SOUNDWAVE 2010 PREVIEW
February sees the return of one of Australia’s most innovative and exciting music festivals for those who like their music fast and hard. With over 40 bands on the tour, the question of which acts to see will surely be at the forefront of the minds of Soundwave attendees, so here’s Music Vice’s guide to who’s who this year. We recommend:
Bringing more to the psychobilly genre than most, the Creepshow’s keyboard-laden tracks and powerful vocal melodies owe as much to the Sunset Strip hair metal scene of the late 80s as they do to the Nekromantix. Sticking to the well-worn psychobilly subject matter of demons, scorned women and the undead, the Creepshow are sure to be a fun start to proceedings.
Related link: The Creepshow at Scene Music Festival 2008
Perhaps best known for being the band in which Blink-182s Travis Barker cut his teeth, and being the guys behind kid’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba, this group of goofy Californian ska-punkers are a must-see for Soundwave 2010.
For the hardcore fans in attendance, Comeback Kid brings to the table all that a hardcore band should be. Break-downs a plenty and a level of musicianship above par for the genre mean that Comeback Kid will more than likely win over a slew of new fans on this tour. Get there early to avoid disappointment.
Flying the Americana/folk rock flag on this tour are The Weakerthans. This group from Winnipeg, Canada proves that you don’t need a stack of Marshall amps and cookie monster vocals to move a festival crowd, though the rock n’ roll fans will also find plenty to like about The Weakerthans. A strange blend of Lucero, The Eels and Weezer; this is another band to look out for this year.
For the politically charged, activist punk rockers in attendance, you need go no further than Pittsburg, Pennsylvania’s Anti-Flag. While their lyrical content may be too much for some of the older, more jaded festival-goers to endure, there’s no denying Anti-Flag’s ability to pen a catchy hook and capture an audience.
Related link: Anti-Flag Interview
Reel Big Fish
Last year’s Soundwave festival was a veritable haven for late-90’s ska fans, with Goldfinger and Less Than Jake playing back-to-back sets. This year Reel Big Fish will be catering to that crowd, and with one of the best festival songs ever in their arsenal (1996’s “Beer”) they are sure to please.
Related link: Reel Big Fish Interview
Equally sure to please a lot of people are Paramore, who will be the must-see for many of the younger crowd attending Soundwave. Of all the pop punk and emo bands that the last decade gave us, Paramore were a more-likeable cut above the rest and became one of the biggest bands around. With their third album Brand New Eyes topping the charts everywhere back in September last year, their popularity only seems to be growing – worth a look.
Related link: Paramore at Kool Haus, Toronto
If you don’t know why you should be seeing Anthrax then you don’t deserve to be going to music festivals. An absolute staple of 80’s heavy metal and more influential than the Bible, Anthrax know what they’re doing, and they do it well. Predictions are for a sweaty mass of hair and leather to contend with at the front of the crowd for this one, so if that’s not your thing it’s advisable to enjoy Anthrax from a distance.
Another one for the hardcore kids, this Canadian 5-piece have a strong following, which has been growing as of late thanks to their latest release, Old Crows/Young Cardinals which provides more crossover appeal than previous releases.
As some of the elder statesmen of this year’s Soundwave, Anvil prove, in much the same way as Motorhead, that three old men can rock harder and better than the current trend of 5 or 6 piece heavy rock acts. Anyone who has seen the recent documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil will know that this band has well and truly done the hard yards over the last three decades and will be a solid bet for your festival-going dollar.
Related link: Anvil at Canadian Music Week 2009
Brian Molko and pals return for what seems like their thousandth run of Australian festival shows. With an ever growing back-catalogue of hits to draw from, Placebo rank highly as one of Australia’s best loved rock and roll imports, being the soundtrack to so many happy summers, and this tour promises to be no exception. Again, crowds will be heavy for this set and pitty goes out to whatever unfortunate bands draw the short straw and have to play at the same time as Placebo.
Doing their best to cheer up the emo kids this year will be California’s AFI. With the increasingly prominent electronica aspects to their recorded efforts, it will be interesting to see how this translates to a live setting. There’s no denying the charisma or vocal range of front man Davey Havock nor the band’s songwriting skills, even if their fashion choices can raise more than a few eyebrows.
Faith No More
And finally, your headliners. Securing the newly-reformed talents of San Francisco’s Faith No More has proven to be an absolute coup for the organisers of Soundwave. While partially to blame for the rap-rock nu-metal explosion of the early 2000s, FNM are so, so much more than that. Mike Patton is without compare as the mad scientist of rock and roll and drummer Mike Bordin is a sight to behold. This is guaranteed to be a truly “Epic” performance. Do not miss.
Saturday 20 February – Brisbane, Qld
Sunday 21 February – Sydney, NSW
Friday 26 February – Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27 February – Adelaide, SA
Monday 1 March – Perth, WA
For tickets, full lineup details and all sorts of other goodies, check out Soundwave.com.