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LIVE REVIEW: SOUNDWAVE PERTH – 3 March 2014

LIVE REVIEW: SOUNDWAVE PERTH – 3 March 2014
Arena Joondalup, Monday 3 March 2014
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar (SP), Star Wiggam (SW) and Stuart McKay (SM)
Photography by Maree King

Soundwave Festival has been a revelation for hard and heavy rock music in Australia. In a whirlwind eleven years it’s gone from a Perth-only event with a handful of bands, to cutting Perth off in a fit of pique and a flurry of half-arsed excuses.

Soundwave Perth 2014 by Maree King - Green Day  (9)

Now with a ridiculously excessive 90-ish bands over 7 bloody stages and… Hey, let’s just get the review done first, then analyse things later. Because, the one thing that never changes about Soundwave, is that the music is always as fucking awesome as they can make it…

THE PORKERS opened the main stage of Soundwave Perth 2014 with a half hour of enthusiastic ska punk, while most people were getting themselves organised and into the grounds. (SP)

The UK’s HEAVEN’S BASEMENT blow out the cobwebs of any sleepyheads with an in-your-face energetic performance more suited to 11:30pm than am. Displaying stylish hard rock power as they threw all the right rock shapes and set the bar high early on, it’s good to see the future of ‘classic rock’ in such assured hands. (SP)

90’s faves from Newcastle NANCY VANDAL provided a radical change of pace with their tongue-in-cheek punk n’ roll mayhem a bouncy antidote to the many hyper-serious metal bands on the bill. A little bit metal, a little bit punk, and with a 2 piece horn section, This Is A Death Metal Song and When I Squeeze My Nose I Sound Like Axl Rose had heads nodding and smiles stretching. (SP)

These punk ass NANCY VANDAL fuckers are proof that age is merely a number. Slow to start but they warmed up very quickly as the people started to move to their stage, delivering lots of stage fun with the addition of a rubber dildo they referred to as the instrument they created – The “Bonerphone”… it jiggled, it wiggled, they laughed, we laughed. Piss In My Weetbix made us piss our pants laughing but this was serious comic dispositional attitude when we got struck down with the Death Metal Song. A smash between anarchy, humour & satirical lyrics, these guys and girl are the root of real punk. Frenzal Rhomb Were Better When Ben Was in the Band was another crowd teaser minus the big black dildo. They did a shit hot job and provided a bloody good way for us to start the day with these bratty punk rat bastards! (SW)

LESS THAN JAKE are on stage for less than 10 minutes before they upset a girl using her phone to text. The singer tells the chick she’s rude for texting during a rock concert. I’m holding my phone texting my Editor and swiftly ditch my phone in my bag hoping that the singer didn’t see me (haha)… BUT I was armed with a pre-planned middle finger and a fuck you up my sleeve – just in case. The girl storms off with the shits as we all laughed at her and the singer continued to taunt her with ‘How would you like it if we came to your school and started texting while you were in the middle of an exam – If I went to her school, I’d probably get arrested’. All the songs and mosh circles of doom go by in a whirl. This was a good American Ska Punk Metal Band (their own interpretation)… and they knew how to wind a crowd up making sure that before they leave the stage they have a girl and boy circle shit storm mosh dance formation. Whilst I dug all their songs, there was more emphasis on the stage antics but it was a nice build up for later. With crowd favourites such as The Science of Selling Yourself Short and All My Best Friends Are Metalheads it was small stage success. I found their onstage stories of going to Bunbury, being lied to from the promoter about them being the 1st American band to ever go there and the singers first experience with sleeping with an older 60+ year old Australian woman very entertaining. This band seemed like the next step up into seriousness after Nancy Vandal. (SW)

