Posts Tagged ‘festival’

I bought Paramore’s latest album on a whim the other week because it was only $10. That purchase has inspired a love for the band that I never really had before. Seriously, it is fantastic.

This is one of my favourite songs so far. It’s called Ain’t It Fun. The only video I could find was a live performance, but it’s pretty damn good!

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This may be the most inappropriate music video I have posted so far, but when it comes to Sydney pop-punkers Heroes For Hire, you would expect nothing less.

The song is called East Coast Blazin’ and while it’s not my favourite HFH song, it’s definitely up there. It’s catchy, it’s fun, and it pretty accurately sums up tour life for bands driving around the countryside in a van, trying to make a name for themselves in the music industry.

Since the release of their second album, “Take One For the Team”, in 2011 – which followed their debut release “Life of the Party” – Heroes For Hire have had a pretty good run. They toured the US alongside Unwritten Law in 2011 and were the first Australian band announced for the Soundwave Festival 2012. Their third album,”No Apologies”, was released in September of last year and I think it’s their best work so far. Most recently they were added to the UK’s Slam Dunk Festival which brings together some of the world’s best pop-punk, punk, hardcore etc. This year’s lineup is particularly awesome – you can check it out here.

Unfortunately, like many bands and artists, HFH have experienced their fair share of drama and controversy. This really came to the fore last month when band members Duane, Gremlin, Potter and Anthony decided that it was in the best interests of the band to continue on without their lead singer and arguably the only remaining founding member, Brad. I have read the official statements from both the band and Brad – as well as many unofficial comments on Twitter and Facebook. While it would be easy to choose to believe one side over the other, to direct hate towards either Brad or the remaining members of HFH, I am choosing instead to wish Brad all the best in whatever comes next for him and to continue to support HFH in their new form. It will be different, of course, but I am eager to see how the band pulls together and carries on without Brad as their front-man.

Heroes For Hire are currently on tour with Brisbane band Nine Sons of Dan and I am hoping to make it their Brisbane All Ages show next month. I’ll be sure to post a review if I manage to get there.

Soundwave. One of the days I look forward to most every year. It’s a day of live music, crowds, moshing, dancing, craziness and fun. This year marked my fourth Soundwave festival and I arrived with high expectations – the past three years I had such an amazing time, so this year had to be the same, right? Wrong.

I’m not saying that I wish I didn’t go, or that I didn’t enjoy myself, because of course I am glad that I went and overall it was a good day. It just wasn’t the amazing day I have come to expect from Soundwave after my previous experiences.

I started the day at Dragonforce, who I had never heard of, but I was with a friend who wanted to see them. They were far from something I would usually listen to, but they were entertaining so it was a good start. Even that early I noticed that the crowd seemed thicker than usual but couldn’t figure out why when there are only a certain amount of tickets that can be sold. I realised on the walk across the grounds to see Periphery – who were absolutely fantastic, so I’m glad I made it to their set! – that it was because unlike previous years, the bars were not fenced off so that 18+ patrons who wanted to drink were secluded from the rest of the crowd. They could walk into a bar, buy drinks, then wander around from stage to stage drinking them. While I’m sure these people appreciated not being caged like animals, it took away from my experience because I was almost constantly surrounded by drunk people behaving like idiots.

From Periphery I ventured over to the main stages for Bullet For My Valentine – one of my must-see bands of the day. It was the third time I had seen them live and they definitely didn’t disappoint. They played more songs off their new album ‘Temper Temper’ than I expected, considering it only came out in Australia a week or two before the festival, but the crowd responded well. The big hits were there and the performance made me wish I had been able to afford to attend their sideshow the night before to see them play a headline set. I eagerly await their next tour down under.

I had a bit of time to kill before my next band so it was nice to wander around a little bit and see what was around. There were more little stores set up than I recall previously, so I looked around a bit, but it wasn’t really practical to buy anything – even if I had the money to – because you’d have to carry it around all day. I’m sure other people didn’t mind though. Eventually I made my way over to stage 2 for Billy Talent.

Billy Talent did a headline tour of Australia just last year, so I knew what to expect from their set. It was high-energy and a little wild, and they played all of the favourites. I hung back out of the mosh so I could just enjoy them and I think that was a good idea. They had played Soundwave back in 2009 and referenced this fact a couple of times. Hopefully they’ll be back sooner rather than later.

I left my festival buddy at stage 2 after Billy Talent and made a mad-dash across to the complete opposite side of the grounds for one of my other must-see bands: All Time Low. These guys get a lot of hate for being a ‘kiddy band’ but they’re fantastic pop-punkers and I adore them. At some point I had started feeling quite disheartened. Even though the bands I had seen were fantastic, I wasn’t enjoying the atmosphere and the whole day felt off from what I had expected. All Time Low basically saved my day. I decided that I had to cheer myself up, so I made my way right into the middle of the mosh, determined to have my mood improved and within a couple of songs I was feeling much better. I regretted the fact that I still haven’t bought their new album, but it didn’t matter too much. They played a few of my favourites and I had a great time.

