P.S. Thank you Tara, I owe you a board chica...
Review by Beau Williams
Photos by Melissa Donato. Full gallery can be seen here
Always make it to the gig to see the supporting bands!! Emperors started it all off and were ripping right off the bat, and although there was only a few of us at the barrier, our noggins were banging in unison. I had this feeling that I've heard these kids before. I was close enough to see their set list and I noticed four songs down the annagram S.O.T.Y. which I immediately mistook for "skater of the year" thinking of Thrasher Magazines award for the narliest skater each year. Alas, it was an abreviation for Song Of The Year. My mistake, but the song still fucking ripped!! It wasn't until their last song that it finally clicked and I knew excactly who i was dealing with. They finished with Be Ready When I Say Go and I completely lost my shit! I"ve heard this track on the J's and everytime I listen to it I feel like a super hero. Now I was getting that shit served up live in my face! Fuck Yeah!! I loved these guys and I gotta say thank you to W.A. for sending them over.
A pint and a smoke later Kingswood gallop on stage. These guys are pretty much the best looking bearded band I've ever seen. The first song told me who these lads were. Once again I gotta say thank you to Triple J for playing Aussie music. Without the airways playing all this great music I might have been at a total loss as to who was on stage. I was there for Grinspoon friends, and while I may not be to familiar with the support bands I will now never ever forget them. But I digress, these furry bastards are a serverely tight band. She's my baby got everyone jumping! At one point through their set Fergus (vocals) asked the lighting guy to give them some effects but that shit fell on deaf ears. They carried on rocking none the less in the red glow that was provided. So, upon wrapping their set up with their last song, Fergus jumps off the stage, barrells through the crowd to the front of house desk and gives his bandmates the light show he requested earlier, which set the stage off in an epileptics worst nightmare!! Then he bumrushed his way back up to the front of the barrier and cheered his own goddamn band off the stage while hugging a hapless fan. Legend...
A Jameson's and coke and a smoke. Push back up to the barrier and get ready for the mayhem. We're all condom-close now and I'm fucking loving it. Out the lads parade in all their glory. Phil (sporting suspenders and turquoise finger nails) immediately starts bangin' out all these rad dandy moves that Jarvis Cocker would have been impressed with. I couldn't tell you what they opened with though as I had just copped a flying crotch to the face and was laughing and screaming too hard for cognisent thought. But when they played More Than You Are the crowd and I became a scene out of "The Lord of The Flies", animals, one and all. From Champion to Lost Control they had us frothing and bodies were flying over the barrier like it was some sort of contest. Good onya security for letting us play!! So many rad hits were belted out and I had to realize that these sonsabitches have been playing music together for 18 years. Their timing was awesome, they brought the tempo down to save us from ourselves (the pit that is) with an acoustic version of Just Ace with Phil blowing the harmonica for extra cuteness. This was my cue to slink away to the back and watch the end of it with some civility. I get back to the beer garden and roll one up, bounce off a few grommets that I haven't seen in an age and realize that they are grown ass men now and loving the same tunes as I. But one of the raddest sites for me was watching a troupe of fifty somethings dancing around a table and air guitaring to Hard Act To Follow. Seriously, The Gov was packed with the young and the old and all were there for the same reason. Grinspoon. Thanks Lads, you're my Oprah. There ain't nothing like original live music....
P.S. Thank you Tara, I owe you a board chica...
Review by Beau Williams
Photos by Melissa Donato. Full gallery can be seen here
For years, Soundwave has been for people like a bag of mixed nuts. Bringing together groups of all shapes and sizes to suit each and everyone’s taste buds, best enjoyed with a couple beers in the company of friends and always leaving you hungry for more, Soundwave is the unhealthy, sometimes messy but oh so good experience that is one of the biggest players in live music, country wide.
