Soundwave 2010

Well. It’s Sunday evening and I’ve just about recovered from Soundwave 2010 yesterday.

I went with my younger brother and one of his mates. It’s fast becoming a ritual that my little brother and I hit the festivals up together, as we share a similar music taste and it’s a great .. you know … “brother bonding session”. I look forward to 2013, when he’ll be of legal drinking age so we can knock back a couple of brews while we experience some great artists doing their thing, but I digress.

We got to the venue (RNA Showgrounds in the Valley) just about on-time, breezing through the queue to get in. Our luck abruptly ended there though, as I forgot to take some money out of an ATM on the way and we were slapped in the face with a 20 minute ATM queue just inside the Showgrounds.

With that done, we set off to Stage 5&6 for our first stint - watching the end of Adelle and then Rolo Tomassi. I didn’t try hard enough to look Adelle up before going, if I had I would have done my best to get there on time, as the tail end of the set gave me a really good impression. Pretty sure they were totally off their faces, but I guess you need to be when you’re a relatively unknown band opening for a major festival like Soundwave. The highlight of Adelle was definetely the guitarist making out with his guitar while he was playing. Good times.

Rolo Tomassi blew my mind, I had listened to them a bit before and my impression (which I used to sell to my bro) was that they are basically a synth driven Dillinger Escape Plan. They did not fall short of my expectations - amazing energy on stage and some pretty insane talent coming out of a group that looks to be in their early-early twenties. A couple of trashy little clips from my iPhone as follows, though these don’t do a very impressive act any justice at all.

After this we moved on to Baroness in Stage 4. I’d never listened to Baroness before and didn’t know what to expect. I was given a great introduction to a band I plan on adding to my library very soon. The mosh in Baroness went off, I got pushed into the circle pit by some kid and spent about 15 seconds in there before deciding I didn’t want to wreck myself before I got to see Meshuggah. After this my little bro and his mate ran off into the mosh up the front and I followed like a sheep. The mosh up the front was crazy but lots and lots of fun.

After Baroness we left stage 4 in search of some foods. 18$ for 2 shitty little chicken wraps later, my brother and I were satiated, with me feeling a little ripped off and wanting to kill something. Oh well. Sustenance is sustenance right?

From here I had the terrible decision to make as to whether I’d watch ISIS play or see the Eagles of Death Metal. I’ve been pretty huge on EODM lately and have never found ISIS quite as engaging as other post-metal acts, so I opted for the sweet serenading of Jesse Hughes. The mix was pretty bad to begin with, which was pretty surprising seeing as they were playing the main stage… After the first song I could actually hear Jesse Hughes singing, which was good. They played a great set.

From EODM I went and caught the last couple of songs of Clutch back at Stage 4. I got to hear Electric Worry so I was happy with that. After hearing it though I kinda wished I caught their whole set, they’re definitely a band I haven’t given enough listen-time.

Once Clutch was over my little brothers friend conned us into catching Anvil, who were on Stage 4 right after Clutch. I was there for most of their set (ducked out for some water)…. I think they’re great musicians but I wasn’t huge on their sound as a band. The drummer was off the chain, the bassist had great stage presence, and the guitarist was just a great frontman… Just all together they didn’t impress me that much as they did individually as musicians.

Anyway. After Anvil came the band I pretty much bought my ticket for …. MESHUGGAH. We were up the front for Anvil so of course we stayed while they set up the stage for the shugz. I don’t know what was going on, but they took about 10 minutes longer than they should have doing their sound-check… Either that or Anvil ended late. I dunno, but Meshuggah came out about 10 minutes after they were scheduled to start. No matter, it was well and truly worth the slightly extended wait. They played a crazy set. We were right up the front in the mosh and loving every second of it. The mosh was at its peak when they started playing Future Breed Machine. By that point security was pulling crowd surfers off us like some kind of human conveyor-belt. Good times.

The best part was that being right up the front (just behind the poor sucker pressed up against the fencing) and right in the middle, we could see Jens headbanging with his signature “I’LL EAT YOUR GUTS FOR BREAKFAST”-face, as pictured below:

After Meshuggah I was pretty wrecked, so we just chilled and listened to Anthrax and Trivium do their thing on Stage 4.

From there we went back to the main stage and sat in the grandstands while Jimmy Eat World played their … music. Look I dunno, I didn’t mind their ending song - their single “The Middle”. The rest of it all sounded pretty much the same. I also got the distinct feeling the frontman didn’t really have a clue what he was doing. Then again, they were playing between Jane’s Addiction and Faith No More, which is a pretty daunting bill. They were probably also feeling the wrath from the crowd that their band name didn’t begin with “My” and end with “Chemical Romance”. Oh well.

Faith No More played a fantastic closing set. Mike Patton is as awesome as I hoped he would be live. By the end of the night he had “Brisvegas” feeling “Bristastic”, “Brissexy”, “Brisfabulous” and “Brisalicious”. Though I’m not sure why he was telling us all to go hit up, but he was very specific about it - repeating the web address 3 or 4 times. The definite highlight of the FnM set was Mike grabbing the cameras at the front of the stage a couple of different times; the first time to since right into the lens during Epic (I’m sure you can guess which part he was singing while he did this), the second time he felt the need to show us all his junk after waving the camera around like a man possessed. Mike’s vocals were absolutely top form, as was to be expected I suppose!

All in all, a crazy day with lots of great performances. I’d say overall, Meshuggah was the most fun due to the crazy mosh and the fact that I was 5 meters away from MESHUGGAH. Rolo Tomassi played the best set as far as entertainment coming FROM the stage goes, they’re definitely a band to keep an eye on.