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.
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 !)
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.
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.
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.
The Fog – had this song stuck in my head for DAYS !
Red Tide Rising – final song
I’d seen these guys during the week – amazing show ! I half-watched-and-listened-as-we-walked through the crowd – and over to….
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 !
Disciple – opening song – fantastic !
Angel Of Death – Monarch To The Kingdom Of The Dead !! (absolute classic…)
9. Of Mice And Men
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.
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.
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).
(thanks setlist.fm !)
Harvester Of Sorrow + Intro By James (bass was just TOO loud for my camera !)
Blackened – now with added flames !
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 !
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 !???