Tuesday 3 March 2015

For Those Who Are About To Rock...

(Photo credit to http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/music/news/2014/8/line-up-tour-dates-soundwave-2015-festival-line-up-including-faith-no-more-soundgarden-slash/)

So yesterday was Soundwave and it EPIC!! Not just because it was my first festival ever, but the atmosphere and the location just made it that much better.

I'd been told horror stories by friend who'd been previous years and said how good it was although the location or weather didn't work in their favour.

This year was a fair sight better location-wise. The weather, as per usual, seemed to do it's own thing and everyone struggled to keep up.

There were several stages all spread out with toilets, cafes and food places in between as well as enough shelter and space for people to take a few moments to collect themselves between shows.

I went purely to see Papa Roach who I've been a fan of more so since their second last album 'The Connection', but still love 'Scars' and 'Last Resort'. The friends I went with were more keen for All Time Low, who unfortunately had to cut their set short after only 3 songs when the rain decided to party hard and apparently damaged their equipment. They were unable to stay on so fans just took what they could.

We also saw Tonight Alive, briefly checked out Mayhem, Escape The Fate, Of Mice and Men, and hung around for the finale of Fall Out Boy. From my position in the stands as I ate lunch I was able to admire the crowd that Marilyn Manson pulled in. Some of my friends had been fans of his from back in the day but said they didn't like the direction his music had taken and recommended not checking him out. I was curious and indifferent. Those same friends had told me to check out Apocalyptica, sadly I didn't arrive in time to do so.

I must say, the overall energy of the day was pretty amazing. It was very much 'let your freak flag fly!' and even though I felt slightly self-conscious at the start for wearing fairly short shorts even though the weather was definitely insisting I did, when I got there and found more than a few people wondering around half naked, I knew I was in my element.

I love how inhibited people are at concerts, well for the most part. You're there to be entertained and let yourself be so.

(Photo credit to https://www.pinterest.com/houseofblues/live-breathe-music/)

When we got into the mosh pit for Tonight Alive I was slightly terrified at the idea of being squashed to death given I'm just under 5ft tall. It was all good though. I got some great shots of lead singer Jenna, who I have new-found respect for, and got to bounce and fist bump with the rest of the crowd.

I was more than a little excited for Papa Roach though, but at the same time I was torn between getting closer to the stage for some decent shots, or hanging back and not risking certain death.

The worst part was having what has been dubbed as a 'human giraffe', you know those really tall people who sit or stand in front of you and completely obscured your view of the awesomeness. I had more than my fair share of them blocking my camera so a few shots were of their heads instead of the band. Damn them!

Having said that though, I didn't fork out a decent bit of moolah to not get the most out of the day. I was surrounded by people that loved and connected to the songs that I loved and connected with. I shamefully hadn't gotten around to purchasing their new album but made mental note to do so as soon as my bank balance and I had recovered. I totally forgot that there would be merch when I got there so suffice to say I'm feeling a little poor right now.

Halfway through their set it started raining pretty hard. Given that it was like a sauna around midday, I didn't think it would be necessary to bring an umbrella or anything more than a really light jacket which could also double as a blanket of sorts, given its length. This was hardly a deterrent though.

When they finished their set and we realized there wasn't time for them to do an encore unlike at solo shows when more often than not the artist will indulge their super awesome fans, I went in search of my friends and we wandered around the stalls that were strategically setup outside the main arena where most of our favorite bands had been playing.

We had a few hours to kill before Fall Out Boy, which one of my friend's all-time favorites and a definite must-see, so we just sat around in the entrance dome for a bit until we could must the energy to get up again, or when a friend of the friend's came along to say hello and wanted to check out another band.

By the time Of Mice and Men started, which I might add weren't what I expected. To be fair I'd only ever heard or read their name in various publications but had the idea that they were more Mumford and Sons rather than screamo or whatever specific genre they fall under. They weren't really what I was there for so I just sat against the fence and hung out for a bit until FOB came on.

As I've made mention to, I'm not terribly tall by a long shot, so when I'm at a concert I prefer elevated seating over standing so I have some kind of an advantage. When you hang back a bit so you don't get squashed by the raging mosh pitters, you don't get a very good view of the stage, but you do get to keep a few extra lives.

In a discussion with one of my friends prior to attending the festival, we were saying how everyone seems to love Pete Wentz because he's quite possibly the most attractive one in the band. So naturally I spent most of their gig when I didn't know the songs, trying to spot him out from the distance between me and the stage.

I mistakenly thought he was the other guitarist who wasn't clean-shaven and had floppy and fluffy hair and spent a fair part of my time wondering what happened the this supposed Pete Wentz dude.

Only when the crowd started screaming louder when the other guitarist came over did I realize that the bottle-blonde sleeveless and tattoo'd guy was the real Pete Wentz. I was not disappointed, only surprised at not recognizing him, but then again I'm not a hardcore fan so it didn't really matter all that much.

After that, I also realized that he was the one doing most of the talking or intros for the songs. Again, not disappointed, just surprised, I don't think I'd ever heard his voice before. Clearly I'm a dedicated fan.

At the end of the day, or rather night, I hadn't been that exhausted since my 21st birthday which had taken myself and my parents approx. 3 days to recover from.

Luckily I don't live too far from the location so once I got to the station It only took about half an hour or so, including a 20min wait at the middle station, before I was back home and struggling to stay awake.

Since I had uni the next day, I decided the prepare my lunch even though I could barely see straight and was more than glad when I got to crash into bed afterwards. Mind you, I was so overtired that I had to wind myself back down to tired before I could actually sleep.

The day after was still a struggle given that it was a full day of classes. I was determined to get through them because not going when I'd made the choice to attend a full on concert the day before seemed irresponsible. If I'd woken up feeling shockingly ill, that would have been another story.

I checked in with one of my friends to see how she was faring since she had work on. She told me both her and the other girl were slightly nauseated with headaches but were pushing ahead to get through the day.

Sheer exhaustion aside, it was definitely worth it. I got a Soundwave tshirt to prove I actually went, a couple of decent photos, and some pretty awesome memories. Nothing compares to belting out meaningful songs with a bunch of people who love them as much as you do, as well as being able to feel the music or the beat running straight through you. You're doing music right!

For those who are about to rock, who have rocked and will forever rock, we salute you and your epic level of awesomeness!

(Photo credit to http://adventofdeception.com/occult-control-music-industry/)

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