Yesterday was the annual SoundWave music festival here in Melbourne – quickly becoming my new fave of the festival circuit, ta-ta and never-again to the Big Day Out.
Unless there’s someone I “really* want to see.
The SoundWave setup at Melbourne Showgrounds is a perfectly sized venue, with licensed bar/drinks tents located either side of the main stages – and another next to the ‘metal tent” – for metal music, not a tent made out of metal (!)
And a grandstand, and two other stages behind.
I didn’t go to the lower #3 stage – more for the Emo & punk bands – not my thing really. The place was full but not too crowded – until after Faith No More – but not too bad getting about – and not much dust !
I travelled in with a few friends, grabbed some lunch and a beer – and headed out to check out the bands.
*MY* day started with Sunny Day Real Estate – probably who I’d consider one of the fore-fathers of grunge, before the likes of Nirvana and SoundGarden – but more of the rhythm/harmony style of grunge (like Something For Kate) – rather than the ‘metal grunge’ of the others. They really rocked – I was singing along & getting into it. Great band – I was about 10 people back right in front – was an awesome start to the day !
I wandered over to the metal tent, and caught the last bunch of songs from Baroness, very cool rhythms and grooves, called something like “swamp rock + stoner rock" – great !
The lead singer really rocked – and was a genuine “nice guy” – nice words spoken at the end of set. Going to have to dig out their “Blue” album, apparently it’s brilliant.
In previous years, I’d gone along to the Big Day Out and such with another bunch of friends, so I met up with them near the main stage. We made our way up to check out Eagles of Death Metal – and they gave a real rockin’ show.
The singer whipped the crowd up (“can ya dig it !!?!” x100 ! ha ha !) and made for some damn good fun times rock n’roll – put a smile on my face. Very mucho fun.
Part of the fun of these festivals is the PEOPLE in attendance – I didn’t see as many odd costumes as in previous years.
I saw a guy in the metal tent last year, walking out of the mosh, wearing a PINEAPPLE suit – I shit you not.
He had a foam body, and foam cut leaves around his neck – hilarious !
Saw some great HAIR, and lots of piercings about.
And… I found WALLY !
And – spotted DAVID HASSELHOFF in the crowd too !
I wandered to grab some lunch, and check out some T-shirts – even found a few for Cameron & Liam – size 2 ! Well, I WANTED to get them, but they were $25 each, so I thought better of it.
The metal tent was my home for the next four bands – this four-band set would otherwise have been “an awesome night out” – like a 4-band bill at Festival Hall, or similar. And – more to come in the day !
One of my buddies is a huuuge fan of Clutch – and I’d listened to the CD’s, but hadn’t greatly rock my world – but was still to keen to see what he was on about. They were damn good – that’s for sure ! More southern-style metal (the new Seattle of sorts ?)
The crowd was getting into them – and knew a lot of their stuff – I’ll definitely have to make a mental note to have another listen to them ! The tent was really started to heat up by then – 40 degrees at least.
Anvil have been around for over 20 years, a kinda novelty band following the release of their movie about their life history – a surreal kinda Spinal Tap (yes – it IS real !)
I wanted to see a few songs, and then nick off to see Placebo – but I ended up staying put. Some great 80’s-ish metal – Iron Maiden doses in there – and great muso’s to boot (you’d wanna be after 20+ years doing it !)
I’d expected they’d be a little lame (was apprehensive anyway) – and they were brilliant – I was surprised how good they were – another “FUN” band on the day.
Comic book rock, but done very well – I had a smile on the dial during their show.
By all accounts, Placebo were shit anyways – and I had a great time rockin’ with Anvil.
Meshuggah were up next (co-incidentally who is playing as I write this). In a stark contrast to Anvil, they have layers (upon layers) of rhythm and groove – the progressive-metal style – and done VERY well.
The guitarist had 8 string to fling about, and the bass player was a 6-string – all put to great use.
One of the bands I’d been excited to see, brutal + technical + grooves = incredible.
Loved seeing them – and the crowd dug it too – they had a 50 minute set but only played 6-7 songs (!) – some long “metal musical journeys”.
The singer does an awesome face on stage, rolls his eye back when singing – look very cool – you have to see how he does it to appreciate it though I guess.
Anthrax were next up, and had a great setlist of old and new. I don’t get why they play “Indians” all the time – I’ve never liked that song so much, *I* reckon they have better stuff they coulda played. Lots from the Belladona era – and John Bush belting ‘newer’ stuff like “Only” – the stand-out track for my reckoning.
And then finished up with “Bring The Noise” – just awesome !
I was “done” with the metal tent, and sooo hot & thirsty, so I took off for a drink, and to the main stage – for the remainder of the evening (already !)
Jane’s Addiction were playing as I wove through the crowd, and up closer to the front.
I’ve never been a great fan of theirs – admire what they do, and understand it – just not really my thing.
Good to see them though – Dave Nararro was the model of cool – with loads of tattoos, shirtless, nipple rings and heart-shaped sunnies – only *HE* could make it look good !
And Perry Farrell strutting and prancing about – great show !
I missed “Been Caught Stealing” and “Coming Down The Mountain” – two of theirs that I do like – just loved the ending song : “Jane Says”.
Jimmy Eat World were someone I’d heard of, but not really heard much of until I knew they were coming for SoundWave. I’d been bashing the Bleed America album – and really enjoying it – and looking forward to seeing them !
I enjoyed a few songs, and then was distracted with the prospect of a good position for Faith No More, and moved through the crowd, and so didn’t really “watch” them – but enjoyed what they did.
Another friend commented that it was a bit “lost” in a big outdoor setting – he’d seen them in a small pub/club show – and said it was much better.
The countdown was then ON for Faith No More.
In a word, they were “BRILLIANT” – but more on that in a following post.
I did the same last year with this blog post – just too much to say !
** Apologies for some of the crappy photos – was via iPhone – or an oooold Olympus cheapie – did a bunch of videos of bands, and got home to realise it doesn’t do SOUND ! Faarrcck…!
Next year, I think I might take the digital SLR – have always wanted to. Have some great shots from the Big Day Out 2000 – with my first (film-based) Canon EOS 500 SLR.
More to follow……..