UNDERGROUND DOWN UNDER pt. 4: SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL 2009 pt. 3 (yep, you guessed it, no Perth) by soufex

Wow, okay, so I’m awful, and it’s been a couple months since the whole SW insanity, but my memory is pretty good, so here we go. In the last episode, our daring adventurers had spent far too long than should be necessary in Sydney for a Melbournite, har har.

This was the first time on the entire trip where we’d had a Sidewave before a Soundwave, so it was weird not having to get up early to drive to the middle of nowhere, blah blah blah. We live just down the street from the venue, so it was a nice stroll after lunch to scope it out. We walked past Chris Conley from Saves The Day, which was pretty cool, though I don’t think I really saw anyone else from any other bands wandering around. Now, we were originally going to go to the Emery/f2f/BT show, but face pulled out, so we went with IPS/TLJ/BHG. (I think we actually could have gone and seen Nine Inch Nails, but I think it sold out or something. In retrospect I’m not entirely sure if we picked the right show, I’m still kind of weighing up the sheer awesome of IPS/LTJ against the pwnage of NIN, hmm…)

The day dragged along pretty slowly and there were a surprising number of stupid people in Melbourne. I think we brought the stupid back with us from Sydney or something. (Man, I’m such a hater. Really, Sydney isn’t that bad, there’s just a ridiculous amount of stupid people and it smells funny.) We said hello to Dan P. Carter again, very quickly got to say hey to Jesse IPS before they bolted ’cause they were late.

Now, I feel so bad for IPS. Because they put on probably the best show so far, but nobody else apart from Naja and I, and I think maybe a girl to my right, was into them. They were spectacular and their lights setup worked really well inside the Billboard. Slightly blew my eardrums out but it was absolutely amazing. (The Billboard’s a lot smaller than the Forum, and I was stoked for it.) LTJ were rad but I got kind of crushed and somewhat pwned by my anxiety so we moved out to the side and chilled and breathed and whatnot, which was good, then we checked out the merch (this is where I first learned that IPS merch sucks), and decided that BHG weren’t really worth bothering with and it would be more fun to hang around outside with a bag of original cheese Twisties and see if we could catch an elusive ska band.

We ended up chilling out with IPS on a smoke break, and missing getting puked all over by Evil Jared, so I think it was a good choice of ours to leave early. We said hey to Roger and buggered off home, trying not to get too pissed off at the fact that everyone in Melbourne had suddenly become an epic douchebag.

The Melbourne Sidewave was pretty cool before we’d even gotten through the gates! We took the tram out to the Showgrounds, and met up with lots of friends, doled out plenty of sun cream (today was the hottest so far since we’d started, and hell yeah, it was bakin’. I went to pee while Stealing O’Neal (a local band) were playing, and caught up with people during Madina Lake, though from what I could tell from the girls behind me, they were nice people and gave them free tickets and stuff. Less Than Jake were up next and played very well, as always Chris was an entertaining douchebag and Buddy cut a little bit more out of my heart to make room for him. I think after that we went for a wander to scope out the venue and got autograph tent tickets, where we got to say hey and I thanked Vinnie for following me on twitter (without me adding him first, no less!)

Finch were on before face to face, and though I’m not really fond of them, they were okay. Between sets, Trever actually came and sat down on the edge of the stage and made sure I was okay after the other night and was all concerned and had considered stopping the set and stuff, I pretty much died from epic love right there, I love Trever Keith so much. Not only is he one of the best singers I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to, he has a heart that is proportionate to the rest of his tank-like body. They played an amazing set, especially considering it was kind of a shitty time in the middle of the day.

After that we got some delicious, overpriced, chilled lemonade and went to check out IPS again. Their stage was the only one in the shade, which was awesome, and there was hardly anyone there, again, but at least that meant that the conditions were perfect for gettin’ down. (Dancing, not sex, you pervs.) It was a pretty awesome, set, not as good as the night before, but still great, and I worked up an epic sweat and felt great for it. We took a quick wander through the misting tent to cool down, met up with some more friends and grabbed some overpriced food and watched BHG again but it kind of blew. We were proper exhausted so Naja took a nap and the rest of us forced ourselves to stay awake through Alice In Chains in the bleachers. I probably would have loved AIC in my mid-teens but I wasn’t feeling them that night.

