Soundwave Festival 2012 review

Soundwave 2012 – Adelaide Show – 3 Mar 2012

Report by greg moss

Sun, 4 Mar 2012 12:54:01

A female security staffer (with a voice deeper than Michael Wincott’s) got me to empty my pockets and ‘patted me down’ – as the theme from ‘Halloween’ blared out from a nearby stage.

This was my entry into the world of Soundwave 2012 – a little disconcerting to say the least.

A rundown of the bands I saw –

Paradise Lost – a great band from the UK. They had a big hit with the song ‘One Second’. A band perhaps more suited to the Big Day Out? Really tight. Great sound mix. The singer acknowledged they were probably in the wrong place, but tried valiantly to win over the metal heads in the crowd – clearly there for the next band – “Raise your hands for Satan!”

Limp Bizkit – Wow! – I was never really a fan, but these guys were THE big surprise of the whole day for me.

Their set became a moving tribute to the young girl Jessica who was killed in an Australian mosh pit eleven years ago. It’s their first time back since the tragedy. Her photo appeared on the giant video screens either side of the stage and a huge banner with her name on it was unveiled behind the band, as the singer urged on the crowd – “Let’s dedicate this day to Jessica!”.

It was incredibly moving.

Performance-wise, they were as tight as can be. Perhaps the best sound mix of the day. They played a rendition of ‘Axel F’ – as about fifty of so chicks from the audience were invited up on stage to shake their thang – amazing!

The singer said they’ll definitely be coming back for a proper tour – and you know what?

I might just go.

Awesome, amazing band live.

Marilyn Manson – imagine Nic Cage, face made up like Heath Ledger’s Joker- only sixty pounds heavier. Perhaps he should change his name to Marilyn McValue Meal or perhaps Fat Manson? The sound was flat and muddy. Great rendition of Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’ though. And ‘Beautiful People’ was the highlight. Overall, a big disappointment, not helped by the fact he kept gobbing all over himself every five seconds – ee-ewe!

Slipknot – one-note, montonous, couldn’t tell where one song ended and the next began. I like hard-driving metal from time to time – but if I’m gonna go that hard, I’d rather listen to Ministry or Rammstein. Theatrically impressive – huge flames, fireworks, bizarre masks and costumes – but ultimately empty and boring.

System Of A Down – when the band began, I thought the singer was putting on a funny voice, but soon realized – no, this IS his voice. I think I was the only one in the crowd of fifty thousand who burst out laughing. Reminded me of Primus – but not as intentionally funny.

I walked away after two songs.

The Sisters Of Mercy – opened with ‘Temple Of Love’ – ended with ‘More’. A greatest hits package gleaned primarily from the albums ‘Floodland’ and ‘Vision Thing’.

Actually, it’s not so much a band anymore – the original line-up split before ‘Floodland’ with singer/songwriter Andrew Eldritch continueing on under the moniker and the rest of the original band forming a new band ‘The Mission’ in the late eighties. Now it’s really just Eldritch with a guitarist and bass-player and backing tracks. But it is still ‘The Sisters’ nonetheless.

Now in his fifties, Eldritch has wisely shed his Goth appearance (even though he practically invented the look) and shaved his head and has grown a goatee and looks more like a fifty year old Moby – which is actually kinda’ cool. The alternative would be to go down the path of Robert Smith, which is decidedly sad and uncool – as much as I love The Cure.

The small crowd of about a hundred or so fans were clearly thrilled to see them (as was I) – after all these years of them never having set foot in Oz.

Standout songs were ‘Ribbons’, ‘Lucretia My Reflection’, ‘This Corrosion’, ‘Temple Of Love’ and ‘More’. A shame they didn’t include their dirgy cover of Hot Chocolate’s ‘Emma’ in this set – but you can’t have everything I guess.

It would be great to see them come back and tour (and also Paradise Lost for that matter!) – but they probably won’t. But hey, that’s cool – at least I can now scratch seeing them play live off my bucket list.

Greg Moss is a film school graduate with a background in directing music videos and is currently seeking representation as a screenwriter. He likes right-brained people, feeding the cat and watching genre movies.

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