Plini, Protest The Hero, I Built The Sky @ The Gov, Adelaide 4/2/2023

Plato once said “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind and flight to the imagination.” My Saturday night completely encompassed this quote.

Australian guitar maestro Plini brought his Summer 2023 tour to Adelaide’s iconic music venue The Gov supported by Canada’s Protest The Hero and Melbourne’s I Built The Sky. Filling the back room, I’m pretty sure that a vast majority of the punters were themselves guitarists and the anticipation for the gig to start was electric.

What started out as a studio project has morphed into a live stage show for instrumental guitarist Rohan (Ro) Stevenson and his band of talented musicians. For me music is all about losing yourself in the soundscapes and I Built The Sky delivers this. The beautiful sounds that twist and weave from Ro’s guitar are something else. Intricate and complex melodies wind their way around pounding and swirling riffs. Watching the punters faces as they lost themselves in tracks like This Is Astral Travel, Up Into The Ether and Stars and Darkness, it is no surprise that IBTS continues to build a steady following.

Snapping out of the trance that we had been put in it’s a quick run to the bar before Protest The Hero take the evening up a notch or ten. The energy that this band put out to the audience was reciprocated tenfold. The crowd made their approval known as the first notes of The Migrant Mother washed over us. The next forty minutes were pure entertainment as the five-piece ensemble assaulted our ears with their amazing technical abilities. This is the first time I have seen Protest the Hero live and I think I spent most of the set with my eyes glued to a guitar, amazed at the sounds being emitted from them. Rapid-fire drumming introduces The Fireside before that crazy guitar riff kicks in! Tonight is all about watching amazing musicians ply their craft. Rody raised the bar vocally with Limb from Limb throwing himself around the stage with no letup in sight. One of the highlights of the set for me was Rody welcoming a young 12 year old lad onto the stage for a chat and then organizing him a stage dive!!! Something that he will be talking about for years to come. Protest The Hero delivered a killer set that ended all too soon.

The lights dim as the crowd push towards the stage. The main event is about to begin! Enveloped in a blue mist Plini steps forward as his band take their places. By now the excitement is palpable as we wait for the moment that fingers and strings collide. The sweet opening notes of The Glass Bead Game reverberate across the room. Standing centre stage, Plini is nothing short of magnificent as are the rest of the band. Electric Sunrise, Paper Moon and Impulse Voices floated across the venue which delighted me as they are favourites of mine. The crowd look on awestruck at the sounds emitting from Plini’s guitar as they are drawn into another world, riding waves of emotion as the tempo and timbre swirl. This is what music is all about. Plini can only be described as an aural experience and one that everybody should get to see live at least once.

Live Review By Suze Blacketer

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