The Adelaide music scene: to many of you it might be little more than a touring speed bump between Melbourne and Perth but to us it's a way of life. Feast within, on all its dysfunctioning splendour, as we bring you the highly satirical, laughingly fictional and intellectually imbecile tales from our rock & roll wasteland...
SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL + FRINGE FESTIVAL 2010 LIVE @ BONYTHON PARK + RUNDLE PARK / Saturday February 27th 2010
Now before we all dive headfirst into the skull fucking insanity that was Soundwave Festival this year (and how!), a few of you more "observant types" (read: serial stalkers.. isn't that right Miss Moira you dry humping fiend!?) may be wondering just what the fuck happened to my Friday night? GOOD QUESTION!! For as it turns out I remember very little of it myself. Awesome! To explain: a little over a week or two ago, knowing full well the eye gouging enormity of what lay ahead of me, I'd half planned on blowing the night off. Yeaaah, fuck it! I mean it's not like I would have missed anything: perhaps Günter & The Safe Word at The Crown & Anchor, a bit of drunkarse malarky, a little shit faced whatever-the-fuck, and me ending up at Supermild yar-di-yar (or in other words? you've totally read about it all before!). But then another offer came up which I couldn't possibly refuse (courtesy of another serial stalker Anya Mcnicol-Windram, aka: Bird Wizdom hovering about my facebook all week.. hi!) which invariably lead me to Nexus Theatre in the West End, to catch a teeny tiny show for The Adelaide Fringe by the name of Violet Rapscallion. Now obviously I didn't take any photos of it, I stole that one below from somewhere else (Messenger Press? fuck I dunno, um.. thanks whoever it was!?) still.. if you didn't catch it? SHIT DAMN YOU MISSED OUT!! If you can somehow picture Amanda Palmer's kid sister teaming up with Tom Waits and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for a shitcrazy cabaret show as directed by Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam on a mad tab of acid you'd be halfway there. Throw in a full live band (featuring an hilarious trombonist), ukulele solos, a roaring megaphone, many MANY costume changes, stepladder shouting revelries, performing freaks, oddball theatrics, a belly dancer, and a "master of ceremonies" straight out a circus sideshow, and THAT was my Friday night out. And yes it was everything I could ever hope for out of the Festival Fringe (and more) and YES it took an exceptional amount of alcohol afterwards in effort to reconcile it with my increasingly fragile grip on reality. No really, I think I now know WHY I don't usually catch all these crazy theatre shows, this shit's SO not safe for my mental health!
Fast forward a few hours later, and here I am stumbling deleriously drunk through the Garden Of Unearthly Delights in the east end, laughing my arse off without a single fucking clue how I got here. Yup this is what I'd like to call my sum total experience of The Adelaide Fringe in 2010 as compressed into a single hallucinogenic hour of my Friday night that I'm still struggling even NOW to remember a single iota of. Or in other words? it was waaay too large, way too extensive; there were too many events, too many people; and little by little I went completely fucking insane!
But hey, isn't it nice to know I still took photos anyways!? Like THIS wacky pop-up venue for instance: home to the infamous Red Bastard, the Wau Wau Sisters and some guy called "Philip Escoffey" (wow.. lucky him huh!?). And as much as I don't have a fucking clue what either of these things are (although I no doubt at least one is a standup comedian, the other is a burlesque show, and another is just some exciteable twat in an oversized red gimp suit who's entire act simply consists of him "screaming at people" until they all collectively wet themselves) since that tent's so ridiculously fuck off enormous, and there's fuck off lights all over it.. THEN IT MUST BE GOOD!!
Or what about this tent: catering to all those whimsical freaks out there who have ever fantasised about being stung to death by hoards of killer bees, in diapers, whilst listening to polka music and are willing to pay good money for it. And as much as you'd think that would be a marginal demographic at best? I no doubt THIS was the "raging success story" of the entire Festival Fringe!
And so, fumbling my way blind (quite literally) through the thousand fold throng screaming in hysterics before me, I finally found the tail end of this gargantuan beast, located a hotdog stand, ordered me up a "super dog": with bacon, cheese and onion (which was fucking fantastic by the way) took a spare moment to let my inner ear equilibrium realign itself (and relocate my pants), realised I didn't recognise anyone in here *sigh* and then promptly fled the fuck out of there.
But not before bumping into the ever exciteable "Mish Mash" here (aka: Michele Thomson), who I was half surprised to see tonight as I could've sworn she was still off overseas working at a billion and one touring festivals (Reading, Glastonbury, Roskilde etc.. etc..) until it suddenly occured to me that all these "billion and one touring festivals" had simply converged HERE for the summer: and that may begin to explain why I'm currently trickling blood out of my left nostril and why I've been waking up screaming for the past month or so. Oh I love this time of year I REALLY DO!!
