Perturbator, Gost, The Condos @ Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide 18/2/2023

Among the madness that was the Adelaide Fringe opening weekend, and only a stones throw away from where people were raving out to the Vengaboys, down a dark alley on the West side in Lion Arts Factory, a different kind of party was happening when French Black Metal Synth master Perturbator (pronounced like Terminator in case you are also wondering) came to town and all our little Goth dreams came true.

The epic dark doof party included in this year’s Fringe offerings was being sold as a “Heavy Metal Rave” and honestly, I didn’t know what to expect with that. Like anything, I go in with an open mind and happily, I was in no way disappointed. If you are familiar with Tasmania’s ominous winter solstice arts festival Dark Mofo, you would have thought you were there. It was simultaneously something different, something new and something familiar bringing a mixed crowd and emanating the good old days of Adelaide’s Proscenium Nightclub.

Kicking off the event to an impressive turnout of curious punters and gothic rave veterans alike were Condos, a post-punk new wave Adelaide outfit. Producing some very moody unusual electronic tracks with drums, bass, keys and vocals, they did an impressive job of captivating the audience’s attention and setting the mood for the night. Having not seen anything like this in a live show ever, I felt as if I had just walked into a David Lynch film. Strange and unsettling yet mesmerising, Condos gave an impressive performance that fit in perfectly with the tone of the show.

Following on was national support Texas “slasherwave” artist GosT who upped the tempo tremendously and got everyone headbanging. Accompanied by a giant heavily tattooed bassist, GosT bounced around the stage delivering dark industrial heavy tracks and metal vocals leaving everyone with no choice but to move to the nasty blackened beats. Their energy was intoxicating, and the sound was both unnerving and exciting. My only complaint was the lack of corpse paint masks that are usually worn for their performance.

By the time Perturbator entered the stage the venue was packed and the energy peaking. What ensued was a positively insane assault on the senses with thumping heavy beats performed by a machine of a human on a drumkit while Perturbator (James Kent) worked keys and guitar. The music was a mash up of melodic guitar tones reminiscent of The Cure backed by Heavy Metal blackened EDM, 80s post punk synth and what sounded like Kraftwerk on steroids. In fact, the whole experience was so intense it was near impossible to definitively describe let alone perform much cognitive function during the hour and a half set. What I can tell you is the audience absolutely went off for it and there was an impressive amount of headbanging and windmilling going on. Am I at a rave or a metal show? The answer is yes.

What I believe was a bit of a gamble for promoters in bringing the prodigy that is Perturbator to our sleepy little city, especially on the first weekend of The Fringe, turned out a massive success. Ravers, goths and metalheads united for one hell of a good boogie (and cardio workout) and the artists just about blew the roof off Lion Arts Factory (the bass alone could have done some damage the way the room was shaking) If you were on the fence about it and gave it a miss you missed out, but not to worry, since everyone is catching on now you will be able to catch Perturbator at one of the massive Metal festivals overseas while he takes over the world and disrupts the whole genre in the process.

Live Review By Bec Scheucher

%d bloggers like this: