I’ve been looking forward to Soundwave 2010 for quite a while now. Not only were one of my favorite bands Faith No More reuniting, but it also featured several other favorites of mine, including Tool touring buddies Meshuggah and Isis. Forecast for the day was originally in the high 30s, but thankfully this didn’t turn out to be the case – it was a beautiful Adelaide day in the end!
After entering the festival, the first thing we noticed was the increased size. It looked like there was about twice as much room as last year, which was great! The crowd seemed noticeably larger as well. Hopefully this is as big as it will get in Adelaide, as I think overly large festivals aren’t quite as good.
We headed over to the Metal Stage (#4) to check out the first band on my list – Baroness. The metal stage was inside basically an large circus tent, so I need not stand in the sun all day! Baroness were playing their usual brand of Stoner Rock/Metal, and while they were ok, they didn’t really blow me away.
After a short change came sludge metallers Isis. I’d been looking forward to them, especially as I felt their last album was quite good. They played a total of 4 songs (they had a 40 minute set) all from Wavering Radiant. They played them quite well, and were actually more animated on stage than I expected, however they just lacked something. It was a little quiet, and I couldn’t help but feel that they weren’t really suited to this kind of environment. If they come back and play in a local club I’ll check them out, and see if that makes a difference.
Clutch came on next, and they were the first big surprise of the day for me. I am somewhat familiar with their recorded work, and quite frankly was blown away as to how well they played live. Their singer was a barrel of energy, and the drummer is one of the better I’ve seen in a while. Great shit and I’ll definitely check them out again if they tour in the future.
80s metal band Anvil followed Clutch, and once again I was surprised. These guys seemed to be genuinely happy to be playing the show, and the front mans energy was really good. The songs were somewhat generic, and the vocals sub par, but it was a great show, featuring some great drumming and a vibrator solo!
Following Anvil were the mighty Meshuggah. I knew these guys would be good, and they didn’t disappoint. I spent most of the set in the moshpit, and it was a blast. They played a set heavy on obZen songs, which was slightly disappointing, but I loved it regardless. Combustion was a highlight, as well as the set closer Future Breed Machine. My friends commented that the sound was crap (and it was if you stood anywhere but directly in front) but in the moshpit it was brutal! These guys are definitely one of the best live metal bands out there, and I will be seeing them every opportunity I get. I recommend you all do the same.
Anthrax are a bit of a blast from the past, and they were up after Meshuggah. Once again I was quite happy with how they performed. They seemed to play a range of songs, mainly older stuff, and while I’m not all that familiar with their work, I was thoroughly entertained! Caught In A Mosh was great fun…
We walked over to the main stage next (via the bar and food area) to check out the end of Janes Addiction‘s set. While not as good as when I saw them last, they did seem to be having fun on stage, despite the stage facing directly into the setting sun! They weren’t as good as I remember them being 10 years ago, which is no great surprise I guess, but it was fun regardless. What stands out most to me was a great version of the epic Three Days Jimmy Eat World followed JA, and I don’t really have anything nice to say about them so I won’t…
The headline act were next! Faith No More came onto stage in a range of pastel suits, and started with a cover of Reunited. As I expected, they kick some serious ass. It’s been well over 10 years since I saw them last, and in now way have they lost any of their chops. The energy and stage presence is something that many of the other bands on the festival should take note of.
Highlights of the set include The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, Surprise! You’re Dead and Patton telling us his "penis smelled like wombat". The only disappointment was that there wasn’t a great deal of crowd interaction like there has been at other FNM sets, but the music more than made up for it.
Overall it was a fantastic day. Adelaide truly is one of the best Soundwave’s in the country, as we don’t seem to be plagued by the problems of that larger ones. The fact we got nice weather helped as well. I’m looking forward to 2011 already!