Fast forward a few (short) hours later of what clearly wasn't me sleeping (no really.. remind me again what that shit is!?) and I wake up on Saturday morning (or was it afternoon?) with one of the WORST fuck off hangovers you could possibly ever imagine. No shit, I swear it was like someone had managed to cram an entire carnival carousel into my skull cavity: rotunda, wurlitzer music, animals and all; smashed most of the lights and next to everything else to fit it all in, then swirled it all about with a giant spoon to the sound of ringing cowbells. Oh and did I mention I STILL had that "summer flu" from two days ago and lost my voice and most of my mind along with it? AWESOME HUH!? Obviously I didn't want to do anything save for curling up in foetal position and watching the walls spin for the next 48 hours (and I'd be mad to consider anything otherwise) but "regrettably" I'd already made other plans today.. SHIT!! Yup, turns out I'd bought a ticket to Soundwave Festival a few weeks ago, and since I didn't want to let $155 (plus booking fee) go to waste on "human frailty" (pfft!) I crawled out of bed, downed two panadol, dosed up on mi goreng, got dressed, got my swim fins on, and dived right on back into the deep end again.. YIPEEEE!!
All of which obviously took me a "little longer" than I'd originally anticipated (ow my brain!), as I'd now arrived at Bonython Park for a Soundwave Festival that's already been going for five hours strong. But hey, it's not like I missed anything riiight? wait, YOU MEAN TO TELL ME I JUST MISSED OUT ON EAGLES OF DEATH METAL!? DAMNIT!! GNAAARGGGHHH!! SON OF A FUCKING FUCK FUCK!!
Yup despite all appearances" I'm not a massive thrash metal fan. I'm not the long lost cousin twice removed from a Scandinavian speedcore band. I don't know the first thing about Slayer, Megadeth, Cannibal Corpse, Anthrax, Anvil or Opeth. I don't own a single digitally remastered delux box set of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath whatever-the-fuck, or a lifelong membership to the Kiss Army fanclub, nor do I have my own medieval dungeon stocked full of battle axes, swords and crossbows. Suuure I know a few people who DO (most of whom congregate around The Crown & Anchor on any given weeknight) but I swear I'm NOT that person (or at least short of being a mad fan of Nine Inch Nails). I'm simply a post grunge "art geek" from the mid 90's who got waaay into electronica, so much so I actually started my own live band inspired by it, I stole my "signature look" from equal parts Richard D James (aka: Aphex Twin) and Trent Reznor and I've been retarded for the New York scene (Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), post punk and all that arty "indie" shit ever since. So all you emos, metalheads and goths who keep trying to add me on myspace? YOU CAN FUCKING STOP NOW!! I'm just here to see Faith No More and Jane's Addiction I swear!
Which is why in all the time I'll be here at Soundwave today I WON'T be anywhere near Stages Three, Four or Five where "all the hardcore action" is (in fact that photo above is probably as close as I got); I won't be harping on over brutal the circle pit was; or how many of my ribs I shattered "punching on" to Trivium; I'll simply be slumming it with the rest of these "fair weather freaks" at the main stages. I mean shit? what do I care about A Wilhelm Scream, Isis or Meshuggah!? I'm just a tourist! this is my first Soundwave, I don't need to defend myself! Yup, unlike that hilarious scam I pulled at Laneway Festival? I won't be flashing a priority photo pit pass (in fact I didn't even think to ask for one!?) or parade about backstage like I freaking own the joint. I'm just one of the crowd maaan: here to enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells (and dust) this day has to bring, taking photos from ridiculously far away where everything is all tiny, blurry and buried under a flailing forest of hands. Do we dare call this a "professional writeup"? pfft.. not by a long shot!
