Image for Kyuss, The Big Top 07/05/2011

Kyuss, The Big Top 07/05/2011

Written by Shane Arnold on May 12, 2011

After too many years to mention, it was time for the return of the mighty Kyuss. And as a special smokey bonus Tumbleweed were pulled in as support on the Sydney leg of this magical tour. As expected, Tumbleweed came out blasting with the likes of TV Genocide and Hang Around setting the tone for what was going to be a special night. And as one punter pointed out, singer Richie Lewis was doing his very best homage to Iggy Pop – with arms and legs flailing all over the place. Tumbleweed weren’t exactly magnificent – but who could begrudge them some nerves on a night such as this. But they managed to excite what was virtually a full house even before they took the stage, with the sizzling rock of Daddy Long Legs and Carousel – now everyone was fully energised for the arrival of Kyuss.

This was an event that had taken on an almost holy reverence – and it was beyond deserved, it was well earned in an event that exceeded all expectations. There really is no other way to say it, but Kyuss were simply fucking magic in one of the finest gigs in recent memory. From the jaw dropping jackhammer sludge of opening song Molten Universe to the galloping rock of closer Green Machine, it was one big mindfuck – rarely are gigs this amazing.

John Garcia (also of Hermano, Slo Burn and Unida) is still the coolest frontman – no silly crowd baiting bullshit, he was there to sing his lungs out – and in return everyone screamed their lungs out. Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator, Eagles Of Death Metal, Dwarves, and some band full of queens) seemed a different man to the sometimes annoyingly-outlandish one we’ve come to know over the last 10 years. Here he was far more reserved – behaving like a typical rock n’ roll dude, and everyone loved him for it. The spaced-out Brant Bjork (Fu Manchu, plus his own tripped out psychedelic shit) clearly still does his best work behind the drums – even after he did a Dave Grohl several years and took up guitar and vocals for his solo work. But the special mention belongs to new-ish guitarist Bruno Fevery. He was phenomenal – the man knows his Kyuss licks. As a teenager he was in a Kyuss tribute band, and it shows – not a note was out of place, and he gave several riffs a bit of his own flavour.

Kyuss knew exactly what the fans wanted and they served it up flawlessly – Asteroid, Super Scoopa and Mighty Scoop, El Rodeo and Odyssey all sounded as fresh as they did in the 90s. Had we travelled back in time, or is some of today’s music a little stale? Brilliance such as this doesn’t age – there was no arguing when the epic masterpiece Spaceship Landing took off and blasted all expectations into oblivion. Ah Kyuss – when they hit us with the likes of One Inch Man, 50 Million Year Trip, and Thumb, it was a little humbling to think that in the entire universe, with its infinite spectacle and spellbinding wonder – there was no other place you would rather be than the Big Top at Luna Park.

It was an honour and special privilege to witness such a stunning gig and every single punter loved every single minute of it, there were smiles and cheers all over the place. Even leaving the venue people were hugging and singing – it’s not often you see that, such camaraderie is often missing from great gigs. But surely, something had to be off tonight? Sadly, yes – the bar arrangement was appalling, with punters squeezed into a single line that caused no end of trouble. Bad venue management like this only serves to reinforce bad reputations at certain venues, and it’s something Big Top management need to sort out. Maybe they should just sit down with a bowl of mull and play some Kyuss – tonight’s performance would certainly cure any aliment or bad decision. And so it’s thanks to Kyuss, they gave us something special tonight that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Set list:
Molten Universe
Gardenia
Hurricane
One Inch Man
Thumb
Conan Troutman
Freedom Run
Asteroid
Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop
Fatso Forgotso
Odyssey
Whitewater
El Rodeo
100°
Encore 1:
Spaceship Landing
Allen’s Wrench
Encore 2:
50 Million Year Trip
Green Machine

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