This year was no exception. While festivals don’t always have a reputation for having something for everyone, everyone’s favourite promoter and tweeter extraordinaire, AJ Maddah one-upped last year’s Soundwave line up with musical veterans, Metallica, Cypress Hill, Blink 182 and Linkin Park to name a few, who joined the modern heavyweights of the industry including bands Stone Sour, Bullet for My Valentine and Paramore for a balls to the wall show that saw over 30 thousand pour into the grounds of Adelaide’s Bonython Park like Gerard Butler’s Spartan army in 300 (on a side note, I hear there’s a 2nd 300 movie in the making and if the walk to Bonython was any indication, there’s enough well built Adelaideans who could comfortably fill the role of extras).
In military fashion, most punters set off with an early start to the action filled day, gathering on the streets and pavement to form organised chaos at the gates. Once inside it was every man for himself; well stocked bars, cool spots under the trees with friends and flashy merch tents providing enough entertainment and shade until the first bands took to the stages which were scattered around the park. Yours truly, realising just how hot this Soundwave was gearing up to be (again!), went and purchased a Black Sabbath singlet; although hard to locate in the sea of black that would soon adorn the sweaty backs of hundreds, it was worth it in the end, especially thanks to the efforts of some very cool vendors (and all the punters who know their classic metal; Saaaaabath indeed, rock on fellas!).
For those in need of a heavy rock fix ahead of schedule, Kingdom of Sorrow and Fozzy braved the heat to give fans a good pre-mosh workout, kicking up the dust that spread through the grounds with chart topping tracks which have pitched them both as two of the biggest up and coming bands in the industry. Between the two bands, it was like a game of Celebrity Guess Who, metal edition between Jamey Jasta of Kingdom of Sorrow (also known for his role as frontman of Hatebreed) and Chris Jericho of Fozzy (also known as the ‘cowboy’ of the ring in the WWE wrestling world). All jokes aside though, these intense musicians rewarded the early show of the punters with sets that got fists pumping within minutes to songs from Fozzy’s controversial hit single, Enemy to the collaboration with Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadows, Sandpaper.
As the saying goes, when you’re onto a good thing. With that in mind, those with metal still ringing in their ears migrated to the main stages to welcome one of the arguably best things to happen to the industry, Anthrax. Representing a third of the Big Four presence we were graced with for the festival, including rock gods Metallica and Slayer (sadly no Megadeth this time round), Anthrax brought out some memorable classics from a three decade long back-catalogue, including the reclusive metalhead’s anthem, Antisocial and the well themed Indians, complete with Belladonna donning a traditional Native American wig for the song. While the long-term members of Anthrax were probably double the age of their audience, the band matched the energy of their fans blow for blow. Displaying the good ol’ heavy metal tradition of disregarding the rules, they cheered on the mosh pit that formed just meters away from a sign barring crowd surfing, moshing and other usual gig activities. Finalising their set with an explosive cover of AC/DC’s TNT (fist pumps, “hey, hey”s and all), Anthrax paid respect to the country that played host to them thus far.
Allowing the dust to set, both figuratively and literally, fans caught their breath before their attention was swiftly drawn to the other stage like an exciting match at Wimbledon. The sound of Stone Sour’s Gone Sovereign from their latest release House of Gold and Bones captured the attention of hundreds once more, the band in their second annual slot on the Soundwave bill. With a brief introduction to each other and the obligatory comment on just how hot it was, the ever amusing Corey Taylor proved that he was more than just a pretty face, belting out popular tracks including Made of Scars and Through Glass. Delivering the closing song of 30/30 150 with the power that Stone Sour and some members’ other bands are known for, it’s clear that these musicians are here for the long haul.
Going from one side of the park and genre to another, next up were the bold and somewhat aptly named four-piece known as Mindless Self Indulgence. Pitched to be regulars on the Soundwave bill in future, the whacky musos held the focus of a wide audience between frontman Jimmy Urine’s entertaining monologues and the sexy displays of stage outfits from Urine’s B&W Harlequin pant suit to Lyn-Z’s punk style uniform. The respect their viewers had for them may have waned after Urine’s comment of them [Americans] killing ‘our King’, Heath Ledger, before launching into Prescription (there’s being famously controversial, then there’s just being a dick), but MSI were quick to turn the charm back on soon after, Urine cat-calling girls in the audience to the popular tune of Faggot. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye, or as some might argue, their sense of humour.
