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Apart from the day itself being one almighty rock, punk & metal-fest that never fails to please, another great aspect of Australia’s SoundWave Festival are the related sideshows which take place. These shows (which have come to be known as Sidewaves) often see 3-4 bands from the festival placed together on the one bill. As you can imagine, they are exceptional value for money, as well as being an effective way to solve clashes on the day. Examples of Sidewaves this year were (a) Social Distortion, Gaslight Anthem & Feeder, (b) Rob Zombie, Murderdolls, Monster Magnet & Dommin, (c) Sum 41, The Blackout, There For Tomorrow & Veara, (d) Pennywise, Millencolin & The Mad Caddies, and (e) Stone Sour, Coheed and Cambria, Sevendust & 36 Crazyfists. The Sidewave I chose to stroll along to however was the “can’t miss” trio of Anberlin, The Starting Line & Bayside.

Having previously seen them live a couple of times, I already knew that NYC’s Bayside were one of the best live bands going around. It only hit me on this night however, that they are also one of the few bands who sound great right from the get-go. They either sound-check all day or are just that damn good. Kicking off with energetic new track ‘Already Gone’, the ‘Killing Time’ opener felt like it had been on their live set for the past decade, with the way in which the audience were singing along even if they had barely heard the song before. Bayside played songs from most of their albums, although it was a little disappointing that fan favorite ‘Masterpiece’ was replaced by Weezer cover ‘My Name Is Jonas’. As per usual, ‘Devotion and Desire’ closed the set satisfyingly, with lead guitarist Jack O’Shea arguably taking MVP honors for the night with his impressive axe-wielding.

The reformed The Starting Line were up next and you could hardly tell that their future was in doubt over the past few years. Front-man Kenny Vasoli was as awkward as ever (Aussies will agree as to his likeness to comedian Frank Woodley), but while being a little “out there”, Vasoli pleasingly doesn’t allow his eccentricities to effect his performance. In fact, his band-mates could take a lesson from him as apart from the keyboardist, they sunk into the background. The two guitarists seemingly mimicked each other for half the set, with the notable exception of new song ‘Luck’, that may see the quintet branch out into a more guitar-driven & slightly less catchier sound. Fan favorites such as ‘Surprise Surprise’, ‘Island’, ‘Leaving’ and ‘The Best Of Me’ were played, although there was no ‘Bedroom Talk’ (which was probably a good thing since Mrs. Boy was standing next to me & “we just got married”)!

The night was then brought to a close by headliners Anberlin, who decided to begin with the new/old duo of ‘We Owe This To Ourselves’ and ‘Paperthin Hymn’. For the most part, the Floridian quintet played a festival-like set with rockers ruling the roost over the band’s fantastic ballads. There was no ‘Inevitable’, ‘Unwinding Cable Car’ or (despite requesting chants) ‘*Fin’. When the band did bring the tempo down mid-set, it was new album cuts ‘The Art of War’, ‘Take Me As You Found Me’ and ‘Pray Tell’ (complete with 3 drummers) which were used. It was interesting to note the increased workload of touring 6th member Kyle Flynn, who filled in on literally any instrument a particular song required, as well as programming 15-20 second electronic interludes between songs.

Musically, Anberlin were as sharp as ever, with Joseph Milligan (looking more like Dallas Green with each passing day) laying down the framework, while Christian McAlhaney & bassist Deon Rexroat entertained the crowd around Stephen Christian’s always powerful vocals. The reliable hard-hitting trio of ‘The Resistance’, ‘Godspeed’ and ‘The Feel Good Drag’ were the set’s highlights, while they went old school with their encore duo of ‘Readyfuels’ and ‘Never Take Friendship Personal’. Considering their now large and impressive discography, Anberlin could probably have finished with any two songs and fans would have gone home happy on this night… Especially when considering the two excellent bands which provided support!





DaveyBoy
03.09.11
SETLISTS


BAYSIDE

1. Already Gone
2. Montauk
3. The Walking Wounded
4. Sick, Sick, Sick
5. Duality
6. The Ghost of St. Valentine
7. My Name Is Jonas
8. Devotion and Desire


THE STARTING LINE

1. Up and Go
2. Inspired by the $
3. Are You Alone
4. Surprise, Surprise
5. Island
6. Direction
7. Somebody's Gonna Miss Us
8. Making Love to the Camera
9. Luck
10. Leaving
11. The Best of Me


ANBERLIN

1. We Owe This To Ourselves
2. Paperthin Hymn
3. Disappear
4. Closer
5. The Resistance
6. Dismantle. Repair.
7. The Art of War
8. Take Me (As You Found Me)
9. Godspeed
10. Pray Tell
11. Impossible
12. The Feel Good Drag

Encore
13. Readyfuels
14. Never Take Friendship Personal

Vooligan
03.09.11
Nice review good sir.

