The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

A 3600km journey of Punk Rock, Sunburn and Slight Disapointment

Once upon a time there was a Manchild (and his very understanding wife), one day Soundwave 2011 was announced and the manchild was extremely excited to see that one of his favorite bands Social Distortion were on the bill, to the manchilds dismay he was going to miss the Perth show due to work commitments so he decided to pack the kids off to the grandparents and take his (very understanding) wife on a little holiday to see Mike Ness in the flesh. The Following is Manchilds rundown of Soundwave Brisbane.

Fortitude Valley madness. Gridlock. $75 dollars for a 15 km cab ride. Fuck it, lets walk the last couple blocks. We make it through the gate just in time to catch the last half of The Ataris/MxPx set. For those who aren't sure what's going on here its the guitarist and drummer from The Ataris and Bass player and Guitarist from MxPx playing a combined half hour set. Pretty short and sweet, each half of the band busted out about 4 or 5 of their best known songs that must be bordering on 15 years old by now, no time for new songs here but then again you cant chant along in the mosh to a song you've never heard before and the sparse but dedicated early morning crowd did just that bouncing along to favorites "San Deimas High School Football Rules", "Punk Rock Show" and "Responsibility".

Next up Hardcore nut jobs, US imports TRASH TALK, these guys are probably the ones a lot of punters had heard talk of with out actually having heard their music before the day, and 5 minutes before the set started you could see a wave of younger faces making their way to the well hidden side stage. By the time the band hit it there was a decent sized, mostly underage crowd raring to go and eager to bust out well practiced bedroom mosh moves. Not 30 seconds into the first song frontman Lee Speilman front flipped into the crowd and stayed there for most of the set (with the help of a 100+ foot microphone chord). Having said before that these kids came here to see the spectacle they have heard all about TRASH TALK didn't let their new found fans down with what would have to be the most intense set on the whole day all at the ungodly hour of 1130 am. Highlights were Speilman being carried by the crowd coffin style for what seemed like forever, a kid moshing on crutches with his leg in a full cast and the 2nd last song of the set "Sacramento Is Dead" being dedicated to quote un-quote "A BAND CALLED EXTORTION!" (one for all you Perth folk).

New Jersey's GASLIGHT ANTHEM have been steadily burning a hole in Australia's airwaves for the past couple of years and with the release of their 3rd album AMERICAN SLANG only months before soundwave this 4 piece could have been one of the highlights of the day. I say "could" have been because after starting their 40 minute set nearly 15 minutes late they made a fairly lackluster start to which if it hadn't been for the couple of thousand kids out front you could have sworn was a rehearsal. Playing a mix of stuff off their 3 albums and finally getting into their grove after about 10 minutes or so only left time in the set for 2 songs of their new album and a set closing yet totally unrecognizable cover of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". I think personally with this one Gaslight would have been better concentrating with songs off the new album which after all is probably the only contact 85% of the crowd have had with the band previous to this outing.

But with Gaslight finished it means its only another 20 minutes til we get to see the one, the only SOCIAL DISTORTION. Unfortunately as with the previous band, The D started their 40 minute set 15 minutes late and were plagued by technical difficulties during the first 4 songs which had techs running about the stage checking amps and leads, a mid song shouting match with the side of stage sound guy about the drum mix and finally lead guitarist Jonny 2 Bags pulling out his inner ear monitors in frustration and playing via the live stage sound. Still trying not to get disheartened I couldn't help but think that this band I'd been a fan of for over 15 yrs and flown to the other side of the country to see owed me more than this. Apparently so did some of the other folks on the crowd cause at this point as I scoured the crowd I noticed it was definitely less dense than it had been at the start of the set even for the previous band. Frontman Mike Ness must have sensed something was amiss at this point cause after turning his head away from the mic and quietly giving his tech a quite shouting at a wireless was changed and the band launched into a painfully slow version of "Ball and Chain" which tried and failed to incite a mass sing along, instead I was reminded of dusty walkmans back in the 80's when everything on your beloved mix tape played uber slow and drawn out.

A song off the new album, which no one seamed to care for left ten minutes scheduled time before the end of the set and knowing what the crowd really wanted The D pumped out "Ring Of Fire", "Sick Boy" and "Story of My Life" in quick succession before bidding farewell and promising that next time it wont be so long between visits.

Il niño played an enthusiastic set to a packed crowd who honestly couldn't have cared less who was on stage, it was obvious who these people wanted to see and it wasn't any nu metal weather phenomenon. No these people were here in waiting, waiting to see their crowned kings of deadly, waiting to see the almighty SLAYER!


Whilst not wanting to go into too much detail about SLAYER here as I'm sure the other Rockpit boys will cover the Perth set in depth it does have to be said that these guys always go the full yard, a kind of static edge took to the air as they hit the stage and as proven to the world over the last 30 years, like a single malted scotch SLAYER just get better with age.


Back over to the side stage and local golden boys AMITY AFFLICTION were tearing Brisbane an new one. The HUGE amped crowd of dedicated followers all proudly dressed in fluro merch fashion were kicking up so much bull dust that one struggled to actually see the band from the cheap seats. And an encore cover of Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battle Field" had older punters running AMITYS way to see what all the commotion was about


Armed with a brand new frontman PENNYWISE opened their set with old favorites, and with most of the band on the grayer side of 40 they showed the grommets of today how shit was done. Their feel good anthems of bringing down the government and making a change yourself got the crowd into a fist pumping frenzy that saw more than a few over zealous fans get pulled out of the crowd and dragged into the medic tent. One thing i did notice about this band is that they seemed to span the generation gap and it was great to see parents in the thick of it with their kids head banging away to cries of "Fuck Authority."


15 years strong and for the first time on Aussie soil New York City's H2O played a solid set of slightly poppy, old school New York Hard Core. Not shy of a bit of banter in between songs H2o asked the crowd where things have gone wrong with a lot of modern hardcore and reminded us that "It's a life style not a haircut". Songs such as "What Happened" an old favorite that speaks lines such as "back then for those who don't know/ it didn't matter how you looked or what you wore to a show" and how these days its all about "fashion before passion/all about the image and not the art" let on that these fellas are from a time and place were trendy haircuts and tight shorts didn't matter.

A HC cover of war pigs was also a highlight before what's probably H2O's best know song "Guilty By Association"dedicated to MAD BALL and featuring guest vocalist "Chad Ball", New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert.

With 20,000 people watching one would expect Rob Zombie's adrenalin would be pumping and any jet lag just a distant memory but alas throughout the set we were reminded time and time again by front man ROB about the 24 hr flight he had just been on, almost as if he was making excuses for himself. And maybe he should be as he seemed to be a little under the weather at times, even forgetting the words to "Living Dead Girls" mid way through the song and missing a lot of lines in all his other songs, come on Rob pick it up mate! Having said this the crowd (the biggest I've ever seen watching a single act) didn't seem to care and as the night drew darker you could physically see steam rising off the masses of fans that had waited 14yrs between shows. The vocalists personal performance aside the rest of the band however were tight as fuck, doing there job like true professionals. And when your band features members of such legendary acts as Slipknot, Murder Dolls, Ministry, Marilyn Manson and The David Lee Roth Band its not hard to see (or hear) why this band is a crowd favorite.


Adzy Shotgun