Soundwave ’08

Madina Lake
Jim Ward

Hey guys! This is a review of Soundwave ’08 by Celia- she also did the review for Sonic Youth and has her own blog- Killabot– it’s very amusing and informative, as is this review! Enjoy reading. I’ve provided links for all the bands and their site.

Get your Emo On! A Review of Soundwave Festival (3/3/08)
Perhaps one of the only places on earth a 20 year old can feel old at a music festival is when the music festival is primarily of emo music and the average age of the audience is about 14. After driving for what seemed like an eternity after spending a long time trying to make my friend’s fake photo pass (security are unbelievably gullible) we finally made it to Blue Steel Oval aka Bassendean Oval. If one hears the stories of Bassendean, you would understand why I took out all my valuables out of the car before I went driving. When we in, we decided to check out Stage 3, as Madina Lake were about to play. While I had never heard of Madina Lake before, they were entertaining and surprisingly heartfelt. It was no surprise that they were considered one of the standout stars from the Soundwave Festival this year. 

After Madina Lake, we decided to check out Stage 5, listening to All Time Low play in the background while the 35ºC+ sun burned brightly, watching all the girls go crazy for the band. It was a little disturbing seeing adolescent girls flashing themselves at the band. It also made me wonder why they bothered, as many of the girls who flashed didn’t have much going on the chest. After All Time Low, City and Colour came on stage. City and Colour is the acoustic side project of Dallas Green, the rhythm  guitarist and singer from Alexisonfire. He played songs from his record Sometimes as well as some new songs I was unfamiliar with. But he proved charming and endearing to the audience, especially when he started singing his own version of “Hey There Delilah” (Plain White T’s were playing in the background). After City and Colour, I quickly rushed to the signing tent where Madina Lake signed my note for me and took a photo with me. I was actually there for Jim Ward’s autograph, but Madina Lake remembered my friend and I from earlier because my friend tried to jump the fence. Someone screwed up when it came to Jim Ward’s signing tent though as he never showed up. It was heart-breaking actually.

After my initial disappointment over Jim Ward, I decided to check out Mindless Self Indulgence, a band I heard so much of yet knew very little about their music. To say I was shocked and in disbelief is to put it mildly. The first thing that got to me was their music, which seemed to be punk, dance, hip hop and whatever genre they found while looking in the record store one day all mashed together. At first the music was quite off-putting but after a few minutes I started to get really into it. The second thing that got to me was their “in your face” stage presence. The lead singer was hilarious and had the balls to shout Heath Ledger jokes, while the lead guitarist spent a lot of his time licking the support structures on the stage. Overall it was great show, perhaps the best part of the show was when the lead singer Jimmy Urine decided to walk to Thursday’s stage and sing on there to the dismay of Thursday’s fans.

Mindless Self Indulgence finished Thursday came out. Thursday are one of those bands that have been able to gain respect despite their emo/screamo influences. Geoff Rickly’s voice was in top form, even though he has had voice troubles in the past and the band was well appreciated by the crowd. They played a mix of new songs and songs from the previous two records. However the highlight was when they played Autobiography of a Nation and Understanding in a Car Crash, two songs from my favourite Thursday record, Full Collapse. Anything that makes me feel like I am 15 years old again without the drama is worth the 99 dollars you paid.The next band that played after Thursday was Motion City Soundtrack. MCS specialise in pop-punk songs that aim directly for the heart and they were a big hit with the audience. The audience of mostly teens seemed to enjoy themselves with MCS’s songs from their latest record Even if it Kills Me as well as their classic tunes. Justin the lead singer was engaging and appeared to take delight with the audience’s enthusiasm. While MCS where a hit for the audience (and myself) it must be said that not everyone enjoyed the show, especially my friend who attended the concert with me calling them the lamest band ever. But it must be said that her opinion of MCS was in the minority that day.Alexisonfire were the next band to grace the main stage and they did not disappoint. Dallas Green from City and Colour did not seem tired from his earlier set as the band played loud and proud. The songs were mostly from their album Crisis as well as some songs from their record Watch Out!. They were probably one of the highlight bands of the day despite the fact the PA on the left side of the stage wasn’t working. However I was standing at the right side of the stage so I could hear the music clearly. Alexisonfire converted many people in the audience into devout fans during the 50 minutes they played. I ran off to see Jim Ward play on Stage 5 after Alexisonfire, missing Incubus in the process. However from what I heard the band was great live and they played all their hits. Jim Ward was in one of the most important bands of the 21st century (At The Drive In) and he currently plays in Sparta, a band that some people say just isn’t as good as At The Drive In. I disagree, I believe Sparta’s debut record Wiretap Scars rivals much of At The Drive In’s music. However that is a debate for another time. Jim Ward was touring solo, playing in support of his new EP consisting of acoustic songs called Quiet. The EP proves that Jim Ward’s best work may still be ahead of him. As I had tried to meet Jim Ward not once but twice in that day (because both times some one screwed up the signing schedule) I made it my mission to get to meet Jim. I shouldn’t have been worried as only about 10 people actually showed up to Jim’s concert. Jim was polite and friendly to the audience and seemed glad for the small crowd as he was very nervous. Backstage you could the members of Thursday and Alexisonfire watching Jim Ward’s performance as well. Jim played a selection of songs from his band Sparta, his new EP Quiet as well as some country songs from his new band Sleepercar. People from Soundwave will probably say that I missed out on something great by not seeing Incubus live. However I would reply that they missed out on an experience. It was probably one the best concerts I’ve been to in recent memory and the whole audience (all 10 of us, as well as some passer-bys) were entranced by Jim. Afterwards Jim came out and apologised to me for not being at the signing tent and we had a great conversation for about 10-15 minutes as he signed stuff and took pictures with his dedicated fans. Jim is not only a great songwriter and musician, he is an all round decent human being as well. One can only wish that all rock stars were like that.After Jim, Offspring were to hit the main stage. When the band came on, the scream from the audience was deafening and it was obvious no matter how good or how bad the band played, the audience wouldn’t mind. Offspring played all their classic songs (Self Esteem, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy), Why Don’t You Get a Job? And so on). The band played tight and the songs sounded pretty much the same as they sounded like on the record. The band were ok, but the audience didn’t care and it was a rollicking good time. After Offspring everyone pretty much left the vicinity (there were still some bands playing though) and there was a sense of 15 year old kids having the best damn day of their lives as they screamed and giggled about how good the day was. It wasn’t the best day ever in my life, but it was pretty fucking good.

Photos are HERE and HERE



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2 Responses to “Soundwave ’08”

  1. mysplash Says:

    Hey i liked your post i just did an article on the band All time low you should check it out on

  2. Ky Says:

    The lead singer sounds like a fucking homophobic jerk.


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