PLACEBO (***1/2) myspace :: Which brings us to our first act for the day Placebo, or at least the first one I could be arsed writing about. As let's face it the less said about Paramore, the better. In fact a few sharp blows to the back of their heads followed by a swift midnight burial in the desert would be far more appropriate (especially after the ear bleed I copped from their lead singer Hayley Williams.. yeeeouch!). Yup by no accident short of the one that robbed me of Eagles Of Death Metal earlier today (damnit!), I've arrived just in the nick of time for THIS band.. "OOOOH SHIT YEAAAH, IT'S PLACEBO!!". I mean suuure, I'm not exactly their BIGGEST fan. In fact I'd all but abandoned them years ago after buying their undeniably brilliant 2003 album "Sleeping With Ghosts", only to discover it was one of those lamearse "copy controlled" CDs (read: "crippleware") that not only rendered any and all playback useless on my old stereo system at the time (aka: my desktop computer) but also made it next to impossible to rip it to mp3 either (DAMN YOU EMI.. DAMN YOU FUCKS TO HELL!!); oh and of course releasing their clunker of an album "Meds" in 2006 clearly didn't help matters either (wait, did everyone think that album blew chunks? or was that just me!?). But even so? I was STILL itching to see them, and better yet? they sure as shit didn't disappoint! Performing all the classic from their first four albums: Every You Every Me, Special K, The Bitter End and Taste In Men (all instantly reminding me of just why I used to dig their shit in the first place) plus a smattering of their more recent "hits": For What It's Worth, Ashtray Heart, Meds and Infra-Red (with many of which sounding a whole lot better live than I ever remembered thrashed repetively on Triple J high rotation) they rarely put a note wrong. They were also in high spirits, despite their vampiric complexions clearly getting a beating from the sun (in fact I was half surprised they didn't simply vaporise on contact). Brian Molko joked with the crowd about it, mentioning how the heat made him feel like a "baked potato", only to introduce the next song The Neverending Why as "a Buddhist song, but no need to meditate my little potato friends" (which I couldn't help chuckle at). Their sound was solid and punchy as fuck, newcomer Steve Forrest absolutely killed it on drums, extra member Fiona Brice added to the mix quite nicely with violin, keys and theramin; and all in all it was well worth waking up hungover as hell for. Aaaah what more could you possibly want?
AFI (**1/2) myspace :: Up next I seriously didn't have the first fucking clue what I wanted to go see. In fact most of those "establishing shots" you saw there in the introduction, were merely me wandering about for the next half hour, firing off photos because I had nothing else "better" to do. At one point however I DID entertain the notion of catching Anthrax, because hell.. I think we can all agree that their 1991 collaboration with Public Enemy: "Bring The Noise" was at least five kinds of ridiculously badass. Only to soon realise just how unbelievably fucking far away Stage Four was after walking a full fifteen minutes to get there, only to realise I was barely halfway; at which point I simply headed back to the main stages again (hence that one establishing shot I got) AAAAHAHAhAHaHAhA!! Yup.. let me reiterate again, I AM a fucking tourist and I SO DON'T BELONG HERE!! (oh and did I mention I had the "flu" already? oh ok.. nevermind then *cough*). As such the only reason AFI is featuring in this blog AT ALL, is simply because I was negotiating a genius parking space for Jane's Addiction up next (and ooooh shit did I nailed it good too!), they just SO happened to be in the background at the time, and I figured "aaaah fuckit, why not hone my long range sniper skills while I'm here?". Yup to be honest I really don't "get" AFI. I MEAN REALLY!! Case in point: for the longest time I could've sworn their lead singer Davey Havok was actually a girl. And not in an "alternative lifestyles are awesome!" kind of way (ie: see Brian Molko, or poodle hair Billy Corgan in any album pre "Siamese Dream"), or in a funny "aaahahaha it's Dave Grohl in drag on the In Utero CD!!" kind of way (because no shit that's hilarious!), but more like in a "wondering if that hooker has an adam's apple" screaming in a shower cubicle kind of way. Then there's the inescapable feeling that when I think of AFI, I think "whinyarse emo crap" (because let's face it they ARE) right up there with such hissy fit disasters as My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds To Mars, I picture my worst nightmare unfolding at Fowlers Live/Enigma Bar/Underground/Producers Bar, and then I think of SO many reasons conceivable to blow my brains out with both barrels of a shotgun rather than listen to it. Awesome! And yet with all that being said? AFI surprisingly didn't sound half that bad live. Weird but true! Davey Havok has a none TOO grating, almost "flinty" drag queen quality to his voice that accompanies their songs quite nicely (it also helps he's actually grown some stubble). Their show is explosively vibrant and makes for some hilarious live photos (always a plus). There's a whole lot less "hissy fit" here than I expected (always a relief). And when they chose to close their set with "Miss Murder"? I dare say I was cheering them on, completely unrelated to the fact that it was actually their last song (I swear!). Yup that was AFI beating all my "expectations": not nearly as fuck off annoying as I imagined them.. go figure!?
