SoundWave 2010

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.

Sunny Day Real Estate

*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.

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Eagles Of Death Metal

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.

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Clutch, Anvil, Meshuggah, Anthax (!)

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.

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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……..


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