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Daveyboy's Soundwave Festival '09

This is just a quick run through the 16 bands I managed to catch some sort of glimpse of during the 1 day festival. I will add much more detail in a forthcoming journal entry. Of these 16, 12 were practically full sets. It was a great day overall with a fantastic line-up of bands. Well worth the $110.
1Stealing O'Neal

Pretty impressive local band. For Aussies, think a mixture of The Getaway Plan & The Hot Lies. A good way to kick things off.
2Madina Lake

Not too bad. Impressed at stages & then don't want to listen during other times. 'Here I Stand' sounded really good, but other songs were just too meh. Enthusiasm carried into their performance to keep the early crowd sufficiently involved.
3Less Than Jake

One hell of a performance. The fun aspect of their music really shines through live and a number of wise-cracks in between songs helped. But it was not just that as they were really quite good musically. Much better than I expected, the hotch-potch of horns, different vocalists & guitar really was a positive.

Lead vocalist Anthony Raneri had troubles on the set opener, but from there they settled in to provide a solid set. Many people who had packed in were singing along to every word. Dissapointed there was no 'Blame It On Bad Luck', but as per usual, 'Masterpiece', 'Montauk' & closer 'Devotion and Desire' were awesome.
5The Subways

Only caught half the set & it was difficult to tell how they really sounded because of the wind & where we were in relation to the stage, but from what I could hear, they were pretty ordinary. Especially the female vocalist sounded shocking. They were rockier than I thought they would be though and I didn't hear 'Shake Shake' which I really like.
6Forever The Sickest Kids

Actually sounded ok. Everything seemed rather similar to the way they sound on record and it was clear that they were fun for their fans. Of course, it probably helped that I didn't have to look at them, which is always a put off.

I enjoyed them when the 2 vocalists were dueling, but the rest was either too much screaming for my liking or too many instrumental interludes. I was genuinely surprised to the extent of the electronic component of their sound... I'd almost suggest it was too much actually.

You can just tell they are a great band full stop... Live or on record. The time spent listening to them seemed to fly by. The (surprisingly large) mosh was a little distracting with the band choosing their setlist to fit into the style of the festival as they predominantly played their harder & faster songs. While they did include the fantastic 'Dismantle. Repair', there was no 'Fin', nor 'Unwinding Cable Car' or 'Haight St.'. I still couldn't complain with the way they performed, I just wish it would have lasted longer really.
9The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Quite good at times and sort of meh during other songs. Lead vocalist Ronnie does have some talent. The Jack Black lookalike of a guitarist kind of impressed me when allowed to shine. Nothing too outstanding, but they were definitely better than some of the horror stories I have heard regarding their live shows.
10Dillinger Escape Plan

An explosion rang out across the Showgrounds. It was not a car back-firing or fireworks, but the sheer noise which came from this band's 4 musicians. Holy cow! And the 2 guitarists must have been training for the Olympics since they were running all over the place while playing! I couldn't understand one word from the singer and it just seemed as if the band were making noise.
11Funeral For A Friend

Mainly played their older fan-favourite songs, although I have to specifically mention new single 'Kicking and Screaming' which sounded absolutely fantastic live. Pretty good, but seemed a little disinterested at times. Great songs pleased the fans, but I doubt they won over any casual attendees on the day.
12The Bloodhound Gang

To be honest I only heard 2 songs but when one goes "You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals, so let's do it like they do on the discovery channel", I thought it was worth mentioning. Some comical banter both before & after said song also provided some entertainment.
13Billy Talent

Sen-f**kin-sensational and my eventual choice as band of the day. If anything, the lead singers screech was less noticeable live than on record, although that may be because I have got used to him finally. Strangely granted the 2nd longest set of the day. What most impressed was the talent of their guitarist & bassist, who not only nailed everything musically, but provide under-rated backing vocals. The closing trio of 'Fallen Leaves', 'Try Honesty' and 'Red Flag' were simply out of this world!

The sound definitely made them seem harder & louder than they actually are, which was probably a negative for yours truly, although 'Walls' benefitted from this. Another bundle of energy, especially the keyboardist who seemed crazy. 4 of the 5 members are pretty much genuine vocalists at one stage or another & that provided welcome variety during their set.
15Alkaline Trio

Exceeded expectations & then some. Everything sounded pretty much spot on. Both front-men were terrific & extremely impressive on their instruments. They front-loaded their setlist (they begin with 'Calling All Skeletons', personal fave 'We've Had Enough' & 'Mercy Me'). These and many other songs all the way through to the end of their set also prove their criminally under-rated sing-along factor. Great stuff and probably the 2nd best on the day.
16Saves The Day

Some pre-pubescent 12 year old came out & began talking nasally into the mic as if he was an alien. Apparently this was Chris Conley, who surely didn't have 100% of his faculties at the time. I was impressed with the band's melodies & the drummer really nailed the few faster songs that were played, but overall it was a little ho-hum... & weird!
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