Well placed on the main stage mid afternoon until Metallica’s set at dusk, Kyuss Lives and Slayer stood and delivered enough to keep even the rowdiest of fans content. Though both bands have had their fair share of interband politics and media attention, there was no concern to be seen on the faces of these touring musicians as they let their hair down with some old fashion heavy metal. Bringing back a classic from the original Kyuss discography, Green Machine, Kyuss Lives, now known as Vista Chino, proved that it was going to take a lot more than a change in line up and a lawsuit to stop them in their tracks. With fans’ devil horns rising high in the air even after the set, it’s plain to see that the horizon for Vista Chino is as wide and bright as their stage backdrop.
Heavy metal legends, Slayer did not disappoint either, opening with the Grammy nominated Disciple that got heads banging from the first drumline. Agreeing with fans and previous frontmen who he shared the stage with about the high temperatures, Tom Araya joked about Slayer’s reputation for raising hell, which only went so far when weather such as this did half the job for them. Far from using this as an excuse to not bring their Adelaide fanbase the show that one of the Big 4 is known for however, Slayer still threw down an impressive combination of raw vocals and rabid guitar riffs. Their set consisted of the greatest hits of their 32-year career, with War Ensemble, Angel of Death and South of Heaven to name a few. Saving the best for last after they made their first departure from the stage, Slayer returned for a brutal encore of Raining Blood, founding members Araya and King momentarily dropping their tough-as-nails persona to enjoy their welcoming back to the small city that will always support them.
Using the imagery of lots of noodles in a basket, Maynard James Keenan once described one of his latest projects, which had involved star musicians like Troy van Leeuwen and Jeordie White, when asked about the admired five-piece now known as A Perfect Circle. While the talent in A Perfect Circle may have been boiling over since their formation, the band have now perfected the recipe for good music between Keenan, who splits himself between fronting both A Perfect Circle and honorary surprise guests to the festival, Puscifer, together with Billy Howerdel on rhythm guitar, Matt McJunkins on bass, James Iha on guitar and keys, and Jeff Friedl on drums. Fans were treated to a set largely made up of songs from their gold certified album, eMOTIVE, including Passive and Counting Bodies like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drum. Haunting classics from the days of Led Zeppelin and John Lennon also had new life breathed into them with covers of Lennon’s Imagine and Zeppelin’s When the Levee Breaks, A Perfect Circle opening beautifully with the track that first began as reflective thoughts from Lennon. Highlights of their performance were, as always, dictated by the ring leader of the show, Keenan, who was in high spirits with his fans for the day and played a prank on his fellow bandmates with his bottle of Heineken. Although the sound of those beside you in the crowd singing at the top of their lungs is not always a great experience, especially when notoriously off-key, joining fans at the rail for an ad hoc sing-a-long to A Perfect Circle’s The Outsider, made famous by the Resident Evil franchise was undoubtedly a memory worth treasuring.
The next two bands to grace the main stage with a extraordinary career just shy of forty years between them had at least one song on the CD walkman of every 90s kid back in their heyday. Up first was everyone’s favourite prankster punk band, Blink 182. With a set longer than most of their albums, they keep half of Soundwave’s ticketholders entertained. Amid screaming punters and kids (and those people still embracing their inner kid) jumping and bumping one another like tokens in a pinball machine, Blink 182 smashed through the fan favourites like What’s My Age Again, All The Small Things, and Up All Night from their latest release, Neighbourhoods. Despite being plagued with lower quality sound and other problems throughout their performance, founding members Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge enjoyed the good vibes, laughing and joking with fans. With songs like Family Reunion (you know, the one with lyrics that would make your great-grandmother turn in her grave), it’s hard to take a band like Blink 182 seriously, but in the end, you can’t deny they’ve got a knack of writing catchy music – and their popularity, well, all the ‘shit, piss, fuck’ t-shirts speak for themselves.
