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SoundWave 2013

Last Friday, it was Melbourne’s turn to (again) host the annual SoundWave festival – this is by far my favourite day-out-with-metalheads – and I’d been researching bands via Spotify for weeks – and planning my “day” of rock.    \m/

I picked up my buddy Andy about 9.45am – and we headed into town – excitedly chatting about bands and the recent Kyuss/OrangeGoblin/RedFang show that he had graciously given up his free ticket to see.

We arrived at the Flemington Racecourse (NOT Showgrounds – boo !) about 10.30 – and was a queue into the carpark – then a queue to the gate – then a queue to get into the venue.   (yep – LOTS of people – it’s become a BIG festival).

1. Red Fang

First band of the day was at 11.30 – I was very keen to see these guys after having seen only the last 1.5 songs on the Tuesday night (Kyuss show).   A decent crowd had gathered – and Andy & I met up with Ben – and Brad – and proceeded to devour some metal tunes – before lunch !

Great band – with some early-Baroness style tunes – sludgey/stoner – the evolution of what Kyuss began – a GREAT start to the day.

2. Anthrax

I split from my other buddies – and Ben and I headed over to the “D” for the first big band of the day – massive stage, and big backdrop/banner.

Have seen these guys a few times – they’re one of the “big four” – albeit the last entry – and a little stuck in the 80’s.   The rousing “Caught In A Mosh” started off proceedings – with Joey Belladonna sprinting and running about on stage.

Caught In A Mosh – Talking To You, Is Like Clapping With One Hand !!   (LOL !)

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Scott Ian is an awesome man-of-metal – he’d done some spoken word shows during the SoundWave tour – woulda been great to hear his tales.

Wasn’t hugely taken by them – a good nostalgia band – but a little disappointing somehow.

3. Lucero

I’d made it to tent #4 for PERIPHERY – but saw the last few songs of Lucero – who seem to be a rock-a-billy + country/western + punk band – very wierd mix !   But some cool tunes, and the crowd knew most of their songs.   Always good to see some different bands at festivals – not my thing, but they were great to see.

3. Periphery

My work-buddy Mark and Andy both rave about this band – they were on at the same time as Orange Goblin – so I figured I’d catch a few songs, and then over to OG.

Wow – what a BIG sound – with three guitarists and bass – and a singer with a massive voice.   All the band members look ‘little’ – but they rocked hard.

I didn’t really dig his voice after a few songs – but great riffs – and some melodic / proggy metal riffs.   They’re really good at what they do – but I don’t really go for “what they do”.

4. Stone Sour

It turned out that Orange Goblin weren’t playing – but Sylosis instead – swapped out with Orange Goblin for some reason – so we headed over to see some of Stone Sour.   Big video screens, so that you can see the band even if you’re miles away – and can always hear the band. 

The singer (Corey) is a great front man – he’s with SlipKnot too – and some really good metal riffs.   He’s got an amazing voice too – I’d been hoping to get to see some of them on the day – very VERY good band.

5. The Vandals

Had a few minutes spare before Orange Goblin, so we went to check out some old-school punk – these guys were rocking & riffing in the 80’s – old grey hair – and still having a blast.  Old punks never die – they still rock out.

6. Orange Goblin

I’d been hoping/planning to see these guys – and had seen them as support for Kyuss – they’re brilliant.   Heavy Sabbath’y stoner riffs – and faster than Kyuss – almost punk/stoner/metal – and it works really well.

The lead singer (Ben Ward) has a great gravelly voice – and he prances around the stage with fists in the air – and a huge smile – he must be 6ft 6in tall – monster of a bloke !    Very friendly – and just loves to perform.  

He commented that this is one of the most fun tours that they’ve ever done – and that “your Cherry Bar fvcked us up last night” – LOL !

Awesome FUN rock-n-roll – left with a smile on my dial after seeing them.

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The Fog – had this song stuck in my head for DAYS !

