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Live Review: Soundwave 2010 - 21.2.2010

On an incredibly hot Sydney day, thousands converged upon the Eastern Creek Raceway to check out the Soundwave Festival, Australia’s only festival specifically catering to the punk, hardcore and metal crowd. A stellar line up boasting headliners Faith No More, Jimmy Eat World, Janes Addiction, Placebo and Paramore, as well as a number of smaller scene heroes such as Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals and Motion City Soundtrack.

Set Your Goals were first up, and brought an incredible energy to their performance. The crowd went into a frenzy from the first note, expanding to make room for the first of many huge and brutal circle pits. They began with one of their heaviest songs ‘Gaia Bleeds’ before moving on to a set list mainly comprising of songs from their latest album, 'This Will Be the Death of Us'. Singers Matt Wilson and Jordan Brown bounced around the stage energetically, always making sure to make sure the crowd was still jumping as hard as they could. They ended their set with fan favourite ‘Mutiny’ which was a fitting send off for the boys.

Motion City Soundtrack were next, and were as solid and crowd pleasing as always. Justin Pierre despite a few throat problems, he played on and ended up sounding great nonetheless. Most of the hits were played, from ‘The Future Freaks Me Out’ to ‘Everything is Alright’, although the set heavily leaned towards the recently released 'My Dinosaur Life'.

Due to delays, apparently caused by local police conducting drug searches on all the road crew, many of the bands on the main stages came on thirty to forty minutes late. This was both a blessing and a curse, as it freed up clashes for some audience members but created them for others. Alexisonfire were one of the main stage bands, but didn't let the delays get to them, playing an intense fast paced set. Frontman George Petit was suitably manic, strutting around in his Canada shorts and jumping into the dirt and rubbing it through his hair. Dallas Greens voice live was something to behold, translating incredibly well from record to a live setting.

By the time Paramore came out, the crowd had doubled in anticipation of female-fronted pop-rockers. With Hayley Williams' great stage presence, and backed by a band who seemed genuinely happy to be there, they played a set that featured all the 'hits' ('Ignorance', 'Pressure', 'Decode' and 'Misery Business'. Naturally the crowd went nuts for the Franklin, Tennessee group, with a set list that was all-round favourable.

All Time Low came on as a breeze started to pick up, and played a short collection of songs heavily made up of tracks from 'Nothing Personal', in addition to some banter that would make blink-182 proud. Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat play off each other well, and predictably send the female fans crazy.

After a 40 minute delay, Jimmy Eat World come out to a set that lacked energy, which resulted in little movement from the crowd. The songs were all competent and stretched through the bands healthy back catalogue, but overall seemed to lack passion.

If Jimmy Eat World lacked passion, Four Year Strong made up for it many times over. The energy they had was incredible and challenged Set Your Goals for band of the day, as the crowd was jumping their hardest from start to finish. Despite some sound issues; especially in the vocal department, they still put on a great show, and keyboardist Josh Lyford was great at getting the crowd going.

Even in the heat, which at times was hard to bear, Soundwave once again resulted in being a superb festival off. All the bands were great, the crowds were big and energetic, and the music was excellent. Soundwave Festival always does a great job bringing bands to Australia that would otherwise not see. Some organisational issues aside, it was a great day for lovers of music everywhere.

Official Soundwave Festival Website

Words by Jamie Kirk
Edited by Sean Reid

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