JANE'S ADDICTION (****1/2) myspace :: Now right here was undoubtfully THE "once in a lifetime" event everyone came here to see today; with the obvious exception of our headlining act who were ALSO "once in a lifetime" (only on an even more skull fuckingly insane level). I mean no shit? Jane's Addiction, reforming with the original lineup (including bassist Eric Avery) for the first time IN EIGHTEEN YEARS!? where else WOULD you be!? DUUUDE!! Or at least that's what I originally thought. Hmmm. Turns out in almost every live review I've read since, pretty much "everyone" out there simply skipped this shit in favour of either: Anti-Flag on Stage Three, Anthrax or Trivium on Stage Four, or fuckit maybe even Dance Gavin Dance on Stage Five!? I mean hell when you stop to think about it, Soundwave IS devoted to nothing but the most fanatical hardcore extremes: metalheads, skinheads, punk, straight edge, screamos and emos; easily a few thousand fold strong; so it kinda makes sense riiight? You all took one dismissive look in this direction, thought "pfft.. bunch of fucking gay cowboys!", figured it was all too "mainstream" for you, and disappeared off into the dust in search of more violent and visceral extremes didn't you? I mean hey each to their own! But still.. FUCK DAMN YOU MISSED OUT!! Yup as much as I never really followed their shit meself, short of their iconic "Ritual de lo Habitual" album, or songs such as Been Caught Stealing and Jane Says (which you'd have to be living under a rock NOT to be affected by), I still couldn't deny their impact and their timeless influence; no shit duuude I just HAD to be here! (in the very least to see both Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro in action after all these years.. FUUUCK!!). And to think this whole reunion tour almost fell apart when Jane's Addiction cancelled their Australian sojourn back in mid 2009? and how rare it was to see them ALL here on stage today? especially with their bassist Eric Avery leaving soon after Soundwave Festival finished in Perth? AND YOU ALL WENT WITH SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD!? YOOOU EEEIDIOTS!! Yup this was a mad fucking buzz no doubt about it! The entire set played out like a slow burning psychedelic acid trip, it pulled you in so effortlessly, you couldn't help but trip out to the languid groove of it. Perry Farrell pranced about on stage like a cartoon caricature, like an aging Russian ice dancer, pulling all manner of mad shapes, arms outstretched, face perpetually contorted between a shit eating grin and a leering grimace, laughing it up, bottle of champagne never too far away.. fuck damn he was hilarious! Dave Navarro shredded his guitar, alll these mad gunning solos flying about like nothing else.. duuude! Their setlist (or at least as much as I could remember through all this insanity) was a seamless mix of old and new: from Been Caught Stealing whipping everyone into a fanatical frenzy, to Stop and Whores no less propulsive in their attack, to a brilliantly chill rendition of Jane Says with their drummer Stephen Perkins on bongos mad beaming to every beat; and lots of loose jams in between. There was never a dull moment, everything: the sounds, the sights, the smells, they all bled into each other like synaesthesia. And what about those geisha girls.. how could we forget them!? WHOAAA FUCK!! As much as I figured they're simply here in sly reference to their first album "Nothing's Shocking" and its iconic cover art, in SO many ways they truly stole the show: playfully tying each other up and filming each other, legs up in the air, writhing about seductively in all the slow songs *ahem* I know! obviously I got a little carried away here, I think we all did, it was just THAT kind of show maaan! and I was clearly kicking myself retarded over all the mad shots I was getting of the band too, just look at them all maaan! (from at least thirty to forty metres back!? HOW MUCH DO I FUCKING ROCK!?). Yup this was SO worth the price of admission, this was SO worth the trip, no shit Jane's Addiction made my fucking weekend! Aaaah I ask you, how could we possibly top this!?
8:05PM - And thus, thinking nothing else COULD actually top all that (or at least not for the foreseeable future) I promptly left the main stages in search of food. Which also makes this as good a time as any to give you a rundown on the festival layout. In short, it didn't suck. Stage layout was well planned, with everything spread so ridiculously far apart there was never any problem with noise cross pollination (an issue I'm told they were plagued with in previous years). Shade was bountiful, plenty of trees, most of the side stages under tents, there was free water throughout, and the festival food and drink? as much as it's usually bordering on a botulinum outbreak (dare we mention Laneway Festival!?) here it was actually quite "decent". Sure I wouldn't know about the alcohol situation per se (as I usually leave that until AFTER a festival) besides the ever present baked potato stands (seriously what IS UP with that shit!?) there was everything here you could ask for here in hot or cold, sweet or savoury; no shit it was paradise! (you could even get ice cream cones!). The only trade off however was the dust: thick clouds of it, choking into your lungs, seeping into every fibre of your being, before too long you could practically taste it in everything and every sneeze came back black. No shit! Like take this awesome hotdog and softdrink combo for example: probably the best festival meal I've had in ages, if it weren't for the fact it tasted like a construction site. But still, as much as I'll be coughing up this shit for days to come.. it was a small price to pay for one of the BEST festival setups I'd seen in a long time!
