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Live Review: Biffy Clyro, WAAX

2 May 2018 | 12:52 pm | Lewis Isaacs

"Biffy Clyro are the archetypal band that captures musical technicality, and the rawest elements of turning everything up to 11 and making a racket."

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Playing to a venue layout with the seating removed in the lower level, Brisbane's WAAX opened the night with an immediate wall-of-sound hit as singer Marie DeVita screamed her way through the opener.

It was an intense performance that's breathless at times as the wave of noise never let up. The five-piece weren't much for dynamics as they provided a relentless offering of guitar-driven exploits. Singles Wild & Weak and This Everything highlighted a set closed out by the band's latest release, Labrador.

A decade has passed since Scotland's Biffy Clyro first visited Australia, and the power trio have become such regular visitors Down Under that if airport cafes had loyalty cards they would have earned their fair share of free coffees by now.

Packing out Sydney's Enmore Theatre, the genre-defying group have grown a cult-like following of fans that lapped up their blend of musical complexity and the best parts of everything loud.

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Despite Biffy Clyro's workmanlike approach to touring, this trip marks the first opportunity for Australian audiences to sample the songs from 2016's Ellipsis live. The live five-piece touring incarnation began with album opener Wolves Of Winter followed by Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies and 57, blitzing their way into the set. 

Working through favourites Bubbles, Black Chandelier and Mountains, the highlight came later in the night through surprise inclusions 9/15ths and There's No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake. It was a setlist that drew from every album (except for 2003's The Vertigo Of Bliss), but included the post-X-Factor obligatory playing of Many Of Horror.

Despite its chaotic appearance at times the band's live show had the tightness of long polish. Frontman Simon Neil (dressed in a set of slacks straight out of Aladdin) and the rhythm section of twin brothers James and Ben Johnston have been playing together for over 20 years and attacked the complexities of their music with ease.

It was a set bereft of banter, but the few times when Neil did speak were surprisingly down to earth and very funny.

The night ended with an encore of Neil's solo acoustic performance of Machines and the anthemic Stingin' Belle as ears around the venue were ringing for the remainder of the night.

Biffy Clyro are the archetypal band that captures musical technicality, and the rawest elements of turning everything up to 11 and making a racket.