Would love to see Anberlin live. shall have to get to a show next time they're over.

theacademy
03.09.11
i used to think the starting line were really shitty but now i guess they're only a little bit shitty

theacademy
03.09.11
also LOL at how predictable the last song is for each band

DaveyBoy
03.09.11
Thanks Billy. Thought you were going to make it out to Soundwave this year. And you'll get your chance to see Anberlin. Stephen actually hinted they'd be back sooner rather than later, which seems a little strange to me, but you never know the way some bands are touring down under twice within 12 months of late.

You're a harsh man theacademy. I tell you what though, that new song of theirs really sounded different to their usual stuff. Hard to tell if it was better or worse, but definitely different. Here they are performing it in January in New Jersey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_08p0_yQw4

And I presume you are referring to The Feel Good Drag with Anberlin's closer, because they hardly ever play 'Never Take Friendship Personal'.

theacademy
03.09.11
yeah i was referring to fgd

DaveyBoy
03.09.11
All bands gotta make the crowd go home happy I guess.

theacademy
03.09.11
true, true

DaveyBoy
03.09.11
BTW, to anyone who has seen The Starting Line live before, what the hell does Kenny say instead of "go" in the chorus of 'Up & Go'? Sometimes it sounds like he is saying "jump", but most of the time it sounds like "joe"...

Yotimi
03.09.11
I've seen them live but all I remember is Kenny getting mad, flipping off the crowd, and leaving the stage early because 2 people were fighting. It was pretty lame.

dcha
03.09.11
lolololol The Starting Line is still a band?

marksellsuswallets
03.09.11
I wish I could have seen Anberlin like two or three years ago rather than November.

Willie
03.09.11
NIce write-up. It's probably the sideshow I would have checked out too. I didn't know that The Starting Line ever broke up. Their debut is cool, but they kind of lost it for me after that.

Sanders
03.09.11
Montauk is my favourite Bayside song, however "(d) Pennywise, Millencolin & The Mad Caddies" I'd pay for this alone, Mad Caddies are sick live, love them.

DaveyBoy
03.09.11
Sounds like an interesting show Yotimi.

Hey Brent, long time no chat mate. I'm with you as I was lucky enough to see Anberlin a few years back when they played more songs off 'Cities'. They do still play some of them, but not on a 14 song set.

Thanks Trey. There were many other sideshows, but I would have been here all day if I typed them all out. As far as I know, TSL were indeed as good as over a couple of years back.

Yeah, Montauk rules. 'Blame It On Bad Luck' is my personal fave, but they hardly play that live. Mad Caddies were actually added to that sideshow after it sold out, but I did happen to catch a little bit of them on festival day. Horns rule!

Eko
03.09.11
no fair they didnt play dismantle repair when I saw them. at least they did the *fin encore

DaveyBoy
03.10.11
They must only play one of the "patron saint of lost causes" duo at a time then. 'Dismantle. Repair.' sounds great live, but I'd take '*Fin' over it.

tiesthatbind
03.10.11
Anberlin setlist needs more Cities songs.

marksellsuswallets
03.10.11
It wasn't even the setlist so much. The opening bands were trash, and Anberlin's set was filled with generic "your city name here" speeches and awkwardly forced/choreographed stage moves. They just all looked bored with performing and it was just weird how they all look like clones of each other now.

gabethepiratesquid
03.10.11
D'awwwh you just got married?

Good for you, Davey.

and I'd killl to see this set.

Eko
03.10.11
"and awkwardly forced/choreographed stage moves. They just all looked bored with performing and it was just weird how they all look like clones of each other now."

they were kind of like that when I saw them too. when I got to see them do an acoustic set the week after ditw,liap came out they were much more relaxed and chill.

DaveyBoy
03.10.11
Well, their enthusiasm at this show was definitely up there, so I don't know if it would have been the audience or just traveling internationally. But I do sort of agree with you on the matching haircuts. A lot of the bands seem to be doing thta nowadays & Bayside are another one.

gabe, that was back in November and was more of a reference to a certain lyric in that song by The Starting Line.

Acoustic shows are always interesting. Less noise & gimmicks to hide behind, so they have to be on the ball.

marksellsuswallets
03.10.11
Did they have the wall of fluorescent lights behind them for this show? I think that was their shtick on their tour last winter.

DaveyBoy
03.10.11
Nope, just a big projection of their latest album cover.

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