JIMMY EAT WORLD (***) myspace :: Suitably satiated in all the "five minor food groups", and more than my "daily recommended intake" of salts, silicates, asbestos, and uranium oxide (that shit totally makes my teeth shine!) I headed back to Stage One again in effort to hunt up a genius parking space for Faith No More. And so, quite like AFI before, ANY appearance of Jimmy Eat World here and all the shittyarse photos you could ever ask for in following (pfft yeaaah.. what do I care!?), is simply a side product of me "killing time" in between (which is also why I actually have two sets of photos on show: brighter ones I took from just after Jane's Addiction, and darker ones I took from when I returned for Faith No More). Still, I think we can all agree that this was a far better choice for all involved than My "Fucking" Chemical Romance (ie: short of all those sadsack tragics who've already slit wrists over hearing news of their late cancellation.. pfft!). Of course in saying all that, I clearly knew next to nothing about this band either, perhaps even less than AFI short of a name recognition and a few songs (and that's saying something!) but for me they STILL had a good thing going. In loosest approximation I'd put them somewhere between a latter day Weezer, Blink 182 and The Living End: party punk at it's cheesy and most inoffensively "pop". Sure most of you MORE knowledgeable scene geeks (ie: those of you who begged me to get here early and catch Sunny Day Real Estate on Stage Two) may scoff at such a laughable suggestion and cite all manner of lofty references to Jimmy Eat World birthing "emocore" back in the late 90's (ie: back when emo still had actual artistic credibility and not just pissy MTV/Vans Warped marketability) but all that matters little to me: I'm simply bopping along, biding my time, waiting for Faith No More to arrive. As such, most of their "entertainment value" for me: came from all the mad facials lead singer Jim Adkins was pulling in their songs (like Kermit The Frog having a nervous breakdown I swear!), their punchy "upbeat" punk pop throughout, and a few of their closing numbers that I actually recognised thanks to Triple J airplay like: Bleed American and The Middle (thank you Soundwave forums for the setlist!). And after all that? I dare say I didn't mind them (fuck it.. I might even hunt their back catalogue down!). Jimmy Eat World? you duuudes are totally alright with me!
FAITH NO MORE (*****) myspace :: Now forget everything I might have said before about Jane's Addiction, pfft.. all that shit simply pales in comparison to this! THIS right here maaan, THIS once in a lifetime convergence of head exploding awesomatude was the real reason everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was here in attendance at Soundwave today! NO SHIT DUUUDE! I don't care if you ditched them all for HIM on Stage Three, or Whitechapel and A Day To Remember on Stage Four, or even Four Year Strong and Enter Shakiri on Stage Five. FUCK THAT SHIT, if you picked that? you're fucking dead to me! You're like that pillmunching douchebag in the fluoro frame sunnies who skips all the REAL action at The Big Day Out just so you can whizz your tits off to some no-name arseclown DJ in the Boiler Room. YOU'RE A FUCKING JOKE, you're in the minority, we out number you, and we're all laughing behind your back.. AAAAHAHAhAhAhAhaHA!! Faith No More!? DUUUDE what can I say!? Sure I admit it, I may be a "teeny bit" biased here as I freaking worshipped this shit back in the 90's. I used to spin their albums "Angel Dust", "King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime" and "Album Of The Year" in a retarding loop for weeks on end; and how could I possibly forget Epic, Falling To Pieces and Surprise! You're Dead! off of "The Real Thing"? or all that other awesome shit that they came up with before they (mercifully) ditched Chuck Mosley back in 1988 for Mike Patton? or what about when they played Entertainment Centre in August 1995!? Duuude I couldn't move my neck for a week.. IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME!! But still, all my blatant bias aside, you still can't deny the apocalyptic magnitude of what we were witness to here tonight. A year ago, even the mere mention of them reforming after ELEVEN YEARS was utterly unthinkable.. but it happened maaan! Faith No FUCKING More! The anticipation for this, to put it mildly, was freaking intense; made even more so by their lengthy changeover between bands. And then at long last they arrived on stage, all wearing matching pastel suits like lounge lizards, like fucking Scarface: Mike Patton alternating between Bono's evil twin in the intro, to his mischievous imp with a megaphone, to his screaming banshee doubled over and shrieking (often all three in the same song) with a band no less explosive behind him (especially Billy Gould thrashing about wildly on bass). Tearing into song after song with murderous glee, they'd clearly lost NONE of their edge from before (in fact they may even have gained a bit after being absent for so long) and the crowd naturally went absolutely apeshit for it, they couldn't get enough of it! I mean fuck.. where else would you want to be right now? NOWHERE, THAT'S WHAT!! Yup with a setlist as wildly ecclectic as their extensive career, they truly had something