Wow. The bar has been set high by the impressive list of artists that graced the stages on Day one of Brisbane’s Soundwave leg. Slipknot, Smashing Pumpkins and Fall Out Boy had a major clash when they all played closing sets at three different stages at same time, but the crowds at each stage were so balanced you couldn’t even tell that another legendary band was just 100 metres away.

Here are our highlights of day one. Did your favourite set make the list?


All Time Low
It had been a while since I last listened to this band, and to my happiness, their music hasn’t changed too much. Their tracks were the right balance of rock and pop punk, they dominated the stage. The band pulled a selection of girls and boys on stage to sing Time-Bomb with them, however the flow of people climbing up on stage far surpassed the initial six they picked. The band trawled through their discography, giving a bit more love to their fifth studio album Don’t Panic over their other releases. All Time Low’s set was standout and one of the best stage presences seen all day – Kyle Butcher


Papa Roach
It has been 13 years since Papa Roach touched down in Australia to tour their music, and while the crowd obviously lapped up the attention the band gave, their crowd interaction was a bit repetitive. The consistent swearing pouring out of lead singer Jacoby Shaddix between songs detracted from the tight music they were producing. The band did trawl through their eight studio albums, along with two new tracks from their latest album F.E.A.R. Hopefully next time the band returns to Australia they will have a few tricks up their sleeve when they interact with the crowd apart from the generic ‘magic words’ every band uses – Kyle Butcher

As someone who grew up right in the middle of the late 90’s/early 00’s Nu Metal movement I liked a lot of bands from that time but I was never a big fan of the Roach. Nevertheless I was curious to see what they had to offer since they hadn’t toured here in 13 years. The main arena was packed as Papa Roach played through tracks from their latest offering F.E.A.R and classic tracks such as Last Resort and Between Angels and Insects. While it was hard to deny the band were putting their heart and souls into the gig I quickly found myself losing interest as I never found a connection with their music, each to their own I guess – Nev Pearce

King 810
King 810 have a reputation for putting on one of the worlds most violent stage shows which is a reflection of the band’s upbringing in one of the toughest and notorious cities in the USA, Flint, Michigan. As the band opens with killem al‘ from their debut album Memoirs of a Murderer it is obvious that word has gotten around about these guys as they have a great crowd response for a band on so early in the day, but sadly sometimes what sounds great on CD doesn’t translate too well live, as I felt a bit underwhelmed by their performance – Nev Pearce. 

One of the most anticipated bands on the bill and one of the most interesting of the day. All the way from Helsinki, the classically trained cellists and their band blend metal with classical music and the result is absolutely stunning to see live. Not only do they shred but they also out-windmill some of the best in the metal business. The band’s vocalist Franky Perez was also one of the best frontmen I have seen perform live in a very long time.
This is one band that definitely deserved to be on main stage and if they return to the festival will no doubt be on a later time slot in future – Nev Pearce. 
Killer Be Killed
The word supergroup gets thrown around a lot these days but when it comes to the powerhouse known as Killer Be Killed that term is a total understatement. While everyone had high hopes for the band’s live show it was obvious that no one was actually prepared for what they were about to witness. KBK hit the stage with so much energy that you can feel it move through the crowd like a wave and the more amped up the fans get the more the band puts into the show. While I have seen Max Cavalera many times over the years I don’t think I have seen him this energized on stage, he seems like he is having the time of his life jamming with Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and Troy Sanders (Mastodon) and it looks as though that feeling is mutual. KBK were a highlight for many people on day one and deservedly so. The band simply put everyone else to dust – Nev Pearce. 
For many fans it was a long time coming to see the band on Australian soil and it is obvious by the many fans out in force to see them. The band don’t hold back as they rip into the opening track 1000 Horsepower from their 2014 album of the same name and don’t let up until the last note of their hit I Stand Alone which just leaves the fans wanting more.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before Sully and the boys return to our shores for a headline tour – Nev Pearce. 
The Japanese metal core electronic crossover band put on a performance that is like a hyperactive cartoon. While the band opened main stage a couple of years ago they have been put on a later slot on a smaller stage this time around which seems to really work for them and ends up being pure chaos. Frontman Kenta Koie knows how to command his legion of followers who have come out in droves to let loose with the Osaka maniacs and not one of them leaves dissatisfied – Nev Pearce. 

