Retrospective: Soundwave 2007 | Brisbane

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GALLERY: The first Soundwave to hit Brisbane, it was for sure a case of if you weren’t there you blew it.

2007 and it was the first international-acts metal and punk festival on such a scale to ever come to Queensland, and what a classic line-up to start what would be almost a decade of music debauchery and mental mosh pits.

Good times, can’t believe it’s 11 years ago now.

Were you there? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Headlining was the mighty Deftones, and amongst the acts were a string of incredible pioneer, classic, powerhouse and stand-out acts including Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, MxPx, Thrice, Unwritten Law, Terror and The Bronx.

It wasn’t just the bands, it was the fact that it was the first of three big instalments meaning artists were fresh off the plane and as always, frothing on the fact that they were in Australia which always translates into the music and performance.

It’s always good to get the first or last show of a tour or festival run and it was evident this day.

Juliette Lewis, probably still far more famous as an actor than a singer with The Licks. Pretty mellow and non-striking start but in a way it set the tone; that if the day takes a path anything like some of her dark, disturbed and weird film characters it should be a worthy adventure.

MxPx always put on a classy show.

It was great to see this place getting rowdy for the first time in a long time. Riverstage is always a good venue even if you end up upside down.

This is Mike Herrera, bass and vocals. At one point I saw him change guitar mid song, he managed to unplug from his wireless, rip it off his shoulders and throw the thing to side of stage all the while the replacement guitar was already airborne and heading the other way towards him from side of stage. He let his go and caught the new one almost in the same action, plugging it in and strumming to the point where he probably only missed a couple of bars of the song. Was pretty rad.

 

Hill starting to get packed. Solid crowd for arvo punk bands for sure.

This was the first time I saw The Bronx, and yep they were pretty awesome. Thoroughly a stand out band to go see. Despite the namesake, they’re actually from L.A. They play a real gritty kind of crossover of punk and hardcore which gets the blood pumping.

The Bronx crowd was getting pretty frothy on the back hill.

The Bronx singer Matt Caughthran, loves to get amongst the crowd. I ended up seeing these guys from side of stage in Austin Texas three years later, loved it. Recommend to anyone, check these guys out if you haven’t yet.

So Cal band Unwritten Law set the arvo tone.

Scott Russo belts out ‘She Says’.

Flying through the air at Unwritten Law


I think he spotted his dropped wallet.

Hate Breed were …… whhooooaarrraaahhhh! Yep, as always, the Connecticut lads turned it up for the increasingly rowdy crowd at the back stage after the sun fell away fro the day. Just epic, if you missed it you blew it.

It was about at this point that the event became a little chaotic and proper loose. Fists flying and boots in the air at times, some good proper mosh at Hatebreed.

In their prime, Hatebreed in full effect!

“I will be heard!”

Hatebreed, fucking amazing. By this point of the day, everything was slipping sideways and energy levels were surging for most people. Soundwave had landed in Brisbane, and landed with a huge blasting impact. I remember frothing on how rad it was to have something like this and already my thoughts started touching on whether on not this thing could be coming back each year. And it did, much to a lot of people’s joy. Have to give it to AJ, this was the moment it all exploded from regular rock show into something special, right in the last few songs from Hatebreed and just as Suicidal was about to take to the stage, in Brisbane for the first time in many years.

BOOM! “What the fuck’s going on around here?” – and with that the back stage caught ablaze with the scorching riffs and lyrical onslaught of the legendary Venice Beach outfit, Suicidal Tendencies.


Cyco Miko, Mike Muir, was ripping apart the stage this night, unleashed after a long time on the bench and the energy was way up, even on the typical SxTx show.

Suicidal! STephen Bruner… now one of the most sought-after bassists in the world as his alter-ego ‘Thundercat’ persona. Years later I recall a debate over bassists that had played in the band. Without any doubt, Stephen is way, way at the top of that list. Really smart guy too, really a top bloke.

Brother Clark, Mike Clark, showing frenetic speed on the stage, and on the fret. One of a kind in more ways than one.

Deftones erupted on the main stage, with the metronomic and powerful hits of Abe Cunningham on the skins shaking the earth we stood on. So good.

For a lot of people, this must have been a blur at times. Messy part of the day but a perfect way to cap off the froth and end it. Classic Deftones in every sense.

This was the last time we’d see Chi on bass with Deftones, as a year later he would be involved in that tragic car accident. He was thrashing, sweaty, involved and just outstanding as a bassist and performer.


Chino Moreno and the mass of people raging up front, sans cell phones. One of the last times you could get a shot like this without 173 phones all held up making it look like a weird dystopian parallax universe or something.

The site remained trashed well into the next day, as we drove past on the way home to see the morning sun cutting the trees to a sea of plastic bottles and cups covering the hill on the site.

 

Soundwave, 2007, what cracking and important notch on the timeline of shows and festivals to hit South East Queensland over the years. In later years the event moved to the RNA Showgrounds, capturing a little bit if the former Livid Festival’s feel and vibe, but none of the subsequent events ever captured what went down in 07. It’s always the way, first is best and it levels off at some point after that. The event first Soundwave was solid, riotous yet intimate, in your face and not widely publicised to the point of being saturated with too many fuckwit fringe hanger-oners. You had access to the stages, access to be right up there in front of the bands you loved. Music fans, core fans, that’s what this first event represented.