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Soundwave Brisbane this year was outrageously hot, both in line-up and temperature. Each year, as the festival expands, we’ve seen the stages gradually encroaching on the car parks of the RNA Showgrounds. Although this makes room for increasingly outrageous circle pits, fans are driven away from the scenery (and precious shade) of the vintage buildings. This was, however, countered by the troves of incredibly helpful Soundwave volunteers wielding copious amounts of sunscreen and ecstasy-inducing water sprays.
Those lining up at the gates were let loose at around 10:30am, snatching up merch and tickets for the signing tent early before the majority of folks arrived after lunch. This led to some earlier slots seeing much smaller crowds than normal. Nevertheless, the first performers killed it – Sydney crew Northlane and Rise Records stars Memphis May Fire were highlights of the morning. Both bands ripped out incredible sets, completely unperturbed by the huge acts they were preceding.
As the rest of the attendees appeared in force, the mixture of old-school metalheads and the abundance of scene kids we’ve come to expect from the festival once again became apparent. This year, however, with not-so-alternative headliners Linkin Park and Blink-182 front and centre, the festival drew a slightly more unusual crowd. Thankfully, the day proceeded with little conflict among the crowd. Successful timetabling spread the genres fairly distinctly across the grounds. That said, there were some cries of disdain heard from the crowd as Bring Me The Horizon fangirls swarmed the stage as Ghosts were finishing up.
Though eclectic in collection, the bands still made this year one of the most successful yet. All headliners absolutely exceeded expectations. Gasps could be heard from all stages as Metallica illuminated the grounds with an impressive fireworks display, and Blink fans left with the teenage nostalgia they knew they were getting themselves into. This year was the heaviest in recent memory – metalcore bands appeared in force, and those who came to mosh weren’t disappointed on that front either. Consecutive sets from While She Sleeps and Of Mice And Men left a lasting (not to mention exhausting) impression on fans new and old.
Overall, the day lived up to the hype as one of the most talent-heavy line-ups in Soundwave’s history. Despite the sweltering humidity, the weather was all we could have hoped for and, combined with the fantastic efforts of Soundwave staff, the Brisbane event ensured that the festival retains it status as the premium alternative music event in the country.
(Photo By Barry Schipplock)