Kamelot Australia Tour 2018 (Sydney, NSW)

7 December 2018 at Manning Bar

First up were Saralisse, folk metallers from Wollongong. Blending intricate orchestrations and fantasy inspired lyrics they warmed up the crowd, providing a light-hearted and positive energy that set a fantastic mood for a night of melodic metal. This was the first time I had seen the Saralisse boys since the departure of Girthlord, their resident bassist and master of stage banter. The newest member of the band, Brad Delforce, slotted in well and performed with confidence (rocking his new tunic I might add), showing the band is still going strong. I look eagerly forward to their first release.

Hot off the release of their new acoustic EP Solace and Solitude, Valhalore rocked Manning, bringing everything and more that the crowd expected from them. You could tell the band were absolutely honoured to be supporting Kamelot for the duration of their Australia tour and they gave it their all on stage – it was hard to believe they had been on the road for the past week. A solid mix of older material and their new acoustic release allowed the crowd to strike a perfect balance between quiet enjoyment and one of the many circle pits that presented themselves. I finally got to enjoy my personal favorite, Across the Frozen Ocean, without getting injured in the mosh, starting a kick line that spanned the entire pit in partial celebration of that fact. Great set, great band.

After grabbing a drink and getting a brief opportunity to cool down after back-to-back folk metal goodness the crowd quieted and prepared themselves for Kamelot. Returning to Australia for the first time in 5 years to promote their newest release, 2018’s The Shadow Theory, the legends of power metal have only grown in popularity and the attendance at the show reflected that. The diversity of the crowd was also of particular note, testament to the universal nature of Kamelot’s music

Playing favorites including Forever and new tracks such as Phantom Divine the entire crowd was head-banging, moving and dancing to the fantastic setlist that spanned most of their near 30 year career. Tommy Karevik was note-perfect and commanded the stage with a powerful yet friendly presence, interacting constantly with the eager crowd and his fellow band-mates. Thomas Youngblood’s passion and excitement to be Down Under was clear and his playing showed that, shifting between face-melting solos and slow ballads with ease. Sean Tibbetts played like a man possessed, whirling in circles for the majority of the set, and Oliver Palotai displayed virtuosic skill on the keys, adding a whole other layer to the band’s sound.

I am so glad that Kamelot returned to Australia and I am even more stoked that the Sydney crowd came out in such force to support. It speaks volumes both about the band and what the Sydney metal scene can be. I think I can fairly speak on behalf of everyone there on Friday when I say we all eagerly look forward to Kamelot’s return.

Line-up: Kamelot, Valhalore, Saralisse

Reviewer: Cal McGlinchey
Photocredits: Mira Live Photography