When I heard that Norway’s black ‘n’ roll titans Kvelertak were playing in Melbourne, I was definitely excited. When I saw they were playing at my personal favorite venue, The Corner, I was even more psyched. And when I saw that King Parrot, one of Australia’s premiere grindcore bands, was opening for them, I lost my mind.
There could not be a more perfect gig for me to attend.
First off, the sound was not what I’d come to expect from The Corner. Bass was lacking, and vocals were nearly inaudible. Lighting was spot on, as always, and the crowd was disappointingly weak during King Parrot. Makes sense; there were a surprising amount of ‘core kids who had probably never even heard of grindcore before, but it was still a letdown. It’s a fucking grind show, man. Have fun, and mosh until you have bruises for the next week.
King Parrot was awesome despite the sound issues. Their signature stage presence and banter kept the gig fun, and while the crowd was lame as balls, they used it to their favor, playfully insulting the confused crowd.
“Don’t be mean to them, they’ve washed and conditioned their hair for this show! Real special Pantene anti-dandruff stuff,” bassist Slatts said to vocalist Youngy, who was going off on the crowd for not moving.
Of course, I took this as my opportunity to do my first ever heckle at a gig: “Is that what you use on your back?” I said, to the laughter of the entire crowd — and most of the band.
The set list was great, the performances solid and enthusiastic as always, complete with stage diving, crowd surfing, piggyback rides, and moshing in the crowd. Youngy’s always really nice to me, since he (accidentally) ripped the arse out of my pants at Obscene Extreme Australia, so he shared the mic with me a couple of times. Really awesome dudes, and great band both live and on record. Check out Bite Your Head Off, their only release to date.
After a lengthy set up, Kvelertak took the stage.
As the band took to the stage, I noticed that guitarist Vidar was sitting on a couch with his left leg straight out. Erlund, the frontman, was nowhere to be seen as the rest of the band began playing “Åpenbaring.”
A minute later, he appeared, wielding a mic in his hand and an owl on his head, feathers covering his face, and bright yellow lights in the eyes on its head.
An impressive entrance to a phenomenal gig, they played perfectly. Halfway through the set, Erlund explained that Vidar had fractured his knee in Sydney and was playing the tour anyway, to the roar of the crowd.
The set list was perfect. Absolutely perfect. With a beautiful balance of high stage energy and brilliant songs, Kvelertak proved to me why they were in my top five favorite bands of all time. All of the (mobile) members of the band both crowdsurfed and moshed, guitars and all.
Vidar seemed to be having a great time jamming to himself, despite the jeering of other members of the band, shaking their legs around, taunting him. There’s nothing better than seeing a band just let go and have fun on stage. Kvelertak brought a true, organic energy missing from so much of today’s metal acts, definitely living up to the hype as one of the best live bands around, and possibly ever.
While I was more familiar with the older material, the newer stuff was still great. It was melodic, upbeat, and most of all, fun. “Yeah! Punk rock!,” as Erlund put it.
I cannot recommend seeing Kvelertak enough, if you haven’t already. If you’re not sold on them, seeing them live will change that. And go check out King Parrot. Grinder or not, you’ll love them.
King Parrot set list:
Cold Steel Probe
What You Need (My Cock)
Blaze in the Northern Suburbs
Silly Ol’ Mate
Sun in the Sea
Stench of Hardcore Pub Trash
Psychotherapy and Valium
Shit on the Liver
Kvelertak set list:
Spring fra livet
Sjøhyenar (Havets herrer)
Utrydd dei svake
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