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
SOUNDWAVE-SYDNEY-REVIEW-2015

soundwave sydney 2015, olympic park, sydney nsw

SOUNDWAVE SYDNEY

OLYMPIC PARK, SYDNEY NSW

FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 1 2015

SOUNDWAVE sydney DAY ONE review

olympic park, sydney nsw

Soundwave hit Sydney on it's second double weekend run and while we covered the more metal bands in Melbourne last week, this time around we hit a more rock oriented review to finish things off.

After sneaking a peek at rockers The Treatment last week, I had to check out more of their set after being impressed by their live show. Only a young band with a massive energy that hooked the audience in, it was mesmerizing to see some of the old school rock being done by a fresh band. A definite highlight of the day!


Onto stage 3 we see The Bennies and what can only be described as weed music. Punk fused funk rock with not so subtle references to the wacky tobacky and other trippy substances made this show entertaining at the very least if the music is not your kind of thing. Hollywood Undead was next on the agenda over on main stage 2, with yet another masked band (is there something going on with masked bands at Soundwave?). With a more party style fun kind of vibe rather than a darker, heavier tone like the other masked ones, the band moved around on stage like a frenetic circus parade giving fans something more than just another gimmick. With emphasis on a harder rock sound, it was a lively start on the big stage. Hanging around on the same stage, it was a much more younger crowd who was keen to see pop rock band Gerard Way who had to battle the screaming girls for volume levels. The band looked a little like The Beatles back in their early days with the white suits and basic rock setup but Beatles they ain't!

 

Quickly heading to stage 5, hardcore heavyweights Crown The Empire were slamming their way to the spotlight and their fanbase were a little anxious to see them after a short delay to their set. Blending melody with hardcore influences, they were probably one of the heavier bands on the small stage lineup. Straight after their set it was time to see the glam masters that is Steel Panther who always bring a big crowd. While the set was filled with familiar stage banter, it was good to see some changes in the comedy bits, most likely improv stuff which makes it that much more entertaining. The song set was relatively the same as Thursday night but every time, it's certain songs that have that hook that gets the crowd singing along, even jf the lyrics are hilariously ridiculous. Leaving their set early was needed though as one band who have gained a bit of fanfare was Sleepwave who played to a small but keen crowd. The bands sound was focused on stoner rock but with a slight electronic/dance vibe which made their sound stand out. It took a few songs for the crowd to get into it but once it clicked, it rocked pretty hard and made another stage 5 highlight.

 

Getting later into the day by this point, Incubus hit main stage 1 to a growing crowd, many of which had come to see the band. The bands bread and butter is the melodic rock anthems which make for those much loved singalongs and despite a tamer crowd, the fans still responded in any way they could. Next door, Soundgarden busted out their hit song filled set before I head to the metal stage for the power metal group Dragonforce. Fast guitar work and operatic singing were the order of the day here and the band displayed their enthusiasm by way of straight up guitar frenzy attacks, every song speeding through relentlessly. During the set the band introduced their newest member, drummer Gee Anzalone before launching back into their set, playing catalogue songs and tracks from their latest effort " Maximum Overload". A great set by a very guitar and melody driven band.

Headliners Faith No More ended the festival with a stage setup dressed in white sheets and flowers all around while the band themselves were dressed all in white. Expect nothing less from the madness of FNM as the band pulled out "Motherfucker" from their latest album"Sol Invictus" which is their first album since 1997. It's amazing even after all this time how big the band still is and classic songs like "Get Out" and "Epic" are proof of why people keep coming back to this band. Faith No More headlined Soundwave previously a few years back but I think this set was better. It's been about the same amount of time since they reformed and it seems they have gotten better as a band. Mike Patton is still a delight to watch live and really one of the main reasons to see the group live, his stage persona and presence right up there with the greats. We look forward to seeing them again soon, hopefully in their own tour.

SOUNDWAVE sydney DAY TWO review

olympic park, sydney nsw

Final day at Soundwave ending in Brisbane and Sydney and we caught day 2 in Sydney for the final run of bands. It's been a great setup at Olympic Park and thanks must go to the organizers who really catered to the fans in a hot, muggy day.

 

Starting off at stage 5 in what has now become an oven indoors, This Wild Life kicked the day off with a more mellow accoustic set that contrasted with most of the other bands. Variety is always welcome and the band did a great job bringing a sedated performance to the show. Briefly checking out Apocalyptica on main stage 2 just to get some heavy cello action before heading back to stage 5 where Canadian hardcore band Fucked Up hit the stage. Not long after singer "Father Damien" jumped into the crowd and proceeded to spend an entire song mingling on the rail and in the photo pit area much to everyone's surprise. Talk about getting everyone involved! Even the photographers myself included were dragged into the shenanigans and became part of the show! Eventually Damien climbed back onto the stage to finish the show but the set certaintly made an impression on all of us.

Animals As Leaders were next and the 3 piece attracted a fair size crowd as they went into their progressive stuff which was impressive. The band are heavy but have some varied styles mixed in which keeps you on your toes. The smaller stage suits them well but they do deserve a slot on the big stage which hopefully they get if they come back to Soundwave. Godsmack were next on the metal stage 4, bringing a more heavy rock edge to what is traditionally a more heavier focused stage. In saying that, Godsmack sounded pretty damn heavy live and the crowd lapped it up as they blasted through their catalogue. It's hard to believe this is their first tour in Australia as frontman Sully Erna pointed out it took them 17 years to make it to the country. But they made up for it with an energetic show despite the rain that came down during their set, that showed why they have been around for so long.

Another band that hadn't been to Australia in a long time was Papa Roach who were on main stage 2. Anticipation for the band due to the long absence was high as they hit the stage and launched into their set. A number of musical changes over the years meant this was a different band than the last time they were here but it didn't matter to the fans who embraced it all, much to the pleasure of singer Jacoby Shaddix who looked like he was having the time of his life. After their set it was the dark emperor himself, Marilyn Manson on the next stage. After the last couple of appearances marked by disappointment, expections for a better show were on the agenda but as the band went into the first few songs it seemed not much had changed. Mansons stage antics were to say the least a bit off and wierd and a few mumbled words before each song were met with a huh? Whether it improved towards the end is another matter as I headed to stage 4 for Judas Priest whose reputation as a true classic band are undoubted. Rob Halford still has the pipes after 41 years making heavy metal which is astounding and the rest of the band were pretty much perfect. The classics were there as well as new material from their latest album "Redeemer Of Souls" which sound just like any of the old stuff. Purists would love it and their set was one of the highlights of the day.

Last but not least and headlining stage 4 was The Smashing Pumpkins. The set was a mix of old material which started out the show and newer material which filled the middle. Frontman Billy Corgan didn't say too much in between songs but he didn't have to. The songs said it all. While some of the more mellow material like "Tonight, Tonight" are some of the bands strongest material, there's something to be said when they crank things up a notch like on "Zero" which is one of the more darker tracks. Billy Corgans voice is immaculate to the albums when hearing it live and the overall band sound is crystal clear to perfection. Hearing another classic "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" is another reminder how great The Smashing Pumpkins are and live they are just as good if not better. It's unfortunate that they weren't on the main stage but the smaller stage 4 and a comfortable sized crowd gave the show an intimate feel which is rare at a big festival. Luckily the rain held off to end another great round of the annual festival and what better way to end it than seeing one of the great rock bands in the last 20 years!

 

 

by Andrew Schizodeluxe 2015

 

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