Fear Factory/DevilDriver/Dry Kill Logic

Mini Australian Tour Diary 2006

By TMF Staff

28 September 2006

This year has already seen some top notch metal packages grace our stages - the first being The Haunted with Exodus. Now, Fear Factory have teamed up with Devildriver and Dry Kill Logic to bring us the first of several massive tours as the year draws to a close. In Brisbane, Jamie Cook and Damian Rohrlach lined up for the words and pictures whilst in Sydney, Michael O'Brien took on double duty to bring us the following tour diary.

Fear Factory/Devildriver/Dry Kill Logic - The Tivoli, Brisbane, Australia, 15 September 2006

Words by Jamie Cook and images by Damian Rohrlach

It's taken years for promoters in this country to realise that bringing out touring bills such as this with two or three international bands is a good thing as fans have been snapping up the tickets quicker than one can pass wind. Tonight is a fine example of this, having sold out weeks earlier leaving a lot of disgruntled gig goers without a ticket.

Firstly, I want to get something off my chest. With doors opening at 8.00pm and a sold out concert of approximately 1500 people in attendance, how does one with any ounce of common sense expect to get everyone through ONE door before the first band goes on at 8.30pm? Usually this wouldn't bother me as such, but as this was Dry Kill Logic's first show ever in Australia, a lot of people were curious to check them out, myself included.

After waiting on the line outside for over an hour, I arrive inside at approximately 8.40pm and Dry Kill Logic is in full swing with only about a quarter to a third of the crowd inside the venue to witness their thirty minute set. In Australia to promote their upcoming release, Of Vengeance And Violence, my first impression of these guys in the live arena was the similarity in their stage presence to Hatebreed. Vocalist Cliff Rigano is definitely frontman material, and used the stage to his full advantage, whilst guitarist Jason Bozzi threw his dreadlocked 'do around that would almost rival Brian Fair's mop from Shadows Fall. Paper Tiger went over a treat with the crowd as did the last song of the set, Rot. Whoever was lucky enough to see the magic of DKL's performance wasn't disappointed with what they delivered, and here's hoping they return to the land down under sooner rather than later.

Devildriver live in BrisbaneDevildriver live in BrisbaneDevildriver live in Brisbane

Since this show was first announced, the vibe on the street surrounding the next band on the bill has been unbelievable. For many tonight, Devildriver were the band most had come to see. From the moment the large backdrop came down, the crowd reaction went up with favourable cheers. Ex Coal Chamber singer Dez Fafara has ditched the nu-metal sounds of the past, got himself a talented young band of muso's, and has excelled in being one of the leading modern day metal bands. End Of The Line opened their first ever Australian show and the enthusiasm and energy which was being projected from the stage could be felt throughout the venue as the floor area surrounding the front of the stage went into overdrive. Drummer John Boecklin has a style that reminds me a lot of Joey Jordison of Slipknot, right down to the windmills he was doing with his hair, and his beats at times sounded like gun fire on the streets of war torn Baghdad. Devildriver's eleven song set list tonight covered both their releases fairly evenly. With tunes such as Nothings Wrong, Grinfucked, I Could Care Less and Cry For Me Sky were all dished out to the crowd who loved every single minute spent with Dez and the boys. After tonight's forty-five minute performance many were left wondering if Fear Factory would be up to the task to go toe to toe with their fellow Los Angeles natives. In my opinion, I think not.

This is Fear Factory's ninth visit to Australia, and my eighth time seeing them live, and after this evening's show, I really don't care too much if I see them again in a hurry. It was from the very moment 540 000 Degrees Fahrenheit (from Transgression) started that I thought this is NOT the Fear Factory that I used to know and love. Burton's voice was off to a false start, having trouble hitting the higher more melodic parts of the track, but it did however improve somewhat throughout the set. From where I was standing and I wasn't the only punter to point this out, at times the crowd seemed restless, and didn't respond to the band how I thought and a lot of people were leaving in dribs and drabs throughout the Fear Factory set. In fact, some fans even split right after Devildriver. Now that's got to be saying something.

