This is the first year Soundwave have expanded to a two day format and with the feedback coming in it may be the only year it happens. With a solid day one line up it was day two that lacked in a wide range of acts that appealed to their broad fanbase. The day one line up was classic Soundwave with Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Slash, All Time Low, Smashing Pumpkins and Fall Out Boy all playing. While day two was a bit more obscure and reached out to the more alternative rock fan base with acts like Soundgarden, Faith No More and Incubus. This saw a lot more punters attending day one only and leaving day two a bit more relaxed and less populated. The organizers should have been a bit smarter and filtered some of the day one acts through day two making everyone want to attend both days instead of just one. But that put aside Soundwave 2015 was a good weekend with great music, awesome atmosphere and some intense mosh pits.
Kicking off day one were Scottish rock band Twin Atlantic who were new to Australian audiences with this being their first Australian tour along with supporting Fall Out Boy at their sideshows. Their energy just didn’t compare to the other acts playing and their performance felt lost and disjointed. Their music was of decent quality but being a band who have been performing since 2007 I expected them to be more in synch and a tighter live band.
Tonight Alive ripped straight into it with a highly energetic and controversial set which would leave them being one of the most talked about performances of the day. Lead vocalist Jenna McDougal has always been a pocket rocket performer and an incredible activist so it was no surprise when she stood up for her fans when things went wrong. She asked punters to crowd surf to the front of the stage and see how many high fives she could get during the next song so the crowd willingly agreed. But when they started to crowd surf security started tackling people and holding them down by the neck. Jenna vocally asked them to stop hurting them and said its okay as she was asking them to do it but they didn’t stop. She then jumped down mid song and asked the security to stop hurting him and it was all cool as she asked them to do it and they stopped and escorted the punter out. Jenna was asking fans to stop crowd surfing as the security kept tackling punters and she went on a spiel about how disappointing it is that security are meant to keep everyone safe and they were in fact hurting fans. It’s safe to say if you weren’t already a Tonight Alive fan you gained a whole lot of respect for them in that moment and if you already were, you fell more in love. Their set was a highlight of the day as it was a lot of fun, memorable for all the right reasons and included a killer setlist showcasing old and new material. “The Other Side” created a massive sing along while “Listening”, “Breaking And Entering” and “The Ocean” had the crowd going crazy.
I’m not a massive fan of All Time Low, I can blame my sister for ruining them for me a few years ago when she got into them and they were all I heard for a solid 4 years but when it comes down to it every time I see them live at Soundwave they never fail to impress. Their live show is as tight as they come, they are incredible performers in delivering to their fans what they want and that’s old favourites and crude humour. Lead singer Alex Gaskarth pumps the crowd with his slick vocals while lead guitarist Jack Barakat enthuses the crowd with his hilarious banter and collection of bras he kept getting thrown at him on stage. They played all the new and old favourites including “Lost In Stereo”, “Dear Maria Count Me In”, “Time Bomb” and “Weightless” which kept all the fans happy.
Marilyn Manson is someone who just constantly intrigues me. His onstage persona is dark, mysterious and pretty fucking cool. Oozing on stage to “Deep Six” he launched into an eleven track setlist of mostly greatest hits that showcased his killer repertoire. “Disposable Teens”, “Mobscene” and “The Dope Show” make early appearances while “Sweet Dreams”, “Personal Jesus” and “The Beautiful People” close out the show. He had multiple make up changes and that saw him exit the stage for a couple of minutes which left the show feeling a bit disjointed as nothing was happening on stage. Everyone was holding their breath to see if Johnny Depp would make an appearance during “The Beautiful People” like the night before at The Tivoli but sadly it didn’t happen. After 2012’s messy on stage shenanigans Marilyn Manson has cleaned up and focused on delivering a better show and he has succeeded. This was my third time seeing him live and the best I’ve seen him yet.
Closing out day one was one of my favourite live bands, Fall Out Boy. These guys just know how to put a killer live show on and deliver energy, slick vocals and an enjoyable set. Opening with “The Phoenix” Patrick, Pete, Andy and Joe marched onto the stage launching into a setlist that was utter perfection. They catered for everyone, there were the old favourites like “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me”, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me”, “Sugar We’re Going Down”, “Saturday” and “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” that kept all the old school fans happy. While doing new tracks like “Irrestible”, “Alone Together”, “Uma Thurman” and “I Don’t Care” keeping things fresh. Their cool factor is still on point and with a surprisingly small crowd they still delivered a ridiculously full on show that rivals their previous arena tour.