Not knowing much of GRAVEYARD’s work, I didn’t really have any expectations but was eager to see a new band live. The first couple of songs were swallowed up with a bit too much low end coming from FOH which in turn muddied the overall sound, especially the vocals, but once this was rectified I found myself moshing along to their own brand of doom/stoner rock. I was particularly impressed with singer Joakim Nilsson’s vocal range, especially in the quieter, more melodic parts of their songs. They churned out an impressive and solid set in the scant 30 minutes they were allotted. (SM)

Whilst I had no real plans to watch ALKALINE TRIO, I was caught unaware by their catchy punk rock tunes and decided to stay on and see the 3 piece party on the next stage out in the sea of tattoos. Time to Waste, I Wanna Be A Warhol, I’m Only Here To Disappoint, Cringe, Every Thug Needs A Lady and Radio saw more waves of tattooed people flocked over as the band continued and it was time for me to head off for the Aussie spectaculars. (SW)

We’d heard a lot of good things about MUTEMATH so my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. With the drummer set up on the side of the stage, it’s no wonder he was a focal point and not just left to be hidden behind the toms behind the rest of the band. The guy is a machine! Watching him pulverize his kit to the point where the drum riser was shaking violently was a sight to behold. With a sparse crowd watching them it became apparent early on that these guys simply did not fit the bill on Soundwave and in turn, were met unfairly with a kind of insouciance from the crowd. (SM)

A little over 6 months ago, BIFFY CLYRO headlined the main stages at the Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK and today they find themselves practically opening the show at Soundwave; a humbling experience for them I’m sure, but this did not detract from their performance whatsoever. Preceded by chants of “Mon the Biff” by a small group of fans, they erupted onto the stage with the monstrous sounds of Stingin’ Belle and the energy in which they burst onto the stage was prevalent throughout the entirety of their set. They chose to play songs from their last three albums, with the emphasis on their latest double album offering. Opposites. Sounds Like Balloons and Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies were the stand outs for me and I couldn’t help thinking that a couple of their older songs should have had a place in the set list, but all in all they were simply marvellous. The thing that I adore about this band is whether they’re playing to 50 or 50,000 people, their passion, energy and intensity always reigns supreme and you’re always left thinking ‘What a band!’ (SM)

Scotsmen BIFFY CLYRO attracted a bigger crowd as they rock hard on the main stage, their set culminating with their UK Top Ten hit Mountains, before Simon Neil’s guitar is thrown offstage and they make their exit to a roar of appreciation. (SP)

The Mark Tremonti/Myles Kennedy dual guitar assault of ALTER BRIDGE is as heavy as any of the metal bands playing Soundwave today, delivering riff after crushing riff to the slowly livening crowd braving the 30-plus-degree sun. A brooding Blackbird features some blistering playing from Tremonti, and they finish an excellent set with the monolithic Isolation and a long squeal of feedback. (SP)

Soundwave Perth 2014 by Maree King - Richie Sambora  (4)

Richie Sambora

A late addition to the bill, RICHIE SAMBORA was a strong draw for many, and jaws dropped when he opened with a cover of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Sounding raw, at times tuneless, and even a bit bewildered, he should have handed more vocals over to Aussie guitarist ORIANTHI. Though they improved over the course of a patchy set that featured a ten minute jam to Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile, INXS’ Don’t Change and Bon Jovi favourites Lay Your Hands On Me, Wanted Dead Or Alive and Living On A Prayer, his appearance was still a disappointment. (SP)

While I was knocking back a cold one and waiting for THE LIVING END to take the stage, I caught the 2nd half of RICHIE SAMBORA. No thanks, Sloppy Joe. Why was he on one of the main stages? Loaded with cover songs, including Bon Jovi material (blerrh), people were yelling ‘get the fuck off!’ Yeahhh out of place much? (SW)

Meanwhile at the other end of the grounds TESTAMENT sounded vital and dangerous and taught the youngsters how thrash is meant to sound. Vocalist Chuck Billy railed against the announcement that this will be Soundwave’s final Perth show ever (“Perth needs Soundwave!”) and called on local aboriginals to celebrate their culture, dedicating Native Blood to them. The big man is in fine voice and obviously revelling in Testament’s resurgence over the last few years. Like a Metal Moses he parts the sea of people down the middle then exhorts each side to ‘destroy’ the other. It’s as brutal and perfect as the thrash they helped invent. (SP)

