They perform all new, unreleased material, yet their sound is so infectious that it escapes any misgivings of unfamiliarity.
The tender explorations of Melbourne's Fox + Sui (the pairing of Andras Fox and Sui Zhen) come as a little bit of a surprise tonight, but given their past associations with Le Butcherettes and the Red Bull Music Academy, it rather makes sense. With delicate vocals drifting through gentle yet slightly quirky soundscapes of bass, samples, and electronic beats, they're a fine contrast which lends to the eclecticism of the evening.
Yet another Melbourne duo, A Dead Forest Index, continue the trend, however, the melancholy sounds they churn out are anything but similar. They display a host of clunky guitar and drum rhythms which are given a sense of movement and melody as they are threaded together by a flow of agonised vocals. The gradual pace sinks their music deep below and provides the perfect launching pad for the coming mania.
While this show was predominantly billed under the intimidating guide of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, it is the moniker Bosnian Rainbows that really deserves the limelight tonight. For this new band Rodriguez-Lopez is joined by the Dark Angels duo of drummer Deantoni Parks and keyboardist Nicci Kasper, and Le Butcherettes front woman Teri Gender Bender. They perform all new, unreleased material, yet their sound is so infectious that it escapes any misgivings of unfamiliarity. In fact, this live form of initiation seems to be the ideal way to be exposed to such a fresh sensation. This freshness comes as a welcomed revitalisation after witnessing Omar's apparent boredom with being back in the At The Drive-In fold at Splendour earlier in the year. An aura of possibility permeates the room tonight, and explodes upon the stage through a great frenzy of excitement. Rodriguez-Lopez's movements express his feeling for this music, and with Parks and Kasper rocking to a tight groove beside him, he couldn't look happier. Gender Bender's stage presence, however, seems to inject the real magic into this show. It is truly a sight to behold. She comes on hard like a post-Patti Smith trip that is born of dreams. Her wildly vigorous performance reaches its erratic peak as she hops off the stage to crawl through the crowd, and then lie face-down on the middle of the floor before returning to the stage via some somersault-tumbles. There is never any doubt through this performance that Bosnian Rainbows stand strong as a band in their own right. By perpetually paying homage to process and the present instead of being trapped by past successes, Omar strikes gold once more.