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Red Tide Rising – final song

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7. Kyuss

I’d seen these guys during the week – amazing show !    I half-watched-and-listened-as-we-walked through the crowd – and over to….

8. Slayer

We made our way to the D area of stage 1 to see another favourite of mine – SLAAAAYYYEEERRR !!     It’s a pity the main stages were so far apart, as you couldn’t watch/listen to the other band – very muffled, and wind-swept sound from about 200m away…

Slayer had some controversy in the weeks prior – essentially ditching their drummer for his questioning of financial affairs in the band – or so it would seem.

And so – there’s only 2 original members – with a fill-in guitarist too (Jeff Hanneman had a rare skin-deformity, supposely from a spider bite – necrosisi or something !).

The drummer had done a double-bill – he’d also played with Anthrax !   John Deet – didn’t miss a beat, and had learnt all the songs.

Slayer did a massive setlist of hits – I knew every single song.   The crowd was loving it too – and the sound was beafy & rough/raw.  

** I even saw a woman in mid-40’s up on someone’s back – nude from her waist up – boobs bouncing around in the breeze.   80’s metal – FTW !!

My buddy Ben commented that it was one of the most brutal and relentless bands he’d ever seen – yep, that’s Slayer !

Brilliant metal riffs and thrash – they finished with a awesome barrage – Dead Skin Mask, Angel Of Death, Sound Of Heaven and then Raining Blood – perfection !

One of the highlights for the day – I’d been keen to see them – very happy !

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Disciple – opening song – fantastic !

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Angel Of Death – Monarch To The Kingdom Of The Dead !!   (absolute classic…)

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9. Of Mice And Men

10. O’Brother

With the need for a rest + hungry, we grabbed a chicken burger, and headed to sit down in the shade of one of the stages/tents.   We caught the last song of “Of Mice And Men” – the place was packed out !!    I’ve never heard of these guys – might have to go have a listen.

O’Brother then came on, as the crowd dispersed – from close to 1000 ppl, down to about 50.   It was kinda sad to see !   They played some decent but a little generic alternative/rock – not bad at all.

Ben and I then split to go see some different bands.

11. Duff McKagan’s Loaded

Having been a big Guns N Roses fan, I knew of Duff McKagan – and his work with Velvet Revolver – but I didn’t know much about “Loaded”.

I’d recently finished reading Duff’s auto-biography – wow, what a great read THAT is.   From his history with GNR, and lots (LOTS) of drugs, mainly cocaine – and then a burst pancreas that nearly killed him.   His rehab was via martial arts & mountain biking – getting healthy – and then finished a few university degree’s, and has a successful finanical investment business.    It’s like he’s lead TWO lives – and still likes to play rock-n-roll.

I didn’t know any songs by Loaded, but wanted to see Duff in–the-flesh – they’re a great rock-n-roll band – nothing super-special – they wouldn’t have much success if not for the ‘name’ (Duff) – but great to see him perform – good luck to him !

12. Bullet For My Valentine

Again, not on my list, but it WAS the choice for many MANY people – it was packed out.   I caught the last few songs – again, nothing that grabs me – alternative stuff emo-metal – I only know one song from the Guitar Hero game – LOL !

13. Cypress Hill

I’ve always been interested in these guys – the place lit up with all the dope-smoking as they started – probably one of the most pro-drugs bands you could name !

I only saw a few songs – When The Shit Goes Down, You Better Be Ready – great tunes and hip-hop – but it’s really just two guys rapping, with a guy on keyboards/mixing.   

I used to like them – but that was another lifetime ago.   And – I can tick them off the list – nothing good nor bad.

14. Cancer Bats

I’d heard people talk about these guys – but I was initially rather put off – simply by the name “cancer” – having lots a number of family members to the evil C disease (my Auntie in Denmark passed away just before Christmas – still a little ‘raw’).

Anyway – I had a listen (thx Spotify !), and they had some great tracks – and I found myself getting more and more into the songs.   So – they were on my “must see” list.