As the sun had finally set on the day we head over to stage five for some grim and frostbitten Norwegian black metal. One of the most notorious bands on the planet take the stage under moonlight which just adds to the atmosphere of their set. Frontman Attila screams and growls into a human skull which is entertaining and disturbing at the same time, brutal stuff! – Nev Pearce. 

Butcher Babies
Since coming across them early last year I was excited to see them at the festival and they definitely didn’t disappoint. While the band had some sound issues they didn’t seemed fazed at all and put on one of the most high energy shows of the weekend.  It’s hard not to like a band fronted by two beautiful woman screaming their arses off and showing the boys how it’s done, but I do think they would have had more of an impact for their first tour here if they were playing an earlier slot and not competing with any of the bigger name bands – Nev Pearce. 

Marilyn Manson
This crowd was rough. As soon as the Pale Emperor took the stage, the crowd became a press of people trying to get as close as possible to Marilyn Manson. Highlights of his set were Cupid Carries A Gun, The Dope Show and of course The Beautiful People, which went off. Manson has improved his show to an incredible degree when compared to his last Soundwave tour, and it was great to see him return to form. His stage antics stretched from cutting open a beer can and a speaker with his knife-microphone and smashing a bottle and cutting his hand with it. He certainly carried a strong presence across the stage – Kyle Butcher.

As a fan of Manson’s music I have found his live shows to be somewhat disappointing and this time was sadly no different. I had recently read glowing live reviews saying that this tour was his ‘come back’ and it was the ‘second coming of Manson’ which did nothing but set my hopes too high. Opening with the track Deep Six from his latest offering The Pale Emperor and followed up with Disposable Teens it was quickly obvious that something was off as he mumbled through the microphone like someone who was just going through the motions at their day job. While I look forward to hearing more releases from Manson I doubt that I will give his live shows the time of day in future and I don’t think I am the only one – Nev Pearce. 


The Smashing Pumpkins
The crowd were somewhat more relaxed when Billy Corgan and his latest iteration of The Smashing Pumpkins. He seemed to enjoy being on stage much more than his previous Splendour tour in 2012, with smiles crossing his face more than any other musician playing the first day. The set had a nice balance of early and recent tracks from the band, and it was brilliant to see that some of the tracks that weren’t standout on their latest album Monuments To An Elegy translated well live. Classics like Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Cherub Rock, Tonight Tonight and even 1979 made appearances during the set, and not surprisingly, were the tracks the crowd got into the most – Kyle Butcher

I have been a fan of Corgan’s since my early teenage years. Pumpkins have, and always will be my all time favourite band, this however is further st away from that band as you can get. It’s no secret that I am not a fan of Billy Corgan’s latest ‘Pumpkins’ album Monuments to an Elegy but I did expect a hell of a lot more from my favorite songwriter live. Even though classic songs like Cherub Rock and Tonight Tonight are usually highlights, something seems off like he is only playing them because he feels he has to and is only really interested in playing new material. Instead of sticking it out, this sad old Pumpkins fan decided to head over to the main stage to see what Slipknot are up to and try and not to be too cranky about his once great hero Billy Corgan – Nev Pearce. 


There is a reason why Slipknot are on main stage tonight. Not only do they have one of the best live shows on the planet they also have the songs to back it up. To say they have upped the stakes is a total understatement as their stage set up is jaw dropping and they power through their set with passion and conviction.

I have seen Slipknot many times in the past but this time is definitely different and for all the right reasons. Corey Taylor is one of the best vocalists and frontmen in the business and tonight he is in top form, a king commanding his army who worship every move he makes and sing along to every word as they are their own. It’s hard to believe that this is the same band I saw tear apart The Arena five minutes down the road from RNA 15 years ago and are now one of the biggest metal bands in the world playing to thousands of people. Mind blowing stuff!

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With that, the first day of Soundwave came to a close, and the crowd dragged their tired bodies home to get a small amount of sleep before returning to RNA Showgrounds to do it all again when 90’s heavyweights Faith No More and Soundgarden close out the festival’s main stages.



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