From there I went back to stage 2 where I remained for the rest of the festival, apart from a brief visit to the main stage to see a bit of Metallica before heading home. I saw Paramore, who I have never been a huge fan of, but they played such a tight live set that I think I’ll have to give them another chance. Lead-singer Hayley hit every, single note and I was very impressed. After Paramore was Garbage, who I couldn’t recall actually having heard of before, but after a few songs I recognised I realised I did know them after all. They were surprisingly good – and when I mean incredibly good – so I’m glad I saw them, even if it wasn’t intentional. Next was my number one must-see band of the day: Blink 182.

The last time Blink 182 toured Australia I was 16-years-old and lucky enough to attend their Brisbane show. I have never forgotten that night and watching them perform again at Soundwave made me feel like I was 16 all over again. They played a few songs from their most recent album ‘Neighbourhoods’ which was awesome, and then they played all of their biggest hits. My favourites were there, my friends favourites were there; I’m pretty sure everyone in the crowd had an amazing time. There was a fair amount of online hate directed their way over the whole Travis not being able to come saga (you can read what I wrote about it here) but in the end I don’t think it really made any difference who their drummer was for the night. Obviously having Travis there would’ve been great, but they managed just fine without him.

The only band I regret missing was Linkin Park because I have heard nothing but good reviews. Overall it did end up being a good day, but it wasn’t a great day. I left on my Blink 182 high and I think I’m still coming down from that. Not sure when/if they’ll ever be back again, so I’ll be holding onto these feelings as long as possible!

Song of the week time!

This week I share with you Time Bomb by All Time Low. I chose this as my song of the week mostly because Soundwave 2013 was far from my favourite Soundwave experience and All Time Low basically saved the day for me. But you can read all about that when I post about it in the next couple of days!

It took me quite a while to get into All Time Low, despite a couple of my friends regularly telling me that I would love them. I don’t know why I resisted, but eventually I had a listen and realised they were right. Are they generic pop-punk? Absolutely. But they are so damn good at it!

This song is from their 2011 album ‘Dirty Work’. Their fifth album, ‘Don’t Panic’, was released last year but I haven’t actually listened to it yet. Should probably get onto that!

Anyway, enjoy!!

Apologies for this being a day late. It was worth the wait though, I assure you.

This song of the week is, as promised, by another of my must-see Soundwave 2013 artists – Blink 182.

This song, Up All Night, is from Blink 182’s 2011 release Neighbourhoods. This was Blink’s first album since their self-titled record in 2003, and most notably, their first since reforming in 2009 after an indefinite hiatus was announced in early 2005.

You may know Blink 182 from previous hits Dammit, All the Small Things or I Miss You (among many others), but on this album you won’t really find anything remotely similar to these songs. They are still the same Blink 182 we know and love, but like all of us they have grown and matured over the years and so too has their music. 

Blink are venturing to Australian shores this month for the first time since 2004. I was fortunate enough to be at their Brisbane show of that tour at just 16-years-old. It was a fantastic show and I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us at Saturday’s festival. Unfortunately, drummer Travis Barker has not made the journey over for the Soundwave tour. After he was involved in a plane crash that nearly killed him in 2008, he has not been able to fly. Barker promised fans after the band announced that they would be playing Soundwave that he would do his absolute best to make it here to play, but the band released the following statement yesterday:

“The trip to Australia was planned during our European tour last summer. The band knew the chances of Travis overcoming his fear of flying, which was magnified after the horrible plane crash in 2008, would be a challenge, but we wanted to play for our fans in Australia nonetheless. The three of us tried all measures to get us all there in full form. Travis has been working to overcome his fear of flying. Since we now know we have to make the trip without Travis our friend Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Tenacious D) has stepped in. We love our fans in Australia so canceling was not an option so we still plan to come and play some kick ass shows. Mark, Tom, and Travis.”

Travis followed this with a statement of his own shortly after:

I’m sorry to announce i won’t be joining Blink 182 on this Australian tour. I still haven’t gotten over the horrific events that took place the last time i flew when my plane crashed and 4 people were killed, two being my best friends. I gave the band my blessing to take another drummer if they still wanted to do the tour without me. I hope to come to Australia again some day perhaps by ship if need be. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a boat that worked with the schedule this time around. Once again I’m sorry to all the fans.

– Travis

As expected, there are many disappointed fans who had hoped to see the original line-up back in action, but at the end of the day, you can’t really blame the poor guy for not being able to get on a plane for 20 hours+ after his past experience.

Despite Barker’s absence, I cannot wait to see Blink 182 live for the second time!

 

In just over a week the 2013 Soundwave Festival tour kicks off in Brisbane. This year will be my fourth Soundwave and as always there are a huge number of fantastic bands from around the world making the trek down under to blow our minds. My songs of the week for the next two weeks – possibly three, depending on how much of a post-festival high I am on two days after Soundwave – will be from a couple of the bands I am most looking forward to seeing at the festival.

This week I present to you a song called Temper Temper by Welsh metal-core band Bullet For My Valentine from their brand new album of the same name.

Bullet first made an impact internationally in 2006 with the release of their debut album ‘The Poison’ which sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. Since then they have released three other studio albums – ‘Scream, Aim, Fire’ (2008), ‘Fever’ (2010) and of course ‘Temper Temper’ (2013) – and have played just about every rock festival in the world.

This year they will play Soundwave for the second time (the first was in 2011) and personally, I cannot wait!