Thursday, March 5, 2015

Soundwave Music Festival 2015 - Day Two - My Music Experience

Continuing my Soundwave experience...

Day two had me arrive even earlier.  I purchased my phone recharger, I ate my pizza, I filled up my water bottle, and I headed to Stage 2 to find my position for the day.  My favorite live band was going to be here...I haven't seen them for over six years (after seeing them on a regular basis for 8 years prior)...I was going to get as good of a spot as possible.  This means I was going to stay at Stage 2 for most of the day.

First band for the day was my second band viewed to incorporate classical instruments, a band from Finland - Apocalyptica.  They brought an impressive crowd for their 1:00 time slot.  The use of cellos and standing bass is a sight to see and a sound to hear.  This is not a display of musicianship that you'll see at your average music festival.  Even the banter from the Finnish boys talking about the Australian heat was entertaining.  Plus, the artwork for the band's backdrop is beautiful.  Everything about this set was beautiful.

Staying put at Stage 2, I could hear Stage 1's sets but not really see them.  Scottish band, Twin Atlantic, was next up on Stage 1.  They sounded good.  They also sounded really happy to be there.  I decided that I'm going to check out more from this band.  I liked what I heard.

As this band was playing, I realized I was being surrounded by a lot of under 18s.  The kids were here in full force.  Especially the females.  I learned why.  I knew what band was about to play.  I knew they had a strong female vocalist.  What I didn't know was how much these young girls worshipped her (and I learned why).

Tonight Alive was playing to their home crowd.  They were strong, tight, and entertaining.  The crowd was a ball of explosive energy and most of the girls around me knew every word to every song.  Led by the infectious, Jenna McDougall, she is a blend of early Gwen Stefani (before she was a glamorous fashionista) and Hailey Williams from Paramore.  She's got attitude, swagger, pipes, and a killer smile.  McDougall is that girl that guys want to be with and girls just want to be.  Leading the crowd in a chant encouraging those to refuse to live in fear of the judgement of others, this band seemed to be spreading a positive message to their young followers.  Hey, I'm not young, but I'm young at heart...and Tonight Alive earned a new fan.
Photos by Neal Walters Photo
All Time Low hit Stage 1 and took notice of the storm clouds rolling in.  They played a few songs before the force of the storm grew strong with rain and high winds.  As previously mentioned, their set was cancelled due to the quick onslaught of rain drenching their equipment.

I got to talking to my fellow fans at Stage 2.  The two girls next to me had come from New Zealand specifically to see Papa Roach.  The boy to my right had flown from Perth (think New York to LA).  My Papa Roach partners and I were not planning on losing our front row spot, so we braved the storm.  Fortunately, the toughest part of it passed in time for my Papa Roach boys to hit the stage.  Have I mentioned that this is my favorite live band?  I haven't seen them since moving to Australia.  The lead singer has gotten sober since I last saw him.  I'm not going to lie; I was worried his crazy stage antics wouldn't be there with sobriety in his life.  Jacoby and the boys still got it.  If you like rock music, if you like live music, you should see this band.  The adrenaline that pumps when they are on stage is electric.  The crowd was thunderous (and that was the crowd, not remnants of the storm), and the performance was powerful.
Oh........and I found myself in a crowd shot!  Since my hands aren't in the air, I'm guessing that was one of those times I was holding onto the barrier to avoid my ribs from crushing.  Awww, the dangers of a rock show.

After one hour of pure bliss for me, the never blissful Marilyn Manson took over Stage 1.  I saw Manson during the height of his career.  I'm glad I did because he hasn't been too strong lately.  I like his new material, and the two songs he performed live from his new album were probably the best he performed.  I know all about performance and shock rock, but I gotta admit that I wasn't impressed when he broke the beer bottle (on purpose) and cut his arm drawing blood, especially when the under 18 girl next to me said "That's uncool.  My best mate is a cutter."

Back to Stage 2 and back to me hanging on the front barrier because now I that I saw my favorite live band, I was going to see my favorite live guitarist - Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.  Good gosh almighty, this guy deserves every accolade, every praise, every identification as an icon and/or legend.  He exudes rock 'n' roll.  He exudes cool.  He still plays with passion.  His band is led by vocalist Myles Kennedy who is a talent in his own right.  He's not trying to be Axl or Scott Weiland, but when Guns 'n' Roses and Velvet Revolver songs are played, he does them justice.  In recent years, Slash has released three solo albums with Kennedy performing most of the vocals.  These songs hold up in set filled with 'Night Train', 'You Could Be Mine', 'Slither', and 'Sweet Child of Mine'.  The new material is great...but it's not GNR.  Nor, does Slash try to act like it is.  He's just Slash.  The crowd didn't mind.  It was loud.  It was rockin'.  When I got home, confetti that flew during 'Paradise City' fell out of my bra when I went to the shower.  I've seen Slash many times before (with GNR, Velvet Revolver, and solo), but I think my life is a little more complete by experiencing this set.
That's right; Slash gets two pictures because he's Slash!

After standing 9 hours at the front of Stage 2, I headed over to Stage 3 for Fall Out Boy.  The crowd was massive, and that's saying a lot because I left a massive crowd seeing Slipknot at Stage 1, and Smashing Pumpkins were playing at another stage as well.  FOB deserves their following.  They write catchy little tunes that you can dance to, and Patrick Stump's vocals are spectacular live.

Last mention is a band that performed its last show together...ever.  Yep, this is the end for Conditions which kinda sucks because I just discovered them when checking out all the Soundwave bands.  They were really good, the very small crowd was very appreciative, but I was a little sad at the underwhelming feeling of a band calling it a day after 8 or so years.

This was MY experience.  The booking of bands is always so solid that I'm always going to miss some.  This year, I missed Godsmack, Judas Priest, Of Mice & Men, and more because of set time clashes between the five stages.  I ain't complaining.  I believe my weekend was packed full with great music, great crowds, and free water for two full days!

Anybody want to come to Australia and join me next year????

Want to read my other Soundwave posts?  Here they are:
 Friday Favorites - Soundwave Edition
Soundwave - Takin' Care of the Basics
Soundwave - The Music - Day One


  1. Apocalyptica are really famous in Europe! A lot of my friends like them a lot. So cool that you are in that picture! :) You definitely had a great spot! I have never seen Marilyn Manson life but the cutting clearly isn't cool. I would love to see Slash!

  2. Tonight Alive...yup, gonna have to check them out cuz if that chick is like Gwen & Hailey, she's awesome cuz those are two of my favorite rock chicks.

    I love that you found yourself in that Instagram pic! So awesome!

    I would LOVE to come to this festival, it just sounds SO amazing. :)

    Mandie ~

  3. I will definitely be checking out Tonight Alive after you comparing her to Stefani and Williams, because bad ass! I heard Papa Roach on the radio today and while I was jamming out I thought of you because I remembered how excited you were to see them this past weekend. Had you ever seen Slash live before this? Isn't he just a god of a guitar player? You know he's got skills, but then you see him live and it's like holy shit wow!


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