REVIEW: Soundwave 2014
It’s nearing the end of summer and as per usual Soundwave is rolling across the country. Now in its eleventh year, the annual festival is one of the highlights in the music calendar and a must for anyone into anything heavy. Olympic Park was the venue for Sunday’s Sydney leg of the tour. The sun was out, horns were up and the crowd were dressed in black.
As always, the problem with Soundwave is choice. Too many good bands on so many stages makes it almost impossible to see them all. Crowd favourites AFI were good early on. Over at the main stage, Richie Sambora did a fine job of warming up the crowd with a short set that included a couple of Bon Jovi tunes. Who needs Jon!
Unfortunately there were a couple of big name withdrawals this year with Megadeth and Stone Temple Pilots pulling out. Luckily for the fans, The Living End stepped in to fill the void. Not surprisingly, the Aussie punk rockers were a hit with the crowd. Their set included a rockabilly version of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and Chris Cheney showing off his skills using a beer bottle for a little bit of slide guitar.
Placebo followed but could have easily occupied a later timeslot. ‘Every You, Every Me’ and ‘The Bitter End’ were standouts. The crowd loved it although Brian is far too cool to ever smile or look like he is enjoying himself.
A Day to Remember gave an intense and powerful performance and the crowd responded in kind. This however, is pretty typical of Soundwave bands and of hardcore and metal acts in general. Their fans are dedicated and passionate. What a band gives out, they give back. It’s a big part of what makes Soundwave such a great festival.
Grunge rockers Alice in Chains played a mix of old and new. Their heavy grooves reverberated around the arena with classics ‘No Excuses’ and ‘Rooster’ proving to be real crowd pleasers.
Over on stage 3, Korn had festivalgoers bouncing along. Jonathan Davis broke out the bagpipes for ‘Shoots and Ladders’ while ‘Blind’ had everyone jumping up and down. Rob Zombie delivered an energetic and theatrical performance. Set closer ‘Dragula’ was a highlight.
Late in the evening, the hard rocking Avenged Sevenfold showed why they deserved their headlining slot. The Californian rock act played a blistering set that left the crowd wanting more.
Arguably the day belonged to festival headliners Green Day. Playing the main stage for nearly three hours, the boys put on a show that had everything. Plenty of punk rock, some sing along, a lot of crowd interaction and even a guitar giveaway.
Another great Soundwave. Here’s to next year...