to please everyone. Obviously I couldn't remember it all, but the highlights were hard to forget: Land Of Sunshine, Be Aggressive, Surprise! You're Dead!, Last Cup Of Sorrow, Ashes To Ashes, Midlife Crisis (see video), The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies (a personal favourite of mine), Epic, all of them were unleashed live and lewd to riotous applause. They also sprinkled in a curious choice in covers, opening with Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over (Hey Now)", following it later in the set with Lady GaGa's "Poker Face", and their ultimate crowd pleaser "Easy" by The Commodores (and yes.. it IS actually a cover!). Then they left the stage to much hysterical cheering from the crowd, only to return with an altogether goofy rendition of Vangelis' "Chariots Of Fire" and two encores: Stripsearch and We Care A Lot. The band were in high spirits, Mike Patton's demented sense of humour in full effect, frequently referring to us as his "fucking skips", taunting us like we were bad children; while everyone in the crowd sung along in kind like a bar room brawl gone horribly right; duuude it was the ultimate feel good buzz! It was once in a lifetime; we're talking a definitive highpoint for 2010 here! Yup if ever there was a reason to pull off your left shoe right now and beat yourself unconscious with it? MISSING OUT ON THIS SHIT TONIGHT would be it! I mean we all knew this was a once off, we all knew they won't ever return (at least not until they need to top up their "retirement fund") but I doubt any of us cared. This is ALL we needed right here maaan: Faith No More for one night of riotous carnage!? WHAT A FUCKING SHOW!!
10:09PM - And then just like that it was all over, Soundwave done and "dusted" for another year. I know huh!? I mean who KNEW this shit would end this soon? Well sure their timetable made it SO abundantly clear for weeks in advance: especially to me when I woke up early today, and after spending at least two hours getting over my skull fucking hangover I finally checked it for the first time (yay time management skills!) only to swear profusely over the fact I'd already missed Eagles Of Death Metal. And sure I'd already gotten over all THAT by now.. but still, 10PM!? WHAT THE FUCK DUUUDES!? Was this merely a pissy move to placate all the thousands upon thousands of screaming "emo anklebiters" who had to organise lifts home with their dead beat parents back to Salisbury and Elizabeth!? Were there any nearby residential octogenarians filing noise complaints here that I was otherwise unaware of? Really, I wanna know! Or yeaaah.. fuck it, maybe I don't.
10:16PM - Either way here I am stumbling blindly through all the wreckage, the refuse and the dust at an absolute loss over what I should do next (like say, I dunno.. find me a freaking exit!?). Momentarily stopping to take photos quite like this one, or what I like to call "a photographic moment of clarity" (an odd hobby I'd picked up at the tail end of most Festivals for the past few years), half joking to myself that maybe THIS is what alien archaelogists will likely discover many years hence when they dig through the shattered remnants of what was once our "proud" civilisation wondering where it all went so "wrong" for the human race. Yup, nothing but a mad stampede of beer cans and plastic water bottles as far as the eye can see. Awesome isn't it!?
10:29PM - Eventually I made my way out of Bonython Park and joined the masses down Port Road in our slow shuffle towards the CBD. Of course I didn't have the first clue WHY I was heading in this direction: but hey, everyone else was doing it and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
10:37PM - With all these witches hats and barriers: at first I could've sworn our city council had actually done us a "solid" by diverting all the traffic away from us. Or hell.. maybe they were simply enacting one of their "top secret" zombie apocalypse contingencies as a "training exercise" for the Australian army, and any minute now air support and armoured tank divisions would converge on our location to give the "warm welcome" we so richly deserved (not surprising considering all the pasty faced metalheads, punks and emos moaning and groaning for brains around me). But alas, turns out they were simply doing tramline extensions and this was all just a coincidence *sigh*. I know! and to think of all the ridiculously awesome photos I could have gotten out of that too!?
10:46PM - Now if I had ANY "common sense" left in me, I would have simply gone home at this point. No shit! Except as we all know I left anything even approaching "common sense" waaay back on Wednesday night (only to lose it for good on the following Thursday and Friday nights) and there was NO turning back now! I mean suuure I still had that pesky "summer flu" to contend with, along with a lingering hangover still beating my brains in, and that inescapable feeling that I haven't slept eight hours since almost a month ago (!?) but the way I figured it? fuck it! I could just drink it out my system like ghetto chemotherapy.. YEAAAS!! Now if only I could uncover a suitable place to administer this cure? Hmmm. And so I headed to Worldsend, picked up a copy of Rip It Up and formulated a master plan. Who knows, maybe there's still a gig on somewhere!?