The lead singer is an absolute madman – throwing himself around, like a pint-sized Phil Anselmo (Pantera).   The crowd knew almost every song too – I knew about half of them – and there was a big cheer as they played SABOTAGE (Beastie Boys !)

Lots of raucous punk/metal – very VERY good show.

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15. Metallica (!)

A quick stop to re-fill water bottles, and then a mad dash + squeeze into the “D” for the final band of the day.   Ben & I managed to meet up with another buddy Shyam – and also Andy – so it was good to end the day with a few friends.

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I’ve seen Metallica EIGHT times already – so this would be show #9.

  • 1 + 2 : Black tour – 1993 – twice (with Kyuss support)
  • 3 + 4 : Load tour – 1996 (?) – had a back stage pass thanks to the MetClub membership – and got to meet James & Jason – w00t !
  • 5 + 6 : St. Anger tour – 2003 – Big Day Out + sideshow at Myer music bowl
  • 7 + 8 : Death Magnetic tour – 2010 – on the floor + front row upper

The show by Metallica was – in a word – phenomenal.

An enormous stage – about FOUR storey’s high – with a video screen playing the band – and the most incredible SOUND I’ve ever heard at an outdoor venue.

Possibly the best sound EVER – better than any I can recall at Rod Laver anyway.   Crisp & loud, bass thump and well mixed – could hear every instrument.

The band was in fine form, and having some fun too – a great list of old+ new songs – only one from Death Magnetic – and nothing from Load, Re-Load or St.Anger.

It was a veritable ‘history-hits’ set – the songs from Justice For All were brilliant – they played BLACKENED !!

And – my favourite FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.    And the final encore included CREEPING DEATH – and DAMAGE INC – wow…!

Some surprises too – MY FRIEND OF MISERY – and LEPER MESSIAH.   All in all – an incredible show to end the day – a full length concert.

The BEST I’ve ever seen Metallica – since the very first time I saw them (Black tour).

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(thanks setlist.fm !)

Harvester Of Sorrow + Intro By James (bass was just TOO loud for my camera !)

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Blackened – now with added flames !

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It’s all over (for another year) !

After the almighty Metallica had finished up, we battled the crowds of people to get out of the D – and then out of the venue – and then to the carpark.

I’d left my buddy Andy to sit & wait – he’d been on crutches the whole day – kudos !

Even when I got in the car, it was a 40 min wait to get OUT of the carpark, and then drive home – very sore & tired bodies.

Metallica finished up at 10pm – and I got home about 1.30am – yikes !

Final thoughts

The day seemed to disappear in a heart-beat – I saw 15 bands !   

Some bands I only saw a few songs – but a few full set bands – SLAYER, ORANGE GOBLIN, CANCER BATS and METALLICA were the highlights.

I didn’t even get a chance to stop off for a beer – not ONE !     

I’ve had MORE beer writing this blog-post – TWO !

The venue was different this year – bigger, wider, more open – and more people. 

Soooo many people – lots of queueing to get into – and out of places – and it was hot & dusty – I’m thankful for suncream – and my Heisenberg hat…     (LOL !)

As always, the food & drinks are overpriced – $5 for a 600ml Sprite – and a chicken burger was $7.50, bucket of chips $5.  

Even with those gripes – I had a blast !!

I truly love SoundWave – the METAL version of the Big Day Out festival – it’s my favourite for the year.   I didn’t buy a t-shirt, but got a stubby holder instead – my standard collectible these days.

Same time next year !!??

** What could possibly top the line-up for 2013 !???

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Chris, glad to hear you also enjoyed Cancer Bats and Red Fang! I didn’t get to see Orange Goblin or O’Brother on the day so thanks for the wrap up.

  2. […] in the year, I had an awesome day at SoundWave, with a bunch of fantastic bands, with the favourites being Orange Goblin, Cancer Bats, Slayer – […]

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