going ape shit, not just on stage, but running around the venue and head banging with the crowd. The vocalist had some really good cleans and harsh vocals - not used in excess but fitting with the music. Complex structures in the songs backed with great melody and emotion. The riffs make you want to break stuff, but at the same time, you could still just sit back and enjoy their songs as well. They really impressed me and I regretted not checking them out sooner.

Finally on stage, the mighty Pelican! They may be post metal band, but their sound is so huge - even louder than a death metal band. You are absolutely smashed with a wall of sound, not of an overwhelming type, but music which makes you go "Oh Fuck Yeah!" and before you know it you are either lost in the music or just head banging away to the grooves. Speaking of head banging, no one on the day head banged as much as guitarist Trevor de Brauw - this man is a beast. Right from the first song till the last note they played, he was relentlessly head banging - way more than you'd see a death metal band head bang, all members combined. Hurling their guitars in the air, banging their heads, some great facial expressions which simply translated to - "I don't care if you're enjoying this or not, but that's not going to stop me!" - they were a delight to watch. Songs like "Tundra", "Lathe Biosas", and the huge sounding "Immutable Dusk" absolutely crushed the venue! They thanked the crowd a few times for coming out and they were delighted to be there, doing what they love. The crowd was definitely getting into it and you could see many heads-banging, people moving about the venue and getting fully into the music. They ended their set with the huge sounding "Mammoth" and gave everyone up the front hi-5s before they left the stage.

A huge night, with great bands, great sound, and great visuals. You had to be there to experience it!

More from Pelican