11:14PM - And so in little under half an hour or so, after I'd effectively walked all the way from Bonython Park, down Port Road, West Terrace and Hindley Street, through Rundle Mall and Rundle Street past Frome Road: I'd finally reached the ONE place I was looking for.. not even pausing to consider for even a MOMENT that I could've caught a taxi here instead. FUCK DAMN I'M A GENIUS!!
11:16PM - Still there WAS a method to my madness here: as moments after I'd plonked myself on the floor in front of stage with my first beer of the night, the band before me announced they were giving away their entire beer rider, ALL THREE JUGS OF IT, to pretty much anyone who wanted it. Hmmm. And so after waiting for the requisite amount of time to appear all "polite" and shit, and upon realising nobody else here had taken them up on it? I proceeded to help myself.. SCORE!!
SINCERELY GRIZZLY (****) myspace :: Now before we conclude the bleedingly obvious from the score I've just given (especially after I'd given Sincerely Grizzly three stars in every other write-up I'd done) IT'S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BEER!! No really, absolutely nothing at all, I SWEAR! (yeaaah ok.. *burp* maybe a "teeny tiny bit"). You see there was one OTHER tiny difference that elevated THIS show above all the others they've ever played before. And no, it's got nothing do with it being their third gig this week since their CD launch party last Saturday (wait.. you mean to tell me that was only LAST WEEKEND!? WHOAAA FUCK!!). And it's got nothing to do with the venue either: as clearly playing in the smallest room in Adelaide, where even a "crowd" of ten people packs it to capacity, under non existent stage lighting, with a laughably malfunctioning PA system can't be doing them ANY favours. I mean sure Daniel Varricchio from Like Leaves is cranking that mix for all its worth (and that dude's a freaking genius!) but it's not him and it's not The Exeter. OOOOH FUCK NO!! Nope the only difference here tonight: is Rowan Mount their drummer is playing an "acoustic" kit and NOT an electronic kit. THAT'S IT!! It's just a different drumkit, and yet it SOLVES EVERY FUCKING THING THAT WAS WRONG WITH THIS BAND!! I shit you not! And the best way I can describe how? (as unfortunately I didn't think to get any of it on video.. DAMNIT!!) is for you to remember all those cheesy advertisements that used to sell DVD players back in the late 90's. Yeaaah you know the ones.. when they'd do that split comparison: "this is your movie on VHS, this is your movie on DVD" and all of a sudden *POW* everything explodes into crystaline clarity!? THAT'S Sincerely Grizzly tonight. It's just like you've always known them on "VHS", only with a proper drumkit? they're in blu-ray, high definition, FUCK OFF 3D and in your face screaming awesomeness at you. IT'S A FUCKING REVELATION I SWEAR!! No longer handicapped by a flaccid low-bit attack in 11-22kHZ 8bit sample rates: the drums pound, smash, slice and dice with samurai precision. All the songs that use to sound SO hilariously disjointed (in fact that's all I ever used to write about) now snap into focus. IT. SOLVES. EVERYTHING!! And I mean no offense, but I used to think Rowan was kind of a shit drummer but he's totally not, he's freaking genius, he's an assassin, it's just HIS drumkit that blows a fucking walrus! Rowan, if you're reading this (and I KNOW you are) ditch the kit. It's not YOU, it's the drums.. it's that simple! Because what we had here tonight was nothing but ear candy! It's my head bopping along like it's a bobble head toy, I can't help meself, it's pure freaking bliss! Sincerely Grizzly, you know it, you heard it tonight.. it's time to UPGRADE!
And if ever you're STILL wondering why I gave Sincerely Grizzly four stars, especially after I gave Placebo three and a half stars earlier today? Then imagine for a second if Placebo played The Exeter. ENOUGH SAID!! And if ever you need more "proof" in just how ridiculously badass this set was tonight (AAAAHAHAhAhAHaHA as if!?), then look no further than their lead singer Joshua Calligeros pulling the ultimate assinine act: by splattering a "rock & roll stigmata" all over his guitar.. YEAAAS!! I mean sure it might not be nearly as violent as a fullblown "Sascha James Kenney" or as wildly expressive as an "Anthony Candlish"? but it's still QUITE the impressive feat! *phew* yup, let this be a lesson for all of us: forget to bring a guitar pick AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!