Gravitating onto the stage next as though the release of their best-selling album, Hybrid Theory was only yesterday, Linkin Park began a powerfully nostalgic show with one of their more popular tracks, Faint. Reinforcing their live show with vivid colour and video footage from promotional clips off previous albums, including the memorable image of an urban soldier, Linkin Park came out all guns blazing. Those who gathered to join the musical timewarp from the crammed frontlines of the stage to the grassy slopes a few hundred feet from the stage revelled in songs off most requested playlists of the 90s including Somewhere I Belong, One Step Closer, Breaking the Habit and Numb. Although nearing the end of the day with temperatures still soaring and cups of water sloshing over the rail from quick handed security, energy levels remained high, allowing for two very special encores of In The End and Bleed It Out.
Finally, the highlight of the evening, and without doubt, a talking point for Soundwave in years to come, Metallica took to the stage. To the backdrop of a classic spaghetti western movie, the Grandfathers of Thrash Metal opened with the highly anticipated Ecstasy of Gold before launching into the not-so-expected, but gladly received Hit the Lights, especially suitable among the well-lit stage and props. Returning to Adelaide since their national tour in 2010, the spirited four-piece embarked on yet another classic set with songs spanning over thirty active years in the industry from Master of Puppets, Harvester of Sorrow, (Welcome Home) Sanitarium and Wherever I May Roam.
Even with temporary issues of the festival PA system giving out (most likely from exhaustion from the events of the day so far, though popular opinion favours the old school musicians and their ability to blow both minds and sound itself), there was no stopping Metallica in their blazing tracks. At home on the stage that has become their second residence, the band treated the photographers to a show of their cheeky sides and kept their fans focused on enjoying their presence and each other, the excuse as good as any to have a great time being Trujillo’s 10th year with Metallica. Impressive pyrotechnics added to the memory, keeping everyone both amused and warm as the night grew cooler during timeless tracks One and Enter Sandman.
Having kept the fire for thrash metal burning for over three decades after over two hours of solid playing, it eventually came time for one of the biggest influences metal music will ever have to exit the stage. Leaving punters feeling hopeful for the return of Metallica and other bands to Australian soil, it was with relief and an exhausted delight that thousands exited the grounds to the sound of The Offspring’s Self Esteem, the final band for the evening keeping fresh the feeling of satisfaction at a day well played in many ways. Soundwave blues may suck, but the anticipation to see how the festival will be topped for 2014 will keep many buzzing for months to come.
Review by Rebecca Grant
Photos by Melissa Donato. Full gallery can be seen here
Just get off work, shower and then race to The Govenor Hindmarsh for Dinosaur Jr. I miss Ride Into The Sun because of last minute time changes, but I manage to get through the door and get a pint before the main lads saunter out on stage.
The place is a sauna, and its 9:15pm. I love you South Australia, you sadistic bitch...
J, Lou and Murph start fiddling around with their respective weapons without so much as a glance toward us. I figured this was gonna be a proper jam. Beginning with thumb, right off the bat they were ripping.
Man alive, J can play the guitar. Murph beats the skins like they owe him money and Lou did some of the prettiest base slapping and tickling - just all round 'owning his craft' raddness.
The lyrics were unintelligible, which I remember was the case 20 years ago when I saw them last. It's the music, the sheer wall of noise that these men put out that is the gift! This bearded old gent in front of me wearing a bowler hat stage left was completely loosing his shit, and I agreed with him whole heartedly. We were getting treated to some real nar!
Fuck, we all experience things differently. For me though, if someone's ripping I always end up crying and dancing at the same time. It's one of the greatest feelings going. I frothed over feel the pain, start choppin' and freak scene because they where the anthems of my youth, but what really fucked me up was the post encore rendition of The Cures Just Like Heaven which rolled right into Sludgefeast. Seriously, I'm still semi-retarded from the experience, with a smidgen of tinnitus to boot.
The long time fans of the group left the gov well stoked while the new comers had a look that can only be described as confused. So all in all, it was pretty much the sickest thing that I've heard since last night.
