One of the very first major music festival line-ups to be announced for the 2015 festival season, Australia is set to kick off the year with a bang. Since 2007 the annual touring festival known as Soundwave has brought an eclectic mix of rock, metal and punk that few events can match. Founded by AJ Maddah, the festival has recently expanded to two days and has crafted a brilliant line-up for the new year. As an American I have not yet experienced the craziness of Soundwave, but I am deeply envious of the level of talent procured by the festival organizers. It is like a bigger and better version of the Vans Warped Tour that is extremely popular in the states. Of course the first half of the roster completely blows Warped Tour out of the water but that is to be expected. Now without further ado I will highlight the top ten acts to see at Soundwave 2015!
Does there even really need to be a description for one of the most polarizing figures in metal? Marilyn Manson is a seasoned veteran of more then twenty years in the music industry. He has remained near the top and while not nearly as controversial as he used to be, Manson is a must have on any metal friendly line-up. With a massive discography to choose from Manson knows how to rile a crowd into a frenzy. Get ready for an insanely theatrical live performance that will be filled with costumes, smoke, back-up dancers and anything that goes bump in the night.
Recommended Tracks: “The Beautiful People”, “Sweet Dreams”, “Personal Jesus”
If you think the name Gerard Way sounds familiar then you have most likely listened to or heard of his former band, My Chemical Romance. The charismatic frontman is back, but this time he is going solo for the first time. With a brand new album called Hesitant Alien, set to be released this year, Way is preparing to take Soundwave by storm with his take on Brit-Pop. You can expect a massive crowd at the former MCR lead singers first shows in Australia and only his second festival performances ever. While Way has said that he does not think it is time to play material from his former band, his solo effort is light and upbeat with all of the swagger of an MCR album. Relentless energy on stage and catchy tracks make for one of the most anticipated debuts of the festival.
Recommended Tracks: “No Shows”, “Millions”, “Action Cat”
8. Area-7 Hometown heroes Area-7 are more than ready to deliver a great show at this years festival! One of Australia’s most successful Ska/Punk bands, Area-7 is a shoo in for most energetic set of the weekend. Having been recognized at home and internationally the band has toured around the world. I myself have a weakness for Ska music and the band has some fantastic tracks that will no doubt blow away the audience during their show. One of the few Aussie acts on the line-up Area-7 is set to do their country proud by kicking up the biggest skanking dance party of the weekend.
Recommended Tracks: “Second Class Citizen”, “Individuality”, “Nobody Likes A Bogan”
7. Fall Out Boy Love them or hate them, Fall Out Boy have been hitting it big around the world. Coming out of their four year hiatus in 2013 while subsequently releasing a brand new album. FOB has been racking up the chart topping singles at a dizzying pace. You either loved them or you despised them with the burning hatred of a thousand suns. Regardless of this there is no denying the monumental success the band has achieved since their humble beginnings as a rising pop punk band. Well… maybe you should strike off punk in regards to their records, but as a live act the band brings it every single time. Performing hit singles at a frantic pace expect massive sing-alongs and the front row to be packed to the brim with super fans. Although they sound more pop then punk do not let this fool you as FOB is headlining arenas for a reason.
Recommended Tracks: “Sugar, We’re Going Down”, “Alone Together”, “Young Volcanoes”
Having just been formed this year, the collaboration of former members of the Mars Volta and At The Drive-In are converging on Soundwave. This will be the first time newly minted alternative hard rock band Antemasque have ever played a show in Australia. Not only that but it will be their very first shows of 2015 where they will share tracks from their self-titled album that was released on July 1st of this year. One of the big draws to an act like this is the air of mystery that surrounds the band and the unknown factor is a key component for drawing a crowd. If their live shows are anything like their former bands then you will be in for a treat. A gritty hard-hitting punk rock show is on the way for your viewing entertainment. Just be sure to catch this sleeper highlight of the festival.
Recommended Tracks: “4AM”, “People Forget”, “Hangin In The Lurch”
British-American former lead guitarist of the infamous Guns N’ Roses, Slash has made his mark in the music world in more ways then one. Achieving world-wide success while in GNR he further solidified his mark by creating the supergroup Velvet Revolver before going solo. Touring his third full length album, World On Fire, Slash is bringing his savage guitar riffs and good friend/lead vocalist of Alter Bridge Myles Kennedy on the road. A Slash performance is a straightforward gig that focuses on his excellent guitar skills and the backing vocals of MK to various hits throughout Slash’s storied career. While there is no flashy effects to be found on stage, the sheer talent of the renown and unshakeable guitarist is enough to make any rock fan go crazy.
Recommended Tracks: “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Paradise City”, “World On Fire”
California alternative rock band Incubus is one of the more surprising acts to see on the roster at this years festival. Formed in 1991 the band has been constantly evolving its sound and image over the last decade. Having not been on a full length tour since 2012, Incubus will be returning to Australia to start off the new year by performing a greatest hits set. With lead vocalist Brandon Boyd’s powerful vocals and relaxed demeanor on stage the band is ready to bring back 90’s post rock at its finest. While there is no news on a new album the band has already proven it can surprise people by appearing on the festival line-up. Who knows? New songs could be in store for the lucky festival-goers that show up to catch the bands set.
Recommended Tracks: “Wish You Were Here”, “Drive”, “Love Hurts”
Seattle grunge rock pioneers, Soundgarden are one of the biggest highlights of the festival. Having not played in Australia since the 2011 edition of the Big Day Out Festival, Soundgarden is ready to bring the classic hits to their headlining set. With heavy riffs that can shake you to the core, the band has perfected their live shows to satisfy fans and new listeners alike. The Grammy award winning group may seem like old news, but in the past few years they have been reinvigorated after releasing a new album and having toured the world. Soundgarden returns to Australia to prove that they are still relevant and will most likely gain a whole new fan base with their electrifying headlining performance.
Recommended Tracks: “Superunknown”, “Rusty Cage”, “Black Hole Sun”
One of the most exciting heavy metal live acts in the world today, Slipknot is ready to rain fire down upon Soundwave 2015. With their fifth album, .5: The Gray Chapter, set to be released this year the band finally has new music to play after almost six years of no new material. One of the more noticeable features of the band is that they all wear terrifying masks and uniforms that with one look can galvanize a crowd into action. Chaotic live shows and serious amounts of fire have earned the band a headlining slot at almost any festival around the world. It will quite literally feel like hell is crashing down on top of you once Slipknot hits the stage. Prepare yourself for one of the best if not most visually spectacular performances of the whole entire festival.
Recommended Tracks: “Psychosocial”, “Duality”, “The Devil In I”
1. Faith No More With over ten million albums sold worldwide and coming off of a year long hiatus, American rock band, Faith No More is back! Having reunited in 2009 the band has booked shows all over the world, however with inconsistent touring in Australia these shows could be one of the few times you will be able to catch the influential San Francisco, California based band. What’s more, FNM have also announced that they are currently recording a brand new album that will be released in April of next year. Having already previewed two new tracks called “Motherfucker” and “Leader Of Men” at a show in the UK, Soundwave festival-goers will most likely get the chance to hear even more new material for the first time. With lead vocalist Mike Pattons operatic/screaming lyrics and intense stage presence, FNM will make the most out of their headlining opportunity by bringing the hits and energy two-fold. Do not miss out on FNM’s only confirmed festival headlining sets of 2015. You will be sorry if you do.
Recommended Tracks: “From Out Of Nowhere”, “Epic”, “Easy”