Concert Reviews

Concert Review: ANIMALS AS LEADERS with Intervals – Kansas City

The Truman | Kansas City, MO | 01 April 2022

Constantly pushing the boundaries of instrumental heaviness, Animals as Leaders have redefined what is possible in the realm of progressive metal with their innovative and often enigmatic style. The trio have recently released their fifth full-length studio album, Parrhesia, via Sumerian Records, and are once again on the road in support of the new album. The Parrhesia Tour kicked off in Denver, Colorado on March 30th and runs through April 22nd in Los Angeles, California. Tonight’s show in Kansas City, Missouri, is the second stop on the tour. Canadian progressive metal outfit, Intervals, is providing direct support this evening.

Shrouded in darkness and quietly making their way onto the stage to the roar of the Kansas City crowd, Tosin Abasi, Javier Reyes, and Matt Garstka took up their respective instruments and launched into the classic Animals as Leaders song, “Tooth and Claw,” from their 2014 Sumerian Records release, The Joy of Motion. The trio dived right into two tracks that reached back to their 2009 eponymous debut album, “Tempting Time” and “Wave of Babies.” Over the past decade or so, I’ve seen Animals as Leaders many times – in Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Lawrence, Kansas, Anaheim, even at Download Festival in the UK – and on each occasion, this group has never disappointed in delivering a flawless performance of dizzying technical proficiency.

The band just released their fifth studio album, Parrhesia, on March 25, 2022, via Sumerian Records, and are currently touring in support of the album. So, it’s no surprise that the setlist contains 5-6 tracks off the latest release, including “Gordian Naught”, “Micro-Aggressions”, “Monomyth”, and “The Problem of Other Minds.” You can check out the video for “Micro-Aggressions” below.

Reaching back to their 3rd studio album, 2014’s The Joy of Motion, Tosin and company dazzled the Kansas City audience with “The Woven Web”, and the playful bounce of “Physical Education” to close out the main set. There was a brief pause and then one last encore song. After a bit of a glitch at the start, the three virtuosos put a cap on the evening with crowd-favorite “CAFO”, a spectacular display of sweep-picking arpeggios and two-hand tapping on the guitar from Abasi, set to a solid groove from Reyes and Garstka.

If you love progressive music as much as I do, don’t hesitate to check out Animals as Leaders on their Parrhesia Tour 2022. Check the dates below.

Tour Dates:

  • 03/30 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
  • 04/01 Kansas City, MO @ Truman Theater*
  • 04/02 Omaha, NE @ Slowdown*
  • 04/03 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
  • 04/04 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
  • 04/05 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
  • 04/06 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
  • 04/08 Hampton Beach, NH @ Wally’s*
  • 04/09 Lititz, PA @ Mickey’s Black Box*
  • 04/10 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
  • 04/11 Philadelphia, PA @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • 04/12 Boston, MA @ Big Night Live
  • 04/13 Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
  • 04/15 Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
  • 04/16 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
  • 04/18 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
  • 04/19 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
  • 04/21 Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee Theater*
  • 04/22 Los Angeles, CA @ Theater At The Ace Hotel

*Not a Live Nation date

Photos by Thomas Woroniak Photography

Animals As Leaders



Thomas Woroniak

Owner/Editor/Photographer/Journalist at AntiHero Magazine -- Thomas is a concert photographer and writer living in the Kansas City, MO area. When he isn't elbowing people in the photo pit, he makes an actual living as a web developer and freelance motion graphics designer. He is also a guitarist and studied music composition at the University of Illinois at Chicago -- Author: Thomas Woroniak

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