Arguably the most anticipated metal show of the year is the debut Australian show of Ukrainian band Jinjer. The queues snake down North Terrace and back towards Hindley Street, forcing the show to start later than advertised. The excitement is palpable and there is the buzz of excitable chatter in the air.
This means openers Freedom Of Fear, play to a wall-to-wall packed audience. Opening like a herd of wild horses charging at you, all you can do is grab on for the ride. The twin guitar duals from Matt Walters and Corey Davis compliment the unpredictable nature of the musics highs and lows while the band seamlessly move within musical styles, losing none of the energy generated.
Fresh off the plane from a successful Japanese jaunt, Melbourne’s Mason know only one speed; fast! There are shredding solos, sequenced head-banging and huge circle pit has formed. All this despite most of the room confessing to watching Mason for the first time. The moshers out in front make enough noise to alert the headliners downstairs in the dressing rooms that Mason have conquered an audience unfamiliar with them. This is what is known as a successful show!
Ukrainian powerhouse Jinjer have weaved their way up through the metal leagues with a blend of metal, funk, reggae – in fact any style you want to throw in – and they leave nothing on the table once finished.
With a video for Pisces that has smashed 32 million views and extensive world touring, it’s been one hit minute since their debut eight years ago was released with little fanfare. For those who are unfamiliar, they have gained glorious notoriety in the mainstream from unsuspecting online ‘stars’ reacting for the first time – while watching the aforementioned video – and being blown away by the dramatic change in vocal styles of vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk.
There is much more than shock value to this band though. The crowd has not left their spot between bands for fear of losing their vantage point. It’s hot and sweaty by the time Jinjer take to the stage and rip right into Teacher Teacher and Sit Stay Roll Over.
The band are tight and you would have to be when one minute you’re blasting out death metal then the next reggae grooves. Tatiana is delivering her trademark gutters growl that sounds like a beast unleashed from hell before displaying soulful melodies. Throw into the mix the rap infused lyrical phrasing and you can see why so many people want to get a piece of this band.
Judgement (& Punishment), I Speak Astronomy and Retrospection are dealt like cards from a crack poker player setting themselves up to take all your money. Everyone is far too engaged in the performance to even care about anything else.
The band themselves do most of their magic in the dark, flanking Tatiana who is whirl of energy, jumping and running across the stage. Performance is key here as she acts out the songs and the handful of small children in the venue who have come to witness this are visibly over joyed by the spectacle.
Home Back and Words Of Wisdom, and finally THAT song itself, finish the crowd off. A crowd that has barely left the main room at all such is the compulsive viewing of a Jinjer show.
There are lot of exhausted and dehydrated bodies leaving. Jinjer deserved the hype, they deserved the long snaking queues, they deserved the shattered bodies leaving their show devoid of energy yet happy.
The rest of the tour is effectively sold out so do what you can to get a ticket – sell a body part, even one of your own if you must – just do not miss Jinjer , you’ll regret it otherwise.
Live Review By Iain McCallum