Vola + Voyager +Four Stroke Baron
29th September 2022
Photo and review by Dovalde Gaidelionyte
On a chilly Thursday evening people were lining up to the northern event venue, The Garage to see three prog metal bands. Four Stroke Baron, Voyager, and headliners of the night – Vola. Three quite different bands, so the evening seems to be promising!
The night’s first act is the trio from Reno, Nevada – Four Stroke Baron. The band already has 3 albums under their belt with the newest one, “Classics”, being released just a year ago. I had a chance to hear them once back in 2019, so was curious to see them again.
Submersed in the thick fog, the band starts with their first song, and a mixture of styles filled up the venue. If you’re not familiar with them, you might get surprised, as it is not easy to define their style. Artificial sounding vocals that reminded me of something I’ve heard in gothic rock, some synth-pop or new wave blending with nu metal and prog. At some points during their gig, I got some Deftones vibes but was still trying to figure them out.
Even though their sound is quite energetic, only the bassist was putting up the show for the audience, facial expressions, headbanging, and rhythmic squatting were entertaining to watch and it gave liveliness to their whole performance. Four Stroke Baron spent only half an hour on stage and delivered greatly and I believe everyone present at their show had a blast.
A break and some reorganisation are taking place and the people in the venue are buzzing, and soon the second band appears on stage. Voyager is an Australian band, formed in 1999. They have 8 studio albums and their latest one, “Ghost Mile”, was released in 2020, as well as a freshly released live album: “A Voyage Through Time”.
The audience started to shout the band’s name and Danny Estrin (lead vocals/keys/programming), Simone Dow (guitars), Alex Canion (bass/backing vocals), Scott Kay (guitars) and Ashley Doodkorte (drums) appeared and were joyfully greeted by the crowd, which seemed to be bigger now. I had never heard them before, so seeing five funky-looking people on stage seemed intriguing and I couldn’t wait to hear what they have prepared for all of us.
Voyager started with their 2019 album song “Colours”. Synth-pop sounds filled up the stage and quickly got merged with some heavy metal riffs and I couldn’t shake the feeling I was in an 80’s metal disco. If that even is a thing, this band seemed like it just might be! They followed up with one of their older creations from 2014 before giving the crowd a treat, one of the new singles released in 2022, “Submarine”, showing everyone here their uniqueness and true sound. Their fans were also treated by their second 2022 release “Dreamer” and it looked like the audience were well aware of the lyrics as they sang along to them. The show was finished with Voyager’s 2017 song “Ascension”. but it looked like that fans hadn’t had enough.
They were looking so lively on the stage that it was amazing to watch. All that non-stop energy and ability to put up the show you can’t take your eyes away from definitely shows Voyager are professionals in what they do.
- Breaking Down
- The Meaning of I
The buzzing in the Garage seemed to get louder and everyone was eager to see the headliners of the night – Vola. The band that formed in Copenhagen in 2006, has 3 studio albums, 3 EPs, and a live album released just this year, and also a devoted fan base waiting to hear their music live. Today on stage are Asger Mygind (lead vocals, guitars), Martin Werner (keyboards), Nicolai Mogensen (bass guitar) and Adam Janzi on drums.
The moment they stepped out screaming and clapping burst out and the band started their show with “24 Light-Years”. Compared with the previous band, they seemed more mellow, melodic, and emotional but were still keeping the heaviness of metal. Artificial sounds once again filled up the place but this time it somehow seemed more cosmic and atmospheric.
The band also took their time to think about a stage setup, which doubles the experience for all the listeners. The lights in the background from time to time seemed like shooting stars, which most likely added to that cosmic feeling their sound has, not to mention a lot of their songs have their names associated with outer space. Like the one Vola carried on with second, “Alien Shivers” from their 2018 album “Applause Of A Distant Crowd”. All of their songs are musically connected very well so I believe it is safe to assume they found their style and direction in a progressive metal world.
Fans were enthusiastically showing their support after every song that was played and it was easy to drift away and submerge yourself in this whole experience they are creating. Vola was shifting between songs from all their albums so everyone who came that night had a chance to hear their favourites. The band also surprised their fans by performing one of their 2011 releases “Enter” acoustically and giving a chance for everyone to just feel the music. Maybe it’s just me, but it always hits differently (in a good way!) when bands decide to do that so I surely enjoyed this moment.
Straight after that, everyone was taken back to the cosmic atmosphere with “Ghosts”, and after that they hit harder, making the audience headbang a little before leaving a stage. Of course, fans didn’t want to let them go easily so after a proper amount of shouting, clapping and screaming the band was back on! They performed two more songs and finished their night with the last one on their “Witness” album: “Inside Your Fur”.
Even after 16 songs, fans didn’t had enough, but who ever does when seeing their favourite band?
- 24 Light-Years
- Alien Shivers
- Stray the Skies
- Ruby Pool
- We Are Thin Air
- Future Bird
- Your Mind Is a Helpless Dreamer
- These Black Claws
- Head Mounted Sideways
- Straight Lines
- Inside Your Fur
For me, this night was quite a surprise, all these bands were so different from one another and yet the evening was absolutely amazing and I believe everyone, including me, left The Garage with a smile on their face.