You see friends, I've spent the last three weeks at Bonython Park setting up and breaking down Soundwave (now I'm on to Future Music) and while I was treated to some amazing music there by a shitload of legends, I still feel the pub down the road offered me more.
Jaded? Nah, just stoked mate.
Thank you J, thank you Murph, fuck yeah Lou! You've given my daydreaming a kick in the nuts.
Bugger this, I'm going for a skate...
Review by Beau Williams
Photos by Melissa Donato
Epic beyond all proportions!
Mad March is on in earnest with that much going in Adelaide that if you stop for too long you’re likely to miss something. The action maybe have been trackside during the day with the V8’s tearing around the street circuit of Adelaide, but the focus post race turned to concert headliners Kiss and Motley Crue to bring the event to an end.
Clipsal organisers did a stellar job not only securing these two great acts but accommodating the staging whilst the car race was on among other things, making for one hell of an event not to be missed! For the first time in Clipsal history the final race day sold out with 95,000 through the gates, and you would have to say that Kiss played a significant part in that. Here’s hoping that organisers consider massive drawcards in the future to ensure this great race stays in Adelaide.
Two local bands kicked off proceedings by way of The Beards and Before The Aftermath who no doubt would have been a tad daunted when they looked out and saw a sea of black Kiss t-shirts. Still, kudos and respect to both bands who no doubt benefited from playing to a massive crowd.
Motley Crue’s set had everything from fire cannons, dancing girls, giant visual screens and Tommy’s 360 degree drum kit which was a site to behold. Making their way to the stage via the d-barrier it didn’t take long for the Crue to hit full throttle with Wild Side. Shout At The Devil was absolutely rockin’ but there are some question marks about if the dancing girls can actually sing and dance at the same time. This tends to get overlooked when they belt out the likes of Same Old Situation and Home Sweet Home.
Tommy Lee’s drum set up was awesome and the first time it has been brought to Adelaide. The huge circle turns in to a roller coaster in some ways. Strapped in of course, it was unreal seeing Tommy upside down and a significant distance off the ground, playing a drum solo loaded with dub step influences. Mick Mars never looks to be in good health but god damn he plays a mean guitar and is awesome to watch! The necessary staples Dr Feelgood, Girls Girls Girls and Kick Start My Heart bring their set to an explosive and rocking end.
With a short break to retool and gear up for Kiss there was a sense of excitement in the build up amongst the drunken stupor, restlessness and the occasional fight. Once the lights fell, a voice booms out "ALRIGHT ADELAIDE - YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST! THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD - KISS!" Massive applause and screams follow with the band entering from a flying stage and opening with classic Detroit Rock City off the Destroyer album. It was a real treasure trove of greatness as Kiss weaved their way through the back catalogue with greats like Shout It Out Load, Calling Dr Love and Firehouse, which lead into I Love It Loud, impressing the masses.
The “true” fans in the “Hot Zone” were going off but the crowd reaction around the arena seemed a little meek – c’mon people make some noise! New album hits were dynamite, particularly Hell Or Hallelujah. But when Tommy Thayer does the lead on Out Of The World and the great man Gene Simmons takes the bass to another level spitting blood all over the stage while flung to the top of the lighting rig to do God Of Thunder… Whoa!
Shandi, big hit in Australia, was played acoustically by Paul Stanley during which a fire started in the lighting rig prompting the segway to The Doors Light My Fire. Crazy Nights was awesome and a real treat for fans as that one doesn’t get played often. Love Gun was great and saw Stanley fly over the crowd to play on the roof of the mixing tower. Drummer Eric Singer takes the vocals on Black Diamond with a dash of Stairway To Heaven thrown in. More explosions followed with the band taking a short break before the encore.
Returning for an encore it was Lick It Up that got things going. Hearing The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ mixed in there was great. The last two songs were epic with I Was Made For Loving You and Rock & Roll All Nite bringing things to a close. Spectacular! Confetti cannons being fired at will was just tops reaffirming the opening statement that we definitely got the best!!
Review by Rob Lyon
Photos by Melissa Donato. Seee the full gallery here