After an absence of almost 10 years, UK power metal heroes Dragonforce finally returned to Perth to kick off their Australian tour which happens to be one of the first countries in the world to experience the shredders on their ‘Reaching Into Infinity’ world tour in support of their latest album.
There could not be a more perfect opening band for Dragonforce than Perth’s own Silent Knight. Anyone following the local scene knows who they are and without a doubt it was an easy choice to make to warm up the power metal freaks in the moshpit and boy did they ever! Perth fans embraced the local metallers with open arms, beers in hand and dancing shoes on as Silent Knight converted a whole slew of new fans and further impressed those who already enjoyed the band’s tight live show and musical prowess. Drummer Dan Grainger on hand behind the kit wowed onlookers with a set of drumming skills most would envy as he tore through a steady stream of double kicks and lightning quick fills to compliment the rest of the band who kept up in speed and precision as best they could.
Silent Knight recently announced the re-recording and re-release of their debut album “The Masterplan” and during the band’s set, guitarist Stu McGill quickly mentions the album launch show next Saturday at the Amplifier Bar next door before proceeding to the by now traditional Silent Knight set closer “The Final Countdown”, a classic cover by veteran rockers Europe to end their set. Definitely an electric way to start the night.
Dragonforce were last in Australia at the final Soundwave Festival in 2015 and we were lucky enough to catch them on that run of shows in Melbourne and Sydney but it’s been much longer since the band had traveled to the western part of the country. Aided by the club setting at Capitol Theatre and the floor filled with diehard Dragonforce and old school metal fans in general, this was always going to be the better show and the hour and a half that we got which included a mix of old and new songs proved to be well worth seeing again.
The primary focus tonight for Dragonforce was definitely to showcase the new material off the new album “Reaching Into Infinity” which is a continuation of the shredfest the British rockers are known for. Aside from the dark and surprisingly heavy “Edge Of The World” towards the end of the set which features a few new traits including harsher vocals and black metal-esque attacks, it’s business as usual as the 5 piece showed why they are one of the premier power metal bands in the world.
“Ashes Of The Dawn”, Judgement Day” and “Curse Of Darkness” also made the cut tonight but older numbers like “Heroes Of Our Time” and “Heart Of A Dragon” connected to the fans a little more easier, possibly due to familiarity since the new album has only been out for a month. A highlight of the night however was when the guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman along with frontman Marc Hudson took a short break while Gee Anzalone on drums and bassist Frédéric Leclercq who took on the role of guitarist for a brief moment, busted out both individual and tandem solos including some comedic guitar licks and a dazzling display of technical wizardry.
But before we get ahead of ourselves here, Dragonforce did bring out one more surprise for the night and that was their speedy rendition of “Ring Of Fire” from Johnny Cash. Not exactly true to the original as the band splattered their own signature blend of blistering speeds and shredding guitars but hey, this is Dragonforce we are talking about here! Nothing is too over the top for these guys but they eventually returned to normalcy and one which many in the crowd had been waiting for to close out the night – “Through The Fire And Flames”. For the rest of the guitar hero’s across Australia waiting for their glimpse of these almost 20 year power metal veterans, you are in for a real treat.
Dragonforce Australia Tour Dates:
Tuesday 20 June – Capitol, Perth – 18+
Wednesday 21 June – 170 Russell, Melbourne – 18+
Thursday 22 June – The Basement, Canberra – 18+
Saturday 24 June – Manning Bar, Sydney – 18+
Sunday 25 June – The Triffid, Brisbane – 18+
Tickets through Destroy All Lines
Photos by Elspeth Erickson Photography