BOX ELDER (***1/2) myspace :: Which brings us to our final headlining act here at The Exeter. I know, it's fucking insane riiight? reviewing a "local gig" after all I'd been through today!? And I readily admit I didn't plan on ANY of this shit after Soundwave either.. NONE OF IT!! All I did was walk in for a beer, Sit down in front of the stage just now, all set to tune out from the world with a glazed expression on my face to some "mad tunes", I swear! I WASN'T EVEN GOING TO TAKE ANY PHOTOS (obviously.. because the ones I took were absolute rubbish and I should have used the flash!). But aaaah fuck it, when it's THIS good duuude? I just have to write about it! Yup as much as it was all Sincerely Grizzly's fault for inspiring this shit in the opener, Box Elder definitely cop the "blame" for continuing to inspire it in the closer. Why? well as much I'd hate to say this, but they actually remind me a lot of what was brilliant about Lumonics back in the day. "Wait.. what!?". Yeaaah you remember those über geeks riiight? kinda like Interpol crossed with Kasabian only fives times more skull fuckingly dope? totally couldn't shut up about them back in 2008? totally couldn't shut up about them ever since we were "tragically robbed of them" in March 2009!? Yup that's Box Elder tonight, bringing the madness back again in 2010! WHOAAA FUCK!! And I'm not even kidding either! They share those same shoegazer post punk influences, that same layering of reverb and delay, that same "cinematic feel" through and through. There I've said it: Box Elder are practically the same band. As such I've CLEARLY jinxed them for life (especially this early in their "career".. sorry guys!) but believe me the comparison is truly uncanny here; only with a few teeny tiny artistic "differences". For one.. picture everything from the layered dissonance of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Sonic Youth; mixed in with the propulsive attack of Interpol and Kasabian (hence Lumonics), the sparsness of The XX and the soaring melodics of say The Boxer Rebellion. Picture lots of slow pondering arrangements: sometimes infinitely dense, sometimes effortlessly sparse in the execution; songs accompanied by awkwardly introspective vocals and presented with a shrinkingly shy stage presence that practically disappears into the ether (especially here in The Exeter tonight) but with an overall effect that's no less compelling!? Yup that's Box Elder! Remember that name, hunt them down on the interwebs, go see them live, and trust me.. you may just bug out to it!
2:35AM - *Phew* and now at long last it was ALL over? THANK FUCK!! I've done it all maaan, I've seen it all, I've been freaking everywhere short of planting a flag on the moon! YEAAAS, SUCK ON THAT "COMMON SENSE".. I PISS ON YOUR CORPSE!! And thus in following to celebrate all my "grand accomplishments", I obviously did what ANY other self respecting lunatic would ever do in a time like this (short of realising just how monumentally stupid I was for ever leaving the house in the first place.. no shit!) and that was to get SO retardingly and rubbishingly drunk I simply forget any of this EVER HAPPENED! *cough* Or at least that's what I'd ALREADY been doing for the past hour or so at The Exeter with Sincerely Grizzly and their "entourage", or at least that's what I THINK I was doing, and it WAS here, and it was called The Exeter!? or.. wait, where the hell am I again? and why do I feel like I'm on a boat all of a sudden!? Aaaah fuck it, it's time for another drink!
3:31AM - At some point while I was at The Exeter: Joshua from Sincerely Grizzly handed me some kind of throat lozenge, anti viral, cold & flu tablet whatever-the-fuck. Awfully decent of him I know.. or fuck it maybe it was actually a tic tac, a breath mint, or a eucalyptus flavoured cyanide capsule!? Either way as much as any of this shit is clearly unrelated to me washing ashore at Supermild an hour later (as clearly that's just the "homing pigeon in me acting on the bleedingly obvious), it DOES begin to explain this wickedarse "wooshing" effect my head had going, and why my first or second long neck beer tasted SO ridiculously awesome. Or yeaaah maybe I was already dead, and this was merely my Bruce Willis "Sixth Sense" moment.. either way? GOOOOD TIMES!
4:41AM - While this is an office chair I found in Jive's carpark over an hour later. Obviously I have very little explanation as to WHY it's turned up in this blog all a sudden (no shit!) except to suggest that maybe, just maybe, I might have flown it home with me because now it's in my bathtub covered in bird crap. Yup if ever there's a moral to this story I've long since forgotten it.
I'm not here, I was never here, and now I'm long gone duuude! I'm dead, dissected and buried like smoking Thai takeaway; I'm stuffed in a lead lined concrete "coffin" laughing it up retarded. WHOAAA FUCK!! It's been one hell of a journey, it's one a hell of a trip, I may even attempt ALL NINE CIRCLES OF HELL as my encore; but not just yet. No.. Saturday's all done and dusted, it's passed over that horizon with a smile and a wave, and now it's Sunday morning. And now I can sleep safe at last, "safe in the knowledge" here, that nothing ever EVER HAPPENS ON A SUNDAY!