Circles The ‘Winter’ Tour Brisbane (Brisbane, Qld)

19 July 2019 at The Zoo

The Zoo, hands down is one of my most memorable venues for live music. I’ve seen so many great national and international bands play here and tonight its stage is graced with more amazing talent. The tour, although named after their song released last year was very fitting tonight. The ‘Winter’ Tour has come to Brisbane on one of the coldest weekends and even managed to turn Brisbane’s “Hotbox” venue, The Zoo into a comfortable venue. Tagging along for the ride was Ballarat’s Ebonivory while showcasing some of the local talent as they go. Tonight, they were joined by Kodiak Empire and Balloons KillBabies.


Balloons Kill Babies were first up and waiting for them to start was an enthusiastic crowd. Local Brisbane boys had their share of followers there with the room filling up with fellow music lovers. We were all here for our own reasons but those that arrived early enough were up front and centre mesmerised by the talent these guys displayed. It’s music everyone can enjoy, this heavy instrumental trio featuring Christian “Twiggy” Carter (Guitar), Karl O’Shea (Bass) and Scott Davey (Drums, Percussion) is a mix of metal, prog and post-rock. With influences from Tool, Russian Circles and Opeth I really enjoyed the story being told tonight. A short and sweet set, and we were treated to 4 new songs. Each one showing the growth this band has developed and the smooth but at times heavy AF moments were enjoyed by the crowd. Each song I was taken on a journey. I loved seeing they were so comfortable in performing that they were playing barefoot, lol. Their newest song L’appel Du Videis unique to them and played with dynamic depth and I really enjoyed it. This talented band is making a name for themselves and going by the fan base here tonight, there is more to come. 


Ebonivory hit the stage next and almost instantly the crowds pushed forward to get a better spot to listen. These guys are making waves in the music industry and have shared the stage with some awesome bands including supporting alt-rock powerhouse Dead Letter Circus and a spot in Australia’s acclaimed PROGFEST festival alongside international bands The Ocean, Monuments and Skyharbor.                                

I hadn’t seen these guys live before but have been a fan for a while now. Seeing them live was a must for me and to hear they were touring with Circles was a huge bonus.

Their sound is described as alternative rock, progressive metal, post-hardcore and modern punk all rolled into one awesome bundle. This 5-piece ensemble only forming in 2014 sound like they have been around for years. Onstage confidence and professionalism were displayed as Jake Ewings (guitar), Louis Edwards (guitar, backing vocals), Connor McMillan (bass, backing vocals), and David Parkes (drums, percussion) join lead vocalist Charlie Powlett to deliver an epic show.

Starting the set of with A Colour I’m Blind to, a now filling room we were instantly treated to the absolute tightness and talent this band has. The epic vocals of frontman Powlett were supported and balanced by Edwards and McMillan. The sound these guys get together, the growls, just amazing. Matched with the bass and beats, each song was delivered faultlessly. Playing my favourite song Hammer Street was an absolute treat. Such a heavy sound is achieved with such ease and enjoyment. Finishing off the set with Light the Fires, they left us wanting more. A mix of instrumental and soft vocals at the start are quickly replaced with heavy grunty bass beats sending us off with their best. Absolutely enjoyed these guys and can’t wait to catch them again soon.


Kodiak Empire a local Brisbane 5-piece progressive metal band were up next. I have seen this band a couple of times now and I have enjoyed their set each time. They have influences from Karnivool, Tool and Silverchair and front man Bryce Carleton has a voice to match such epic bands.

They have come out of the studio for this one, so we were treated with some new songs and while currently unnamed with working titles it brings hope for the possibility of a new album soon. One song that I enjoyed, currently named Sun was an awesome display of the talent these guys have. The heavy riffs and awesome keyboarding skills brought me closer to the barrier so I could experience it in full.  A great band that worked well together and the enjoyment experienced on stage was reciprocated by the audience.


Now for the main event, a band I have finally been able to catch live. Melbourne’s Circles, on the Brisbane leg of their national tour still have upcoming shows in Canberra, July 26, Belgrave, Aug 2 and finishing up this monumental tour in Ballarat, Aug 3. If you can get your hands on a ticket, do it now, as they are not to be missed.

Starting off their set to a now filling venue they opened with Dream Sequence and Breaker. Their sound is electric, heavy riffs and bass and vocals that match that of many successful international bands. These guys rock! They were here to give us their all and honestly, they did just that and more. The interaction with the audience kept us engaged and entertained throughout the set.

At the barrier I was captured by the pure bliss of this band. These guys are changing the way we think about heavy music. The emotional pull of their lyrics, the precision, and the sheer force of their performance places them in a class of their own. The soaring backing vocals and front-man Ben Rechter’s melodic singing style is signature of Circles’ ever-expanding sound.

Having toured nationally with many rock and metal bands including Periphery, Fear Factory, Twelve Foot Ninja they arecontinuing to put on a live show that is one of the most powerful and mind blowing going around. With their bass slapping, absolute guitar ripping and amazing vocal sound they played onto an energetic crowd playing my favourite and tour name Winter.  Finishing off with Arrival and Tether, they left us with nothing left in the tank. We were all treated to an amazing set. These guys know how to perform and with a sound like theirs you couldn’t help but get into it. I was sure I would wake up sore after this one and that’s brilliant.


An awesome night was had by all and the bands playing tonight brought it all for us. Pre-recorded is awesome but seeing bands live is just magical. The atmosphere and energy from both the bands and fans is what makes it magic and I can’t wait to see them all again in the future. Tickets are still available at to purchase for the last few shows of the Winter Tour so get on it.


Line-up: Circles, Kodiak Empire, Ebonivory, Balloons Kill Babies

Reviewer: Cherie Smith
Photocredits: Just Ignore The Camera