By Scott Singh
After an explosive day 1, it was time for punters to prepare themselves with another offering of head banging, arm swinging, all round chaos that Soundwave always ensues. Remarkably the grounds were spotless as rejuvenated faces filled the area once more.
To begin the day, a cluster of fans ventured out to see Dayshell to mark their Australian debut. Unfortunately Shayley Bourget had to be hospitalised and a band without its lead singer can have trouble entertaining their crowd. To the bands credit, they performed a complete instrumental set, including favourites Not Coming In & Share With Me. Though the performance was tight and in a live context, was executed without fault. Without Shayley there to offer more substance to each track, the overall experience was a little lacking.
With a sore feeling after missing out on the complete Dayshell experience, it was now time to check out This Wild Life. This Californian duo showed punters that the festival wasn’t just filled with metal, punk or pop acts but also some who take a more modest approach to their music.
As the band explored their light tones with the crowd, it was refreshing to have a mellow sound this early in the day. Halfway through the set, a fan was invited onstage as he elaborately organised to propose to his partner who accepted him in front of an unlikely crowd of rock misfits. Dedicating Puppy Love to the happy couple, the audience danced about and created a genuine atmosphere of joy.
Taking some time to relax before the heat got the best of me, it was time to take refuge at the main stage. There I had my first encounter with Apocalyptica, who kicked arse as they combined symphonic sounds with metal elements. This classically trained group from Finland wowed the crowd with their title track Shadowmaker from their upcoming album.
Aussie favourites and by far one of our most popular rock acts of recent years. Tonight Alive didn’t even need to start before fans were screaming for them to take to the stage. A sea of young hopefuls populated the crowd and were mesmerised by the band’s lead Jenna McDougall.
Keeping in line with the punk pop vibe, All Time Low approached the main stage and offered a mix of old and new material. Unfortunately a sudden storm cancelled what was a great set. Though after the rain had passed, frontman Alex Gaskarth returned on stage to end with a sing-a-long of Weightless and Queen’s infamous classic We Will Rock You.
Now with the storm passing and a festival filled with drenched attendees, we all needed a way to beat the cold. Luckily Crossfaith were not going to go easy, just because the crowd was a little wet. This electronica metal band from Japan were mental during their performance. Demanding circle pit after circle pit, blending traditional breakdowns with dub-step. I mean, so much was going on, you felt as if you were years behind the band and they were waiting for you to catch up.
Coming to the final portion of the festival, it was time to see Escape The Fate and unconsciously compare them to Falling In Reverse. Stage presence wise, the band engaged with the crowd at all times and even introduced the concept of a ‘sea of ladies’ during Gorgeous Nightmare. But it wasn’t until later in the set did the crowd pick up their enthusiasm. To reward the crowd for their constant support, the band ended with This War Is Ours which was the perfect warm up for the band that would follow them next on stage.
Soon after, Of Mice & Men came to shatter everyone’s expectations of the metalcore outfit. For day 2’s standards, this band was amongst the most brutal performers of the day. Austin Carlile took command and declared that you gave him everything. From the bellowing growls of The Depths to more fast paced number such as O.G. Loko. This was one performance you didn’t want to sit down for. Tired expressions were common after this set as many had their life energy drained from this punishing band.
Closing the final night of the festival, Fall Out Boy made their much anticipated return to their Australian fans. Much has changed with the band appearance and sound but fortunately, elements of old FOB were seamlessly combined with new material during their set.
Patrick Stump amazed us all with his vocals (which still have influences from his solo work) while in the down time between songs our dear friend Pete Wentz was there to connect with the audience. While the set feature a lot of new material, including Immortals & Uma Thurman. Rock anthems such as This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race had the entire audience scream the entire song back to the band.
As a band that has been reunited for some time now, it was long overdue that they make an appearance in Australia and it is because of this very fact that their performance will remain a highlight of this year’s Soundwave.
As the day came to an end, it was time to take home all our memorabilia and relish in the fact that yet again Soundwave delivered another unforgettable experience.
Venue: SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL 2015 – SYDNEY
Date: February 28- March 1, 2015