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News Archives - February 2009

: Gig Review: Soundwave Festival

February 28 2009

If you've been following Pants lately (and revelling in the uncharacteristic flow of updates), you'll notice that this is the third music festival I've been to in the past month. One month ago I was at the Showgrounds for the Big Day Out, then the week after I was at the Laneway Festival and now today was the Soundwave Festival at Bonython Park.

Looking back at my last two gig reviews, I was planning on trying something different for this Soundwave event summary. For BDO 2009 I ran through my day and only rated the acts I saw, but for Laneway I didn't really talk much about any specific band at all. So to mix things up for this gig review, I was planning to comment on every single band, including the acts I didn't see.

Unfortunately Soundwave is one of those festivals where I'm not in a good position to offer much in the way of insightful commentary. When the festival was announced, a friend of mine described the lineup as "an emo wall of shame" and I'd have to agree. There were around 55 artists on the Soundwave lineup & timetable, but I'd only really heard of around three of them.

To make my review easier, I've grouped the following 52 artists all under the category of "didn't see them perform but I don't care because they probably were shit".

  • Mike Herrera
  • Riverboat Gamblers
  • Alesana
  • Madina Lake
  • Finch
  • Ace Enders
  • Less Than Jake
  • All That Remains
  • Goldfinger
  • Jack's Mannequin
  • Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster
  • Silverstein
  • The Subways
  • Unearth
  • Forever The Sickest Kids
  • Saves The Day
  • Jaguar Love
  • Attack In Black
  • Evergreen Terrace
  • Underoath
  • Moneen
  • Straylight Run
  • Rival Schools
  • Anberlin
  • Poison The Well
  • The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  • Innerpartysystem
  • Minus The Bear
  • Hellogoodbye
  • Every Time I Die
  • Dillinger Escape Plan
  • 36 Crazy Fists
  • The Audition
  • Valencia
  • Alkaline Trio
  • The Bloodhound Gang
  • Lacuna Coil
  • Chiodos
  • Houston Calls
  • Horse The Band
  • Devildriver
  • New Found Glory
  • Say Anything
  • From First To Last
  • In Flames
  • Emery
  • I Am The Avalanche
  • Face To Face
  • Lamb Of God
  • Bayside
  • Bedouin Soundclash
  • Funeral For A Friend

Needless to say, I sorta skipped a large chunk of the festival and it wasn't by accident either. Just to finish off the review, here is a list of the bands I actually did see at Soundwave, plus my comments:

I'm not going to deny it — I have a huge man-crush on Trent Reznor so when I found out NIN were going to tour Adelaide there was no doubt that I'd be there, even if I had to walk among crowds of fans of those other 50+ bands listed above.

What made the deal even sweeter was that today is my birthday. Trent with his band put on a great show tonight and as much as I seriously enjoyed NinchCON '05 in Melbourne, I'm thinking that this concert tonight has topped it to become my new Best Concert Evar™.

The night's setlist was excellent, with many of the classic NIN songs played alongside newer material and rarer songs like Non-Entity. Some slower songs like La Mer and Hurt helped give the crowd time to settle and it was a good shift in pace.

Guitarist Robin Finck has rejoined NIN for this tour, plus it was also good to watch Rob Sheridan hover around the stage recording photos/videos with his Canon EOS 5D mkII. Professional camera gear and Ninch: two of my great loves in the same place at the same time...

Today was a good day... :)

: Gig Review: Laneway Festival

February 7 2009

Another week, another music festival...

It was only eight days ago where I was melting away in the heat at the Big Day Out festival, and today I was doing the same at another music festival. Today was when the St Jerome's Laneway Festival was held in Adelaide. The festival originated in Melbourne in 2002 but has since expanded to other states as well. This is Adelaide's second Laneway Festival and was held in the laneways between the UniSA City West campus and Fowlers Live on North Tce.

Unlike my Big Day Out write-up where I went through every* artist I saw, I'll only talk about some of the Laneway Fesitval highlights here because my memory sucks and the Pants research team took the day off (those lazy bastards).

In some respects the Laneway Festival was sorta like a mini Big Day Out event — there were fewer stages and was held in a much smaller area than the Royal Showgrounds, but the smaller crowd capacity made for an interesting artist-to-crowd dynamic. Very cosy, infact my buddy & I even made friends with a pair of very pleasant South African ladies and an older couple of festival goers (who were helpfully trying to set us up with the South African girls...). :D

There were two stages (one inside Fowlers and one just outside Fowlers), so moving from one act to the next was very easy. The nearby Mercury Cinema was also open all day presenting screenings of various music documentaries, giving people a chance to rest their legs and avoid the sun. I popped in a few times and caught sections of a doco on 70s rock band Joy Division. Later in the day I caught a segment of Rock The Bells, a behind-the-scenes look at the organisation of a big-ticket hip-hop music festival. It was pretty interesting and quite amusing, although I never did find out if Redman got his herb in the end... :)

Similar to the BDO, I went into this festival not knowing a whole lot about many of the bands. This tactic worked pretty well (once again), and I had a pretty good day without many expectations. Some of the highlights included local band Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! (who I saw last week at the Big Day Out), The Temper Trap and The Drones. The two biggest drawcards for the festival both put on great shows with Melbourne band Architecture In Helsinki and American mashup-artist Girl Talk putting an entertaining close to a very fun day of music.

* OK, as pointed out by a Pants reader, I did forgot to mention one artist in my BDO update.
Apologies go out to My Morning Jacket — I'm sorry your BDO set was so forgettable...

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