Sunday, March 15, 2015

Review: Soundwave Festival 2015 @ Sydney (Day 1)

A dream came true: SOUNDWAVE!!! Where I've seen some legendary and upcoming great rock bands. And mate, it was super-fun in every aspect; the music, the showmanship and gimmicks, the crowd, the booths, the roller-coaster weather and the awesome venue in Olympic Park, Sydney.

Held on February 28 and March 1, the lineup spread up to 5 stages. With some good food & beverages, merch tents and very very useful free water station (minding the hot weather at Aussie that time), I gotta say this is the best music fest I have ever been to. Really.

These are the bands I managed to see on Day One of Soundwave 2015, post-contemplating and putting the best personal time tables, opting for which bands to see and sacrificing some other bands (Atreyu, Ministry...) in process due to clashes, one of few bad parts of music festivals you have to deal with:

1. King Parrot

The first band of the day. The locals King Parrot. One crazy frontman. A good warm-up under the shiny sun. It was about 12pm!

 2. Deathstars

Aah... goth rock. Day 1's finest set perhaps. It was like watching goth rock version of Joy Division.

3. Le Butcherettes

Omar Rodrigues' (Antemasque, The Mars Volta) Mexican colleagues, fronted by an energetic and amazing Teri Gender Bender. How about that for a name! Some glitches but entertaining throughout.

4. Gerard Way

Managed to see them performing Action Cat, my fave GW song from his new album. A truly deviation from his MCR time.

5. Crown The Empire

A surprising set that brought the stage down. Think of Bring Me The Horizon.

6. Steel Panther

'The Best Rock Band' so they say. Yeah, what a show. Silly yet a perfect blend of glam-rock music, vocal and props. Nevermind the lyrics.This is glam-rock version of The Lonely Island.

7. Fear Factory

Saw and heard a bit of Fear Factory from far away because of the packed crowd during this set! First consequence of clash case with Steel Panther.

8. Antemasque

Emmm, they were okay. Omar still got it.

9. Incubus

I may have seen them before but never getting tired of seeing them again. In fact, they were better this time. Favorite moments when they played Vitamin, Crow and a new song which is not Absolution Calling (shit I forgot!).

10. Soundgarden

Seeing Chris Cornell is a separate successful individual mission besides attending Soundwave. This legend rocked from the beginning til the end and his continuous powerful vocal throughout the 90-minute set made a memorable headlining set. Soundgarden owned Day 1.

11. Faith No More

Not a fan but from what I saw, they nailed it with a cross between the peaceful and harmony stage props together with the cool 'Motherfucker' opening.

12. Lamb Of God

Another case of clash here. Faith No More-Lamb Of God-New Found Glory, all at the same time. But I left Faith No More early to see these guys slaying the other stage. When Randy talk during intervals/between songs, he sounded so nice and soft. But he suddenly went nuts everytime a LOG song kicked in.

13. New Found Glory

The final band of the day. Such a perfect choice to warm-down before we got out. An enjoyable set. We jumped to their old stuffs and felt like we were in Sekolah Menengah all over again.


In summary, Day One was a 5/5. First taste of big music fest which gave me the real insights on how to maximize the music experience and enjoying every second of it, how to handle the craziness, the clashes and how to manage my stamina for future big fests I intended of going. And in short-term, for Day Two!

5 best bands of Day One: Crown The Empire, Deathstars, Incubus, Steel Panther & Soundgarden.

5 best moments of Day One: Incubus playing Vitamin, Steel Panther + girls (you know what I mean), everytime Le Butcherettes' frontwoman speaking foreign, seeing Chris Cornell live & the entire Deathstars set.

Worst band of Day One: Emily's Army. But at least I got to see Billie Joe Armstrong's son. And that's it.

To be continued...

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