THE LIVING END cemented their reputation as one of Australia’s finest bands with a no bullshit main stage set that made Sambora look like a Thursday night hack down the local bar. Second Solution, All Tore Down & Prisoner Of Society all sound incredible, led by Chris Cheney’s raucous guitar and vocals. (SP)

Soundwave Perth 2014 by Maree King - The Living End  (2)

The Living End

THE LIVING END, without a doubt were one of the pinnacles. That overwhelming ‘fuck I’m proud to be an Aussie’ thing took over me and so many around me. Corey, a mosh pit member in his Aussie Onesie was called up on stage by singer Chris Cheney. He sips a beer through his non-existent mouth hole and dances around stage and is eventually told to get the fuck off. He later realises that Corey is not the only person wearing the Aussie Onesie and says ‘oh my god, there’s another cunt.’ Shocked ‘There’s 3 of the cunts!’ Ohhh we heard all the goodies, we all sung along and I appreciated their unmarked musicianship and skilful beer slide guitar. By their own admission they apparently made one mistake but we forgave them because we didn’t even notice. Second Solution, Roll On, Who’s Gonna Save Us?, Prisoner of Society, All Torn Down – all our favourites and every person from front line and centre to the very back of the drinking arena were singing along. There was White Noise, West End Riot and not one person wanted it to end as Cheney knocked back another coldie on stage citing they know how to drink in moderation in Melbourne, but jovially added that he would probably be attending rehab on his return home. Frankly I would have happily sat back and watched them for the rest of the day. This was true Aussie quality and they were right up there as they owned the stage and the crowds with their intense and yet playful Aussie showmanship. Good on ya mate! (SW)

As usual, GWAR’s social commentary and satire is largely obscured under many layers of latex, eruptions of fake bodily fluids and wilful offensiveness, but there’s no denying the bludgeoning catchiness of Hail, Genocide, Bring Back The Bomb and Hate Love Songs, the former featuring their infamous beheading of a Tony Abbot lookalike. Many of the crowd sported the fake red blood from head to toe for the rest of the day. (SP)

ZEBRAHEAD brought good times and fratboy fun pop punk to Perth with an infectious and energetically bouncy set, culminating in “the world’s biggest circle pit” according to Iranian born singer Ali Tabatabee. (SP)

As PANIC AT THE DISCO kicked into a crowd pleasing set of electro pop rock, PLACEBO provided some memories for indie kids of a ‘certain age’ over on the main stage. Latest single Loud Like Love harkened back to their heyday, and Too Many Friends and Every Me Every You pleased the bouncy crowd, but Brian Molko’s androgynous whine becomes irritating too quickly so we’re off in search of other pleasures. (SP)

Placebo

Placebo

As we sat in the gutter eating our $20 Nando’s chicken burger combo (thanks to deliberate ‘price gouging’), and listen in… the crowd was thick, the addition of a large mosh circle dancing group was heavy and strangely the close knit calmness and ferocious vocals was all the soothing background music I needed to down my lunch. I do not know much of IN HEARTS WAKE but a lot of people did and I can see why. The 5 piece Hardcore Metal band from our very own Byron Bay strutted their stuff smoothly with genuine muscled up intensity. (SW)

FILTER began proceedings with the epic Welcome To The Fold and it didn’t take long for front man Richard Patrick to jump down from the stage into the crowd and demand the spectators peppered at the back to ‘GET THE FUCK UP HERE’ After that he had them eating out of the palm of his hand. Having been a fan of the band for years I’d been anticipating their performance for some time, and what a performance it was. Patrick truly is a remarkable front man with a huge voice and his band also performed with boundless energy. The highlight of their set was Deftones/Crosses frontman Chino Moreno joining them onstage to sing their biggest hit Take A Picture. (SM)

