Monday, February 27, 2012

third time lucky: soundwave 2012.

[This blog post may shock many of you. Nobody can ever guess what sort of music I listen to, so this post will give you a grand insight into my iTunes music. This isn't all I listen to but takes a big part :)]

1. Wearing Struggle Tank by Morgan Joanel (Mojo Made) for Azuki & Billabong cut off shorts
2. Map and timetable for Soundwave 2012

Yesterday my friends and I braced the overwhelming humidity and possibility of rain to see all our favourite bands under one We headed into Sydney Olympic Park to enjoy a day of brilliant music. The weather gods were nice and gave us an overcast day with only a few sprinkles to end the humid evening. Almost 100 international artists including big names like System of a Down and Slipknot headed down under for the crazy festival.

This was my third Soundwave festival and I have to agree with the saying "third time lucky".

  1. My first Soundwave was in 2008 held in Sydney Park with acts such as Killswitch Engage, Saosin and Alexisonfire. 2008's lineup was short and had lots of small bands. This was the second year that Soundwave was held and it was unorganised. My friends and I ran around with no maps or timetable, and completely confused - this resulted in only seeing one or two bands out of all the ones we wanted to see. Not to mention we all got very sunburnt (this was a week before my debutante. Sunburn and white dress = disaster).
  2. My second Soundwave was in 2010 held in Eastern Creek with acts such as AFI, Paramore and Placebo. 2010's lineup compared to 2008 had involved a lot more internationally renown bands, however there were still a lot of small acts. This year was also horrible. We were in the middle of nowhere, in extreme heat, expensive water (which we couldn't afford), and dirt - lots of dirt. My friend I went with also got hit with heatstroke nearing the afternoon (when the good bands begin) which meant we didn't see anyone - at all.
  3. My third Soundwave which happened yesterday was AMAZING. What made it amazing? The two things that made my last two Soundwave shows horrible (no maps/timetable and no water) was rectified. This year they handed out booklets with maps and timetables AND there were free water stations! This year also had LOTS of bands I wanted to see which meant the $170 per ticket was well worth it.
So the question of the day - who did I see? Below are shots of all the bands I saw. In order I saw: Meshuggah, In Flames, Trivium, Mastodon, Lamb Of God, Slipknot & System of a Down. The first 5 acts were all on the one stage which meant little moving around. Oh something they did VERY well this year was each stage was split into two separate stages which meant every band would play immediately after the preceding band, keeping the smooth flow of the day and no waiting around for set up and sound check :)

So what are these bands like live you ask?
  • Meshuggah - Their music is VERY syncopated with polyrhythms coming out at all angles. They play AMAZINGLY live. Despite the complexities of their rhythms they play them spot on. If you're a musician you would know playing several polyrhythms at once is not an easy task - especially live.
  • In Flames - I use to listen to this band a fair bit. They were decent live. I only caught the last 20 odd minutes of their performance and was pleased to hear them play. They play cohesively together which is always good to see.
  • Trivium - First let me just say Matt Heafy is looking SMOKING HOT! He use to have long luscious hair and was decently attractive but his recent chop gives him a very mature and smoking look. Ok enough about the lead singer (look him up!) Trivium is one of my favourite bands and they play spectacularly live! They're also very good at entertaining and talking to the crowd. Can't wait to see them play again - this time a full set. Check out their new album 'In Waves'.
  • Mastodon - Firstly, I love this band. Well their last two albums have won me over. But these boys are not worth seeing live. Sorry boys. They focus too much on the guitar playing and not the singing. I was very disappointed. Their singing was shocking - missing notes, not singing perfectly in pitch - just not happy. Sorry, but if you're going to play live you can't focus on one element and neglect the other.
  • Lamb Of God - This is my favourite band. I will get something of theirs tattooed on me somewhere - probably not LOG as it will make me look like I have the alphabet on me, but definitely something! They are effing amazing live. They play BETTER than the album and that is what you want to see! They get the crowd riled up (in a good way) and just know how to entertain. Wish they were playing a sideshow in Sydney. Because they decided us Sydney-siders are subordinate to Canberra-ians I went to Soundwave mainly for them.
  • Slipknot - These boys are super theatrical with their masks and just know how to put on a good show. They had a HUGE crowd (look at the panorama shot - that's just people on the east side of the stadium!) I entered this gig liking some songs but after that show I'm getting all their albums! I sat up the back of the stadium so the acoustics were terrible - we had the sound bounce right behind us so it was all mushy but what I heard was still amazing! Definitely worth seeing!
  • System Of A Down - I went to this gig only know a handful of songs. It was disappointing where we sat because of the crappy acoustics bouncing behind us. I know these guys are great live because of the Youtube videos I've seen and the records I've heard. So hopefully the next time I see them I can get a better seat in the house :)
All in all it was a grand day. My body isn't happy with the aftermath but I had a good time. Definitely the best way to be enjoying my holidays :)



In Flames



Lamb Of God


Crowd at Slipknot

System Of A Down

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