Fear Factory live in BrisbaneFear Factory live in BrisbaneFear Factory live in Brisbane

Tonight was more a greatest hits set list than the Transgression tour, with only two tracks from their latest release getting a look in, not that that's a bad thing though. Self Bias Resister, Demanufacture, Scapegoat, Martyr, Shock, Edgecrusher, Linchpin and Cyberwaste were just some of the back catalogue on offer this evening. Hearing some of the great tunes tonight that made Fear Factory who they are today in the world of metal just didn't cut it in the live sense, like each album they release, the band appear to be losing their aggressiveness and edge. Christian always gives his 110% on stage, and Raymond is just amazing to watch behind the kit. Burton appeared bored at times and I'm still finding it hard to accept Byron in this band after seeing him strut his magic with Strapping Young Lad.

Timelessness closed tonight's Fear Factory experience, and from people I spoke with after the show, there appeared to be mixed reactions on the bands performance. Could Fear Factory be on the downhill slide because Dino was such a driving force for the band? Maybe, maybe not, but either way, I think they need to remanufacture themselves pretty bloody quickly, as the soul of this machine is becoming old and may need a complete overhaul sooner than later.

Fear Factory/Devildriver/Dry Kill Logic - The Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney, Australia, 16 September 2006

Words and images by Michael O'Brien

If there is one thing I will remember the next time I go to a show that is sold out at The Big Top is that I will have to get there super early. Arriving fashionably late just doesn't cut it at this place. With the doors not set to open until 7:30 I arrived slightly after this to see a line that stretched from the doors all the way back out of Luna Park. I don't think I have ever seen so many metal fans all lined up together at once. Unfortunately, my tardiness lead to me missing Dry Kill Logic whom I am told put on a great set.

Tonight was my first experience with co-headliners Devildriver, a band whom I know very little about, save that their front man Dez Fafara was also the front man of nu metal band Coal Chamber. With that in mind I didn't have particularly high expectations for the band and unfortunately those low expectations were met, at least as far as the music was concerned.

Whilst the band were very tight and played their tunes impeccably, they are still toiling well within the bowels of nu metal as far as I am concerned. Though in fairness, they are probably a lot closer to being a metal band than many others in said genre. Though judging by the reaction of the crowd, I may be wholly within the minority with this opinion.

Drummer John Boecklin was the standout performer for the band and was like a human metronome. It was his playing above all else that gave the band its vitality and intensity. I doubt he would have any problems lending his talents to something a little more extreme if he so wished.

With the departure of Devildriver from the stage, the anxious wait for Fear Factory began.

Fear Factory live in SydneyFear Factory live in Sydney

I had mixed feelings about seeing Fear Factory because I had pretty much given up on the band a long time ago. In fact the last album of theirs I bought was Obsolete, way back in 1998. After hearing the abortion that was Digimortal I had signed off on the band and never bothered to pursue any of their later releases.

When the music from the PA faded, and Burton C Bell strolled up the mic, any trepidation I was feeling immediately dissipated. It was full throttle from the word go with the band cranking out 3 songs in a row from what I presumed to be their latest slab, Transgression.

The band's set provided a cross section of their collected works from the past 15 years. Whilst there were many songs I was unfamiliar with from their later years, I was really happy to hear some of the old favourites too, especially Martyr and Scapegoat from their first album, Soul of a New Machine.

I had no idea Fear Factory still command such a large following after all of these years. If anything, their fan base has grown exponentially. I remember lining up outside of the NSW Uni Roundhouse when they toured here in 1996 and I swear there would have been maybe 300 people there on that day. Skip forward 10 years and their following has increased 10 fold.

Fear Factory livein SydneyFear Factory are one of the tightest live bands I have ever seen. I had serious doubts about whether they would be able to pull off some of the more complex rhythmic patterns but they managed to articulate every single note masterfully, and actually managed to make it look easy. The crowd lapped up everything that was thrown their way, with the front of the house becoming an every moving sea of jumping and slamming people who couldn't get enough of the machine that is Fear Factory.

If another tour were to be announced today, after the performance I just witnessed, I would have no hesitation in being first in line for tickets. There is something enthralling about a show where the energy of the crowd is equally matched by the energy of the performers.

Of all the venues I have been to over the years to see metal shows, few can match the standards set by The Big Top at Luna Park. I'm not sure exactly what it is that I like so much. Perhaps it is the 3000 person capacity or the sheer size of the arena. Whatever it is, here's hoping many more bands are able to not only play at, but fill this venue to capacity in the future.

More from Fear Factory, Devildriver and Dry Kill Logic