Black Veil Brides

Black Veil Brides

While THY ART IS MURDER dethgrowled their way through a set of nasty hate metal, BLACK VEIL BRIDES showed exactly what their hype is all about with a magnificent set despite the minute stage they were relegated to. The small room grew hotter than a furnace, the band and enraptured fans bonding in sweat and heavy glam metal as The Brides tore up Nobody’s Hero, Wretched & Divine and A Thousand Yesterdays. Like most people, we’re suckers for a good cover, and they don’t get much better than their killer take on Billy Idol’s rebel Yell, which had the whole room screaming along. Perfect Weapon from their debut record finishes a set that will remain on of the highlights of the day. (SP)

BLACK VEIL BRIDES were stowed away inside on a very small stage. I’ve seen larger stages in small bars. Not what I’d expect to see at a festival. Visually it was confusing & frankly it annoyed the fuck out of me. I was personally very frustrated by the lack of volume on the vocals. They performed well under the circumstances and the smallish BVB Army was lathered in teeny bopper type BVB hysteria. These guys should have been on a bigger stage, outside for the rest of the world to see. Andy graciously thanked everyone for taking the time to come and see them, noting that there were a lot of other great bands outside to see so they appreciated us being there to see them. Doused in professional female groupies, smiling and waving endlessly at the guitarist as if they personally knew him, things took flight as they smashed out Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell and I took an eyeful of matted dreadies from the guy in front of me, not once but 3 times for the team. On a more positive end I did get to see Andy put his hands down his pants to correct his manly squishing. Not once, but twice. Dear Lord! And all the girlies screamed “fuckalicious!” (SW)

PENNYWISE drew a huge crowd and continued the covers trend with a bouncing surf punk take on the classic Men At Work track Down Under, before calling for another circle pit at the launch of their eponymous tune, Pennywise. It’s breakneck fast n’ furious rock n’ roll at it’s funnest and finest. (SP)

I’m going to have a bash at the promoters for having stages so close to each other that it was hard to hear PENNYWISE over the other one playing adjacent. Apparently the setlist was: Land Down Under, Perfect People, God Save the USA, Same Old Story, My Own Country, Society, Pennywise, Fuck Authority and Bro Hymn. The crowds were definitely pleased by their presence, it was just a shame we could barely hear or see them. (SW)

Alice In Chains

Alice In Chains

ALICE IN CHAINS tear the main stage a new one with their grunge anthems, singer William DuVall sounding uncannily like the band’s late founder Layne Staley. An hour isn’t long to cram your career into, but they balance old and new well, with Check My Brain and Hollow standing tall next to Them Bones, Dam That River and a superb closing trio of the hypnotic and mystical No Excuses, Would? and Jerry Cantrell’s reliving of his father’s Vietnam horror, Rooster. Light on chit chat and flash, it’s a lesson in monolithic groove and all about the music. (SP)

KORN are one of the bands who should without a doubt have been sharing the main stage. So why they were placed outside with NO screens was beyond all of us!! We could have done without the Miley Cyrus twerking backdrop but besides that, they were completely flawless and quickly you forgot all those around you as you fell into the great onstage performance. For me and many around me, this was a dream come true. The entire crowd sang and danced along to every song and we all fell into the trance of Korns undeniably hypnotic groove. We got all the faves plus more: Falling Away From Me, Got The Life, Shoots And Ladders, Coming Undone, Never Never, Freak on a Leash… The realness of the bands performance, with singer Johnathan Davis throwing his angry stage persona into the songs… We were feeling it. (SW)

