Monday, 25 February 2013
"SOUNDWAVE 2013 - THE POST GIG ANALYSIS" . . . . FOR SOMEONE WHO SPENT MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS PLAYING LIVE MUSIC PROFESSIONALLY IT WAS A BLOODY INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE . . . . I'VE DELIBERATELY AVOIDED FESTIVALS FOR THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS, GETTING FUCKED UP DURING THE DAY AND SWEATING AND JOSTLING IN HUGE CROWDS HAD LOST ITS APPEAL . . . . THIS WAS A DIFFERENT "FIRST" . . . . I WAS TOTALLY SOBER FOR A START
In case you've never picked up on it, I've never been a huge fan of heavy metal, sure, I like it and have a soft spot for Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Pantera et al and even back to the punk inspired NWOBHM with the likes of Iron Maiden and friends, not to mention even further back to the granddaddies, the likes of Purple, Sabbath and Zep, in fact the only HM act I'd ever seen was when my first band supported Twisted Sister and they don't even count, sorry . . . . so, to get the opportunity to witness Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer in the one day was pretty fucking exciting to be fully honest, Red Fang, The Vandals, The Gallows and the mighty Cypress Hill also made the anticipation climb into redline zone . . . . rock and fucking roll!!!!
We got away from home late so tragically we missed not only Red Fang but Anthrax as well, no matter, plenty more time and stuff to check out. Clearly, God loves live music because after a week of pissing rain and overcast skies it was a stinking hot, sweltering Bris Vegas day as 50,000 punters swarmed into the showgrounds, another confession from an aging punk rocker, it was the biggest, most dense mass of inhumanity I've ever been part of, and in the fairly close confines of the venue it was wall to wall youman beans . . . . seeing as we missed the Fangers and the Germ Warfare Specialists, next on my hitlist of 'must see' musical mayhem was me dear friend Timmy's pick, The Gallows, inside the only proper indoor stage they were fucking full-on from the first note, given I have no real history with this outfit I was totally impressed with their take no prisoners blend of punk/metal full frontal attack, would love to have seen them with the original red headed frontman though, the punk edge has been left behind a tad from what I've seen and listened to on PooTube . . . . but being a bloodnut, I would say that though.
I gotta say that the real highlight of my entire day was the one band I have often been guilty of taking the piss out of, not hating on them, just putting shit on my mates who have been into em since "Show No Mercy" days, maybe because I'm not a skinny type has always been against me as well . . . . yes indeedly, it was the mighty Slayer, what a fucking show it was, daytime slots can be a pain in the arse for many reasons, different feel, the band don't rise to the all exposing reality of broad daylight gigs and not headlining, lighting shows become redundant, and for an act who rely on dazzling visuals it can be a killer . . . . not with these veterans from Cali, Hanneman, Araya, King and Lombardo took the gig and the crowd by the balls as soon as they walked on stage, they then proceeded to demolish a set that frankly had me kicking myself in the fucking head for never having actually bought any of their catalogue of nitrous propelled, prototypical death/speed/hyper metal before . . . . tight as the nun's proverbial, exceptional playing and with Tom Araya lookin like the smiling Devil himself, his obvious level of stoke was immediately infectious, I became an instant devotee, admittedly, 30 fucking years too late. In one incredible set the crowd was given an object lesson in the power of truly great rock and roll, forget the old barriers of genre, forget the bullshit Satan thing, it means nothing in the end, this was just a rock gig of mothefucking killer dimensions and I'm blown away by its magnitude still . . . . can't wait until they tour again, fuck yeah !!
Other exceptional performances were, in no particular order . . . . Metallica, wow, what can I say, two and three quarter hours, monster show with all the bells whistles, Hetfield looking like he was actually having a great time, Robert Trujillo dominating on bass, so much menace, delicacy and warmth all at the same time, Hammett, legit modern day guitar god/virtuoso, Lars the beatmaster ruling the roost from behind the kit, fucking wicked show to break my virginity and close out the festival . . . . Cypress Hill, Danko Jones, Blink 182 and The Vandals all oozed class, honesty and a desire to really give their all on a day when the heat alone could have killed lesser bands in the head . . . . even Dragonforce, who Mikeey Rat introduced me to only four weeks ago, were a shitload of awesome, Garbage were wonderful with Miss Shirley Manson doing it up for the girlies present . . . . it was a fucking brilliant day and for me a huge way to get my first real taste of the metal thang, and superb company made it all even more special . . . . consider me won over . . . . GWAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR !!!!!!
***** Thanks to those whose footage I have stolen . . . . it's rough and ready but as real and as visceral as the bands themselves were, warts and all !!!