Once again Soundwave week is upon us, with Sidewaves in full swing, and what a huge lineup this year with AJ splashing a lot of cash around to bring some big acts to Australia including Metallica, A Perfect Circle, Slayer, and Linkin Park to name a few.
As I approached the venue, and once we got inside, the mix of the crowd was evident from parents to teenagers, representing the long careers of both acts out tonight. Whilst there was majority t-shirts in favour of Linkin Park, Stone Sour definitely had their fair share of the audience there to see them.
Upon entering the arena it was evident there were many closed off sections in the upper seating level. A venue not completely sold out for a one-night show, when only a few years ago Linkin Park could sell out multiple nights in Rod Laver.
Stone Sour took to the stage, with lead singer Corey Taylor taking charge of the growing audience. I am not familiar with Stone Sour and have never seen them perform, but I was captured from the word go, and with Corey’s crowd interaction between songs and covering the entire stage to make sure he got to everyone in the crowd, as well as making use of the barrier down through the middle of the crowd on a couple of occasions to sing with and greet the fans. Guitarist, James Root took to the stage to do some impressive solo work to open “Say You’ll Haunt Me”, before being joined by the rest of the band. We also got to hear a new song from their upcoming album “House Of Gold & Bones Part 2”, to be released April 2013. Overall a great band, a great show.
Between acts a short video by Linkin Park was played on the screen behind stage called ‘Powerless’. It was an awareness video produced by ‘Music for Relief’, a charity founded by Linkin Park, about how many unfortunate people live without electricity and encourages their fans to support this cause. The aim to raise money to give one-million families in Haiti solar powered lights. Check out the video here http://vimeo.com/54036330
Linkin Park finally takes to the stage to a massive roar and opened with ‘Faint’. From there it was a good mix between old Linkin Park and new, appealing to the range of fans, with their first album “Hybrid Theory” and their most recent “Living Things” both featuring the most tracks, five, for the night.
Chester took to the stage with a lot of energy, pulling of moves similar to Andrew W.K., full of energy and not stoping for the first few songs, when Mike informed the crowd that Chester had just told him he needed a quick break to catch his breath. Whilst running and dancing around the whole stage, Chester also took to some big jumps from the sound props, something that saw him brake his wrist at this same venue in 2007, but great to see he still doesn’t hold back.
To slow it down a bit, Mike took to the keys to begin an acoustic of “Leave Out All The Rest”, with the rest of the stage blacked out, then Chester was lit up to begin vocals. This slowly merged into “Shadow Of The Day” when the drummer Rob started to get lit up for a double beat then back to dark, and slowly guitarists Brad and Dave began to get lit up, before finally the full stage was lit and they had merged into “Iridescent” to complete the medley.
We also got a little tease at the end of “Numb” where Mike continued to rap “Encore” from the mash up between Linkin Park and Jay Z, as well as a drum solo during the encore. During the three-song encore the crowd also got to pick between “In The End” and “Place For My Head”, in which “Place For My Head” won.
Not to be outdone by the music, the visual backgrounds throughout the entire set added to the performance, no doubt largely thanks to Mr Hahn.
The whole night was fantastic, and neither of these bands shows any sign of stopping soon. Will be interesting to see what direction Linkin Park take their next album, if there is one…
Review by Chris Groom