Stiff Little Fingers

Stiff Little Fingers

TERROR enrage a healthy crowd with their aggressive, hardcore mayhem, inciting the moshpit to similarly aggressive levels, while next door, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS deliver a very different kind of punk rock experience. One of the originals, the Ulster veterans led by Jake Burns delight with authentic style and a devil-may-care assurance through tracks that mean something like Barbed Wire, Strummerville (a homage to Clash frontman Joe Strummer’s legacy and influence), Deserter and their classic 1978 second single, Alternative Ulster. The band generated such a fist pumping, hand clapping, crowd surfing response that there’s no doubt that after 37 years in the game, SLF can hold their own against all comers. (SP)

Rocket From The Crypt

Rocket From The Crypt

ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT played a set of hard edged alt garage rock punctuated by squeals of horns as the doona of twilight was pulled up over Arena Joondalup. Singer Speedo cracks jokes about his hired band between songs and keeps things lively, ensuring Young Livers, Sturdy Wrists, I’m Not Invisible and Get Down all go over well. (SP)

Eagles Of Death Metal

Eagles Of Death Metal

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL received a lot of publicity when QOTSA’s Josh Homme was part of the gang a few years ago, but it was never any less than frontman Jesse ‘The Devil’ Hughes’ band. Hughes brings the sexy from the moment he dances onstage to CCR’s Born On The Bayou, and they launch into Bad Dream Mama. Don’t Speak, Cherry Cola and I Only Want You are always fun to listen to but the band seem less connected than we’ve seen in the past. (SP)

Hailing all the way from Berlin – by way of Mississippi, THE BOSSHOSS nail together every goddam thing that’s great about rock n’ roll to create a Trojan horse to win the surprise triumph of the day award. Cramming ten people onto the tiny, cramped stage, they might be the finest cowboy garage punk mariachi biker rock band ever, coming across like Johnny Cash fronting Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction with a 3 piece mariachi horn section. It’s a travesty that they’re relegated to a tiny, hard-to-find stage and only draw a few dozen punters, when they are undoubtedly a highlight of the day. European hits Rodeo Radio, I Keep On Dancing, Don’t Gimme That and a rollicking dosey-do cover of Cameo’s Word Up – featuring solo spots from each of the band members, including beer soaked snare drum and washboard solos – all keep the fun turned up to eleven and the dancers moving and jumping. (SP)

We headed into the stale sweat and weed hut which was Stage 4 to catch French metallers GOJIRA. HOLY. SHIT! Their sound was utterly colossal and filled every inch of the tent they occupied. Frontman Joe Duplantier truly has one of the best voices in metal today, which was illustrated perfectly in songs like Backbone and The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe. The whole band was aligned in perfect harmony with each other and their performance was jaw-droppingly good. I even saw Munky from Korn side of stage shaking his head in disbelief at one point during The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe. ‘Nuff said really! (SM)

The Walking Papers

The Walking Papers

Most eyes are locked on ex-Guns n’ F’n Roses bassist Duff McKagan during THE WALKING PAPERS set, a kicking collection of revved up Johnny Thunders/Stones bare bones rock n’ roll. Singer Jeff Angell is magnetic though, and every inch the rock star, and let’s not forget drummer Barrett Martin has history with The Screaming Trees and keyboard player Benjamin Anderson thrashes around maniacally. McKagan is lithe and a long way from the puffy bloated addict of latter Gunners years, a look of steely determination on his face as he propels this new material forwards. The band are impressive as hell as they run through Your Secret’s Safe With Me, Leave Me In The Dark and Two Tickets And A Room from their self titled debut. (SP)

Stage 5 saw us in the front row for what I would call one of the greatest live bands in the world right now, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. This being my fourth time seeing them. I still have that nervous excitement prior to their arrival onstage. Starting the set off with Prancer from their latest album, it was already evident that they would destroy the stage once again with another hectic, chaotic, frantic and frenetic performance. They completely embody the style of music that they create when seeing them live their presence onstage just serves to bolster the extremity of their sound. The majority of their set was devoted to their newest album One Of Us Is The Killer with few tracks from previous albums including live favourite Milk Lizard. They were also joined onstage by Thy Art Is Murder’s singer CJ who hailed ‘How’s it going cunts, I’m from Australia’ before helping them out on vocals for their cover of Aphex Twin’s Come To Daddy. Finishing off with When I Lost My Bet, they ended a perfectly maniacal set by dismantling the drummer’s kit. (SM)

