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Live Reviews : Plini, Mestis & David Maxim Micic @ Manning Bar, Sydney 08/09/2018

By on September 19, 2018

It was the perfect evening for progressive music in Sydney and was made even better by the fact that it was at the Manning Bar, my favourite venue in Sydney. Beginning the night on a funky note was Serbian prodigy David Maxim Micic. Right from the moment, he came on stage, there was such a beautifully electric vibe in the room, something that remained throughout his set. Making his debut performance in Australia, Micic broke into some of the most amazing guitar work that I’ve ever seen in the realm of progressive metal. There was just something very special about the way he interacted with the crowd through the sheer power and tone of his playing. Every song he played had a different feel to it but a certain vibrant energy; one that put a smile on the face of everyone who was there. Playing tracks off his latest album release, Who Bit the Moon’ as well as some stuff off his BILO album/EP’s, there was not a shred of doubt that he is indeed a much-loved musician in Australia. Bobbing his head to the beat of every track, really taking it in, I’ve never enjoyed an instrumental gig more than I have watching Micic play. He is an incredibly passionate and soulful musician, and has the best time on stage; it’s so much fun to watch and listen to! Overall, it was an incredible performance by David and the band, one that I will remember for a long, long time to come.

To be completely honest, I would’ve been very happy just watching David and then calling it a night. But the night continued on with none other than Javier Reyes, the man playing alongside Tosin Abasi and Matt Garstka in everyone’s favourite prog metal geniuses Animal As Leaders. It wasn’t until this tour was announced that I was made aware that Javier had his own project, Mestis but I’m glad I did. A man of few words, he came on stage, with a cheeky smile and quick greeting to punters, he began playing what was definitely a very unique style of music on his gorgeous 8-string signature ESP. Having just released his latest album a couple of days prior to the show, we were treated to a few songs from ‘Eikasia’. Javier’s style of playing is really classy and smooth, but the elements of heaviness were definitely there. I liked that there was no bullshit and drama; he came on stage played, and left. It was simple and brilliant.

Now to be completely honest with our (my) readers, I’m by no means a guitar/progressive nerd. So by this point, I was definitely a little guitar-ed out (vocals please?). However, a lot of the time, it’s the crowd that also majorly adds to the atmosphere of a show and the Sydney crowd were having a whale of a time welcoming Sydney’s very own Plini on stage. A man of few (but very funny words), Plini dove straight into his brand new EP much to the delight of those who had gathered. “Sunhead” had clearly received a lot of appreciation from fans, with its layers of melody and groove. His band of musicians who at this point I have to say, I absolutely admire for their ability to play three sets back to back was incredibly flawless in their delivery and performance, each one standing out visibly in amongst the sea of ethereal, proggy vibes. Along with songs from the new EP, there was also much glee and cheer when he performed songs from his debut EP “Other Things” and another beautiful release “Handmade Cities” in between the occasional cheeky banter than Plini loves to indulge in with his fans. As the night slowly came to an end, the set took us to a really cool improvised jam session on stage where Plini invited his friends back on stage. This was probably one of the highlights of the night as it showcased the style, charisma and talent of every single musician on stage and definitely was a rad showcase of some unbelievable solos.

There were so much positivity and excitement in the room by the end of the night, as Plini made it known that he would be exiting the stage and reappearing for an encore fo “Electric Sunrise”. All in all, an excellent night of live music!


Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.