FeaturesWritten by Emmy Mack on August 26, 2015
The Soundwave festival has come a long way from its humble origins as a one-day-only event on the far side of Australia. Since debuting in Perth all the way back in ’04, Soundwave has watched other music festivals come and go while it surged on to become one of the most anticipated annual music events on the Australian calendar, not to mention one of the biggest heavy music festivals in the world.
As well as producing enough metal windmills to generate the required amount of electricity to power a small nation, Soundwave’s 12-year history has also yielded a headbanger’s ransom in fond memories and truly amazing moments.
And as we eagerly await the arrival of the 2016 lineup, we thought it would be a bit of a good time to take a look back on some of the greatest Soundwave moments over the past few years.
From Gwar ritually sacrificing our nation’s leader, to Alexisonfire taking a mosh-pit dirt bath, to Faith No More’s Mike Patton giving Brisbane fans more than they bargained for, these are 11 of our most unforgettable Soundwave Festival moments.
Check them out in the gallery below, or stay up to date with all of the latest news about next year’s event via our Soundwave 2016 Feed.
UPDATE 17/12/15 5.50pm: Soundwave 2016 has been officially cancelled. Looks likely that the festival will never return. Thanks for the memories, Soundwave.
Gallery: 11 Unforgettable Soundwave Festival Moments
Gwar - Soundwave 2014
Interstellar gods of metal GWAR well and truly made their mark on Australian audiences at Soundwave 2014 when front-thing Oderus Urungus used his mighty sword to decapitate an effigy of our widely-loathed PM Tony Abbott and soak the cheering crowd in his blood. Not even Napisan Plus could remove those pink stains which, for many, would soon become a sweaty memento from one of the last performances Urungus would ever give. His human alter ego, Dave Brockie, died tragically just weeks later from a heroin overdose.
Mike Patton - Soundwave 2010
Nothing like a bit of mid-set nudity to make Faith No More’s headlining slot at Brisbane Soundwave in 2010 even more, uh, Epic. Frontman Mike Patton proved he was Just A Man by unleashing Mike Jr. from his trousered hideaway and literally rocking out with his cock out.
Bloodhound - Soundwave 2009
An honourable mention must go to the Bloodhound Gang, who took the stage in 2009 to effectively reduce the throng of adult metalheads into sexually frustrated 13-year-olds. They did it like they did on the Discovery Channel, with healthy dose of Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo. Nostalgia was everywhere. As were bewbs.
Alexisonfire - Soundwave 2010
As anyone who was on the scene for Sydney Soundwave 2010 can attest, that was the hottest fucking day in the history of the earth. The festival, then-held out near Eastern Creek Raceway, was one giant dustbowl, and those who withstood the 40+ temperatures were coughing up dirt for the next three days. Alexisonfire must have pre-empted this outcome and decided: fuck it. Frontman George Pettit jumped into the crowd mid-set and gave himself a dirt-bath in the middle of the pit. Who needs sunblock when you’re covered in a 2-inch thick layer of dust anyway? Epic.
All Time Low - Soundwave 2015
When the sky opened up and unleashed a rainstorm of hell upon Sydney Soundwave earlier this year, right in the middle of All Time Low’s set, the Baltimore pop punk’s gear got wrecked, and the band were unable to play on. However, instead of letting the storm beat them, frontman Alex Gaskarth ploughed onward, leading fans in an a cappella singalong of his band’s track Weightlessas well as some of Queen’s We Will Rock You. Many people became All Time Low fans that day.
Dallas Green – Soundwave 2008
Dallas Green performed a musical screaming eagle in ’08 when he appeared as the frontman of both Alexisonfire and City + Colour. Crushing skulls and melting hearts. All in a day’s work.
Fucked Up - Soundwave 2011
The spirit of punk was alive and well at SW11 when Fucked Up gave an expectedly insane performance, complete with hair-ripping, sweaty hugging, and beast frontman Damien force-feeding the mic to members of the crowd. This set will probably go down in Aussie festival history.
Killer Be Killed – Soundwave 2015
After a hurricane of hype leading up to their global live debut at Soundwave 2015, metal supergroup Killer Be Killed – featuring Max Cavalera, Greg Puciato, Troy Sanders and Ben Koller – did not disappoint, delivering an absolutely pulverising set.
Blink-182 – Soundwave 2013
A Travis Barker-less Blink-182 shot their love all over the crowd during their headlining set at Soundwave 2013. With Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman filling in on the skins, the pop punk trio capped off their first show in Australia since 2004 by wheeling out a massive confetti canon and opening fire on a sweat-drenched mosh pit, absolutely smothering fans in the coloured stuff. Many shower drains got clogged, that fateful night.
Slash – Soundwave 2012
Alter Bridge pulled a rabbit out of their hat during their Sydney set in 2012, and by hat we mean top hat and by rabbit we mean guitar legend Slash, who was wearing the hat. The ex-Guns N’ Roses icon wasn’t even known to be in the country at the time, but he majestically appeared to claim an unused Marshall stack and Gibson Les Paul and join his singer Myles Kennedy for a few choice AB jams. You really never can tell just when #wunterslaush is going to turn up somewhere.
Jane’s Addiction – Soundwave 2010
Soundwave 2010 was bittersweet for Jane’s Addiction fans, marking the band’s last ever tour. As ladies danced onstage and punters tried to mask their lonely tears, Eric Avery’s words rang home: “That’s it. With equal parts regret and relief, the Jane’s Addiction experiment is at an end.”