Event Review: Soundwave (authored and shot by Lilly Pilly)

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Soundwave has been an annual tradition for the past five years for me and my metal-head circle of friends. I’ve seen top acts over the years from Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More right through to Slipknot and Rob Zombie.

I finished work on a Thursday night with an Oscar-winning performance of a mild stomach ache to my boss, and I’m sweet for the next day off. The routine as follows: Next on to the Thursday night at Brown Alley with cheap beer until ungodly hours of the morning, then fell out of the taxi, then woke up Friday morning to have my ‘hair of the dog’ to begin my beer-fueled day in the sun in a sea of black.

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This, my fellow readers, is the routine in which many of us took to have a great day moshing with the large waves of black-dyed silky hair, band t-shirts of Norwegian death metal bands that no one has heard of before, steel-cap stomper boots, and an incredible line-up of acts.

Unfortunately, this year has proved me that it’s true when people say, “You used to be cool man”. Soundwave isn’t the sea of black I should be drowned in anymore. WHAT HAPPENED? As impressive as the line-up was, the fashions and multi-coloured spew sea I saw before me left me speechless. Winnie the Pooh & Dorothy the Dinosaur onesies (as well as multi-coloured tie dyed ones), thongs, Gucci Sunnies… Need I go further? THONGS, seriously, people were wearing these and wondering why their feet hurt and lost their shoes after going into what they called a mosh pit…

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As quoted by SLAYER frontman, Tom Araya, on stage during their set; “your freedom is up to you.” And, yes, I do agree with him, so let these pokemons have their fun. Don’t know how well Slayer would have coped with their fans after their drummer, Dave Lombardo, was fired. Massive loss in the metal scene there.

Going a little further into my day at Soundwave this year, I floated around from stage to stage catching bits and pieces of a lot of old-school acts such as Sum41 belting out classic tunes while I was waiting for Cypress Hill. Come to think of it, while standing in the mosh for Cypress, Bullet For My Valentine played on the stage next to it, well composed.

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As much as I was enjoying their music, I couldn’t say the same for the hipster fans standing in the mosh behind me. Constantly flipping Bullet the middle one, and yelling them to ‘fuck off’, which was followed by many overwhelming Cypress chants from their loyal fans showing that they were definitely insane in the membrane. Again, Cypress busted out oldies, and they did some ‘Hits from the Bong’ indeed while smoking a spliff-o-roony on stage. Top blokes.

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And, to come to my highlight of my day, Linkin Park live. Waited ten years to see them play, and my love for those boys still stays strong when they put on an amazing performance (including reducing me to tears with my all time fave tune ‘Somewhere I Belong’). It was worth the wait, as they performed a lot of Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

In all, my day at Soundwave with the multi-coloured metal scene was pretty good in regards to performances; it was just unfortunate about the choice of venue as some stages had trees in awkward spots thus blocking the view for some people. And, if I went to Rage playing at Big Day Out a few years back, I would have had flashbacks from just seeing people climb trees and fences just to see the stage. Will I keep the tradition up next year? We’ll lets see if Soundwave can top their line-up again next year.

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Authored and photographed by Lilly Pilly

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