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






11 DECEMBER 2010




1.Holy Wars... The Punishment Due

2.Hangar 18

3.Take No Prisoners

4.Five Magics

5.Poison Was the Cure


7.Tornado of Souls

8.Dawn Patrol

9.Rust in Peace... Polaris

10.Head Crusher

11.Symphony Of Destruction

12.Peace Sells


A strange festival this one. Joondalup Arena has in the part seen the likes of the Foo Fighters, Green Day and the Kings of Leon at the ROCKIT FESTVAL, but with no ROCKIT this year we get the visit of the travelling Australia-wide NO SLEEP festival. After a week of hard rocking it was really only the draw of two bands: Megadeth and The Dropkick Murphys who got me through the gates with Paul and Metal Billy (who had managed to score himself a meet 'n' Greet with Megadeth and was a little 'nervous' about meeting the Daves)...


Getting there a little late meant that we missed some of the kiddie-fodder that opened up the show but arriving for KATATONIA's first ever Australian show made us wonder why they were on so early in the day. The crowd was a little light too, largely due to the early slot, but seeing the Swedes in action certainly set us up for the day. To be honest I would have preferred these guys higher on the bill and nearer the headliners.


3 INCHES OF BLOOD was the soundtrack to our first visit to the inside bar and they were pretty much the onslaught that their name suggests. All three of us gave the huge thumbs up. It might have been a short set but it was nice to finally see them down under ten years after they hit the scene. On this showing they have a lot more to offer.


I don't care if FRENZAL RHOMB is an Australian punk legend, I never cared for them at all and to be pefcetly honest after seeing them live I was almost embarrassed for them, but not half as embarrassed as I was being there. Still it's a rarity to see a band with absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. The only thing that really surprised me was the size of the crowd they drew. But bad music and bad jokes don't make entertainment.


DROPKICK MURPHYS was my pick of the day. The Irish Punk Rockers (Rock with a captial 'R') have it just right. They may not have advanced much musically since they began, but why would you when you got it right in the first place. If you fancy something a little different with a Celtic flavour and enjoy a raucous drunken sing-along or two then this is a band for you. (Look out for Flogging Molly too if you like these guys.) A simply amazing live band you must see!


NOFX was funny for about ten seconds, with Fat Mike pointing out the size of their banner - it was the size of a hand-towel. I did laugh out loud at that one. And that my friends was the high point. A series of two minute 'heard it all before' lite-punk-pop nonsense interspersed with stabs at humor (often the between song banter was as long as the songs, and to be honest largely as entertaining). Not for me save it for the VANS tour Mike.


If it hadn't been for FRENZAL RHOMB, GWAR would have been the worst band of the day. All I can say for GWAR though is that they at least dressed up for the occasion. It's pretty hard to describe how bad they are really, but when every song sounds more or less the same and when every song ends with some sort of decapitation and spraying of the crowd with fluids then all you really have to do is watch one song. The only vaguely amusing thing about the show is the appearance of their pet T-Rex, which or course tries to eat them and wait for it- the crowd gets sprayed with fluids! Hilarious I'm sure.


Making a hasty retreat before the finale (which may or may not have involved spraying the crowd with fluids - my guess though is that it did) we got to the barrier for MEGADETH and were rewarded with possibly the best set I've seen from them, not that I am exactly a veteran as this was only my fourth time. Celebrating 20 years of Rust In Piece this year the band seemed charged up and came out punching well above their weight. Dave was obviously having issues with his earpiece as he kept complaining about the sound, but all was fine out front desite his protestations.


Playing all of the Rust album was one of my highlights of the year and when they hit Holy Wars and went into Hangar 18 the crowd was in the palm of Daves' hand. I don't think I have ever seen a bassist as good as Dave Ellefson, up close the man is a monster hitting more notes a second than most guitarists. The set hardly lets up and certainly has no low points. To end the show with the one-two punch of 'Symphony of Destruction' and 'Peace Sells' was staggering. The horns from every member of the crowd at the end said it all. Miss this and you miss a monster.


As a festival NO SLEEP seemed a little schizophrenic to me. It was almost as if two sets of fans were being catered for and the was little crossover at all, there were also plenty of simply bad acts here. MEGADETH seemed to have been stuck on the bill to add to the numbers and I talked to plenty of people who had just come for the headliner. As an event numbers were also well down on expectations. It's a brave move to try to take on the big established Aussie Festivals and good on the organisers for trying but for simple value for money and quality Soundwave won't be having any sleepless nights.


Mark Rockpit