**LIVE REVIEW** Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots // Skindred @ Eatons Hill - 21st September 2017

September 22, 2017



Warming the crowd up by playing 'Thunderstruck' with flashing strobe lights was the perfect introduction to Skindred's opening set on the first night of the Return to Roots tour with Max and Iggor Cavalera.

Skindred have been wowing audiences across the globe for a number of years, scoring several big-name support slots and tonight they hit the stage running as if to prove why they are held in such high regard.
From the outset vocalist Benji Webbe had the crowd in the palm of his hand - although the predominantly metal crowd did take a while to warm to proceedings.
It had nothing to do with the enthusiasm or quality of the band, it was more the fact a) Max has always had a parochially loyal fan base and b) Skindred's music is so eclectic and sporadic that some people had trouble keeping up initially.
Blending elements of punk, metal, dubstep, and reggae, the musical output of this four-piece is frenetic and mesmerizing, with Webbe the perfect focal point as ringleader and vocalist.
His sense of humour is more than slightly left of center, but his honesty and integrity is beyond reproach.
Promising to "have a bit of a laugh before them other cunts come on", Webbe soon had the crowd hanging off every word, but it wasn't only his sense of humour that had the crowd interested.

Ploughing through a variety of songs from their 20 year career, including 'Doom Riff', 'Kill the Power' and 'Nobody', Skindred also played new song 'Sound the Siren' as well as the unrecorded 'Machine', with each song providing different elements of genres that never clashed or threatened one another, even though they really had no place meshing together.

Even the mosh pit looked confused at times with the timing, tempo, and genre changes throwing people's rhythm (if a pit has any) out of whack and providing an entertaining and humorous spectacle for those close to the action.

By the time the LJ Hooker theme song 'You're the Best' boomed through the speakers to end the show, Skindred had converted the skeptical crowd and the reaction Webbe and co were given as they left the stage was one of triumph and adulation which was seemingly out of reach early in the set. Top stuff!


As the moment most of the crowd had waited for for almost twenty years drew closer, the chants of Sepultura began to reverberate through the air and anticipation began slowly building.
Roots was Max's last studio album with Sepultura and tonight marked the first time on Australian soil that Max and brother Iggor would perform the album - in its entirety - on our shores.

This was more than a concert, it was, as Webbe had said earlier, a "celebration of life".

With a massive Return to Roots banner filling the back wall and an Australian and Brazillian flag adorning each side of the stage, Iggor was the first to enter followed by Max and the rest of the band.
The response was almost deafening and as Max roared "what's up Australia, make some noise! Roots... Bloody Roots" the band began playing the title song and the crowd transformed into a seething wave of aggression that stretched from both sides to the back of the room.

It can be both a blessing and a curse to hear a band play an album front to back in that you know what you are going to get and in what order, but tonight it didn't matter, with the enthusiastic crowd able to pre-empt each song and at times take the vocal duties away from Max.
There were moments when he was genuinely humbled by the response and was content to sit back and admire the performance himself, while at other times he was almost competing with his fans to be heard.
It looked as though Max was having the time of his life with a constant grin that was only ever broken when his natural musical aggression took over.

Having his brother back in the engine room was an obvious point of relief and respectful adulation, with the chemistry between the two never more obvious than when a tom drum was brought out and the pair engaged in a solo dual with Max on the tom and Iggor on his kit.
The loving glances between the two as well as the skintight timing and interplay was the standout of a performance which was basically a highlight package from start to finish.

The album was played almost note perfect with a live twist, and even the albums instrumental songs were played without impacting the flow and severity of the performance.
When Max beamed "I'm the happiest man alive" you could sense his words rang true, with a freshness and vitality to proceedings that can only be relayed by a person who is at peace with the past.

At the completion of the album Max obviously wasn't finished with the crowd and launched into a couple of classic Sepultura songs as well as two of his favourite covers, but to reveal what they were would only detract from the uniqueness of the performance.

If you want to know, you will have to get along to one of the bands remaining shows, and in the process treat yourself to a memorable night of nostalgia that will unfortunately probably never be repeated in this country.

Kris Peters






Friday 22 September: Big Top, Sydney – Lic A/A

Saturday 23 September: Forum Theatre, Melbourne – 18+

Sunday 24 September: HQ, Adelaide – 18+

Tuesday 26 September: Astor Theatre, Perth – 18+



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