Green Day

Green Day

Of course we’ve already heard all the news going round how GREEN DAY like to get people up on stage but until you see it first hand for yourself and the rarity that is spontaneity of not knowing who’s actually going up on stage, well that’s a whole new ball game. The boy, who’s name I believe may have been Callum, played his part beautifully – he looked terrified, unsure of what to expect, as Green Day singer Billie Joe appeared to be exorcising him of demons. He fell to the ground as they belted into yet another audience hit and without a doubt it became obvious to the “ headlining hesitants” why Green Day were chosen to headline. A girl who professed to be able play guitar is called up on stage to play the 3 chord part and it becomes obvious quickly she lacked experience playing an electric guitar. But that lucky gal was handed a free guitar and Billie Joe asked her to promise that she would practice. Another willing audience member was asked if he knew the next verse in the song, he confirmed he did, quickly stormed the stage and took over the entire song. We all jumped, we all sang, we laughed, we had joy. Chicks were ripping their tops off in hope that the free t-shirt bazooka giveaway would land them a shirt. They were ignored but soldiered on singing topless regardless.With a mix of the old and the new, we were treated with Holiday, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Burnout, Longview, Hitchin’ A Ride, When I Come Around, Welcome To Paradise, Highway to Hell which disappointingly wasn’t the full song but we forgave them because they swiftly kept the ball rolling with Basket Case, Minority, American Idiot. Other partial covers included Jessie’s Girl, Who Can It Be Now, Hey Jude and We Are The Champions. The 3rd Encore, and my personal fave, Good Riddance (Time of Your Life). (SW)

By the time we make it to the main stage to catch some of GREEN DAY’s epic two and a half hour-plus set, they’ve already been playing for about an hour and we’re just in time for a run through of some of 1994 breakout album Dookie’s highlights. Burnout, Chump, Longview, When I Come Around and Welcome To Paradise are all great, and some teasers of riffs or a verse from the likes of Iron Man, Zep’s Rock n’ Roll and Highway To Hell add to the fun. For a scuzzy little band of pop punk brats circa ’92, they’ve become immense business and millions of sales and audience members have honed their stage act, Billie Joe Armstrong playing the crowd like a fiddle. Whether he’s pulling a dude up to sing, ‘conducting’ the crowd’s cheers, turning a firehose on them or firing t-shirts into the crowd with a mini bazooka, they lap it up. They go on the play tracks from throughout their career including mega hits American Idiot, Minority and Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life). (SP)

Ville Valo reigns over the court of HiM on the side stage with a set of classy Scandinavian goth rock, playing up to his sexy image as he delivers the likes of Right Here In My Arms and When Love And Death Embrace. (SP)

Indoors and out of the by-now chilly breeze, 10 YEARS show real class with a set of melodic alternative metal. Bassist Ryan Collier flails his waist-long dreads around mercilessly while singer Jesse Hasek climbs the stage scaffolding, overcoming some equipment niggles and despite some apparent tension between the vocalist and guitarist Ryan Johnson. (SP)

Mastodon

Mastodon

I made it just in time to hear the opening bars of Crystal Skull by MASTODON. Having seen them last time they were at Soundwave, side of stage, I was now back in the pit with the common folk jostling for position – which was all right with me. The titans from Atlanta were in the zone tonight and I think, revelling in their headline slot on Stage 4. The set was dominated by songs from their most recent album The Hunter with Blasteroid and Spectrelight being the stand out favourites. They covered all bases by including a song or two from all five albums in their catalogue and they looked like they were having, dare I say it, fun. Mastodon have never been a band associated with joviality, especially having seen them live many times before, but tonight they were in great spirits and that in turn came across in their performance and to the overall mood in the room. Ending a stellar set with Blood and Thunder, they capped off a truly memorable Soundwave for me which makes it all the more bittersweet, considering that this festival will no longer grace Perth with its presence. (SM)