We were still knackered when Nine Inch Nails took the stage, so we stayed in the bleachers and it was really kind of amazing. The dust had been kicking up day something wicked, so between the killer light show and these immense clouds, it really looked like the end of the world was going down in front of us. Beautiful. We mustered up the energy somewhere around March Of The Pigs to go down and mosh, and skipped the very last song just so we could get a headstart on leaving. I really, really love NIN, but I also love getting home before the crush of a few dozen thousand smelly sweaty Aussies, and we were going to see them again the next night anyways.

Off we went again, and hopped onto another plane, this time headed for Radelaide. I mean, Adelaide. But it’s kind of a shitty joke that I liked from the first time I heard it, so it stuck. I’d been to Radelaide before, for Lagwagon, and eh, it was okay. People like to hang on shit on it but I’ve been in worse places. It’s very sleepy. We took the same stupid overpriced bus into the city, and when we asked the driver if he knew where the venue was, he just kind of barked at us and didn’t give us an answer. So we went way too far into the city and had to walk back like two miles, suckage.

It was freaking hot. Like, hotter than Melbourne easily. And without a single cloud in the sky; I was applying sun cream every 20 minutes just to feel like I wasn’t burning, seriously. Also, this venue from freaking tiny compared to the others; they were all at showgrounds, this one was in a park! LTJ’s stage was empty right up until they started playing, and Jesus H. Christ, I wish that I’d packed a neckerchief, or, you know, an oxygen mask. It was such an epic dustbowl because of the moshpit that I couldn’t breathe, or see, for most of their set. But then Buddy started throwing tacos at people. It was a pretty rad little set, better when Chris and Roger made everyone run to halfway across the park because the dust settled for a few seconds.

There really wasn’t that much to do that day, so we spent a lot of time in the shade and hanging around as far away from the sun and dirt as possible. I went a few shades darker than my already ridiculously brown festival tan just from dust, I swear. We met Mike Herrera who peddled us a DVD, and LTJ again just because, and watched one of the dudes from Madina Lake get ridiculously ignored by fans. Rival Schools played some time in the day and that was lovely just to chill out in the shade to. IPS played a decent set but it was incredibly hot, and the sun beat down on us all day thanx to the stage layouts, that I barely had the energy to rock out. (Oh, but I did. Nothing less than love for those guys.)

I got bizarrely owned during Chiodos‘ set by 15 year old girls. I’m not into them in the slightest, but it was the triple trouble of Alkaline Trio/New Found Glory/Face To Face coming up, so I dealt with it. Alk3 were okay as usual, one day I promise I will see them as headliners just so I can fully appreciate them instead of waiting for them to finish, same with NFG. Face put on an excellent show, especially considering the crowd was really weird; most people left after NFG, and there were some epic tools behind me, but it was worth it, f2f, regardless of the physical and emotional damage I recieve from the shows, will always be worth it.

Nine Inch Nails were the closers, again, as always, and it was, as always, beautiful. This time, we stood right up as close to the stage as we could, and bristled all over. For a lot of people, that would apparently be their last ever NIN show. (I’m not entirely sold by the wave goodbye business, but I’m still nipping at the heels of the two UK shows they’re doing as part of NIN|JA. I don’t have a ticket yet but hell if I am not at least turning up and buying one off someone… but I digress, this is about the past, not the future!) I have nothing but fond memories of every time I’ve seen NIN and this was no different. This was the first time I’d seen Robin Finck up close, and it was very cool. (I think I might be an Aaron kid when it comes down to it, but Robin has his place in history and deserves to be celebrated!) Some of the guys from Dillinger Escape Plan came up to do Wish, and that was cool. I don’t like DEP much, but it was pretty awesome to see those guys’ best moments of the lives happening right in front of me. Seeing at least a dozen people brought to tears (as well as myself) from Hurt was certainly something. I was very moved from that show indeed.

The walk “home” sucked until we went to our favourite place in Radelaide which is the Gilbert Place Pancake House, open 24 hours a day(!!!!), where we made ourselves suitably sick on awesome before wandering back to our hostel. It took me a good ten minutes to wipe off all the dirt I could without having a shower (on account of I didn’t have a towel). The beds were ridiculously comfortable, I highly rate the… hostel I can’t remember the name of any more. But it was good. We caught a relatively cheap taxi back to the airport, flew home, got dropped back, let the world stop for a few minutes. It was one hell of a trip… I’m certainly not adverse to doing it again, and Soundwave lineups tend to be awesome, but given how the company behind Soundwave went into liquidation before the festivals even started this year, I don’t know how certain a Soundwave ’10 will be. But if it does, and if I go, you’ll be first to hear about it!

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