Soundwave 2013 – 1st Announcement Analysis

AJ Maddah is a very smart man. For the last few years, he’s built Soundwave up from a boutique punk and metal festival in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, to a nationwide extravaganza.

The festival has become a killer day-long event and close to musical heaven for fans of the above-mentioned genres – as well as heavy rock lovers in general.

We’ve seen each year’s lineup and its headliners improve year after year. The Offspring, Nine Inch Nails, Iron Maiden, System of a Down/Slipknot and a supporting cast of acts at the top of their game in their niche genres, all on the one day.

Many have wondered how on earth Maddah could top it again this year and bring another quality collection of acts to satisfy a wide variety of music fans. He has done that and then some – and it’s all led by one iconic name: Metallica.

James Hetfield and co. haven’t been lured to play an Australian festival since Big Day Out 2004 – when the festival climate was a lot brighter, and lineups of that quality were much easier to produce than they are today. Their inclusion gets any metal lover uttering a ‘fuck yeah’, and immediately grabs the attention of rock purists.

Joining them are their ‘big 4’ buddies Anthrax, and former Guns N’ Roses star Duff McKagan is also bringing his new project for fans of that ilk to take a peak at. Rock bogans, metal lovers and old-school rock lovers, check.

Even though their last couple of records have been a dramatic departure from the nu-metal, rap-rock tunes that made them a household name, Linkin Park remain one of the biggest alternative acts in the world and have now also become a commercial radio staple. Mainstream rock lovers and anyone who likes a few DJ scratches with some distortion will jump on them.

And then last week, who could avoid all the uber-excitement from the young punksters and the grown-ups who still love power chords and fart jokes, stoked about Blink 182‘s return. Throw in the inclusion of fellow veteran punks The Offspring and Sum 41 and a re-formed Garbage, and anyone keen to relive their favourite musical memories of the late 90s and early 00s is sorted too.

There’s also a good chance some heavy rock lovers will want to see their favourite frontmen in charge of their other bands. Tool fans can get their Maynard James Keenan fix with A Perfect Circle – while Slipknot’s Corey Taylor will be doing his thing with Stone Sour.

Finally, there’s the power-pop lovers who will flock to see Paramore and All Time Low, the stoner rock reformation of Kyuss Lives, and the typical bottom two lines of lesser-known emo and punk bands to fill out Stage 7 and 8. And even the video game lovers get a guernsey, with all the Guitar Hero freaks set to dust out their air guitar to Dragonforce.

Whack it all together, and AJ Maddah has pretty much got every market and type of alternative music fan sorted. And hence, one almighty dogfight is going to erupt on the morning of Thursday, August 23 – as all these different types of fans scramble for tickets. If you have access to a pre-sale, do anything you can to get the jump on the public, because there’s no doubt Soundwave 2013 will sell out in record time. I’m predicting the East Coast cities to sell out within hours.

Four years ago, when writing a review on Soundwave 2009 for a Melbourne street-press mag, I mentioned how surprisingly impressive Soundwave was, and that rival festival organisers would have to watch their back, as Soundwave was “starting to make life shaky at the top of the summer festival mountain”.

That mountain has now been well and truly shaken, and based on this latest lineup and the work the festival has done in the past few years, few would argue that Maddah now has the right to post Soundwave’s flag at the summit.

Soundwave 2013 Lineup:

Metallica, Linkin Park, Blink 182, A Perfect Circle, The Offspring, Paramore, Garbage, Tomahawk, Stone Sour, Kyuss Lives, Anthrax, Sum 41, Dragonforce, Flogging Molly, Ghost, Duff Mckagan’s Loaded, Motion City Soundtrack, Lawrence Arms, Kingdom of Sorrow, Fozzy, Sleeping With Sirens, Cancer Bats, Madball, Vision of Disorder, Pierce The Veil, Periphery, Shai Halud, Of Mice & Men, Miss May I, Woe Is Me, The Wonder Years, While She Sleeps, Such Gold, Lucero, Six Feet Under, Deaf Havana, Red Fang, Chunk! No Captain Chunk! Memphis May Fire + more to be announced…

Check out what the fans had to say about the Soundwave 2013 lineup here.

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