Living Colour

Living Colour

LIVING COLOUR may be a little late walking on, but their reception is rightfully suitable for that of such a legendary group. Starting with the grinding Preachin’ Blues, the virtuosic playing and smooth vocals slide in as if nothing but their hairstyles and flouro outfits have changed since their 1988 debut Vivid. Dressed more like Bill Cosby than a rockstar, singer Corey Glover prowls around the stage like an agitated lion and stuns with his powerful vocals through Funny Vibe, Desperate People and Ignorance Is Bliss. Vernon Reid’s guitar playing is simply mind boggling and unique, transforming already great tunes like Love Rears It’s Ugly Head and Cult Of Personality into something purely magical. Closing their set is Time’s Up, with snippets of What’s Your Favourite Colour and Get Up (Like A Sex Machine), before segueing into AC/DC’s Back In Black and metal band DOWN taking over the instruments to finish with a stage full of celebrity admirers. A wild, magical, high note to end a very long and musically superb day on. (SP)

 

So here we are – Soundwave “never” returning to Perth. One side accuses the organisation of greed, arrogance, and runaway egos. The other cites spiralling costs, price gouging, the alleged so-called mining boom (you know – the one that most of us West Aussies don’t ever see a cent of).

There were some massive fails at Soundwave Perth 2014. Too many bands. Too many stages. Too many clashes. Too many cancellations. Why can’t a festival just be four stages, 20-30 bands?!?!?! It’s miserably sad that many of these awesome bands are brought halfway around the world, to only play for 30 minutes. Is there any real surprise when some bands pull out? Oh – and where were all the Aussie bands? Oh yeah… Soundwave says local bands abuse the privilege, or some such thing!

Apart from the main stages, the actual stages were wanting. Rob Zombie was incensed at not being able to use his production. Black Veil Brides and Living Colour are arena bands – yet both played in a hidden room, on a minute stage, to less than a hundred people. (Not because less than a hundred people wanted to see them, but because many couldn’t find the room. Or knew that they were on. Or had too many clashes with other bands…)

Soundwave have a reputation for being a great tour for the bands, and there’s no denying they have brought some amazing talent Down under over the past ten years. Sadly they have gone out of their way to unfairly paint Perth as ‘too hard’ and ‘too expensive’ when in reality, the truth is that cutting Perth off is the laziest option available. What about…

4 stages, 30 bands. Make a day that is classic. Bring ‘Soundwave Lite’ to Perth & Adelaide. Or be far more real and split the 90 bands into two, do TWO Soundwaves per year.

I’ll wager Soundwave’s first festival didn’t get 40,000 to attend in Perth, Mr Maddah!! Why screw WA music fans over, for an ever-increasing profit margin? Without 500-1000 air fares and hotel rooms to pay for, why wouldn’t a half sized event make more financial and musical sense?

The Soundwave management should properly consider these possibilities, rather than just ranting at WA’s ‘price gouging’, and ‘local and state government’ hassles. In short – they should put the fans who have supported them for many years, first.

100% ROCK MAG feels that it is the profit margin that fuels their decision, and some political shenanigans behind the scenes that we can only hypothesise about.

Personally, I think that any festival with so many stages, so many bands, and no hope of seeing but a fraction of them, is a farce. Let’s hope that one day there will be far more sensible events that have reasonable expectations, have a handful of well presented stages, without music bleed, have world famous bands that play for more than 30 or 40 minutes, and without ridiculous clashes of favourite bands. We can only wish!

That’s my personal opinion… Shane Pinnegar, Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIVE REVIEW: SOUNDWAVE PERTH – 3 March 2014

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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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