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Soundwave 2015: Godsmack and Papa Roach

The US mainstays take aim at Australia

Soundwave is renowned for bringing acts to Australian shores for their maiden trek Down Under, or reintroducing bands after a lengthy absence. For Godsmack, it’s the former and Papa Roach the latter. Both survivors of the late 90s/early 00s nu-metal landscape, they’ve managed to reinvent themselves and remain viable in the eyes of fans.

Appearing on the outdoor metal stage are Boston’s Godsmack [7]. A near household name in their homeland, the hard rockers have lamented in interviews about not playing extensively overseas, and thus are attempting to establish a greater presence in territories like Australia. They go about readdressing the balance today, veering early into a punchy Cryin’ Like A Bitch as the wind suddenly picks up and rain begins spitting. Someone must have been conspiring against their endeavours to cement and even expand their following, as near torrential rain buckets down for a few numbers, scattering punters, and according to frontman Sully Erna “fucking up my shit” on-stage.

The diehards stayed though, moshing with even greater vigour to What’s Next and Awake until the adverse conditions clear and the crowd returns. The stage banter verges on the cliched, but evidently both band and fanbase have been waiting for this occasion for eons. Special mention to Shannon Larkin, a flurry of activity and an entertaining skinsman who pounds his drumkit like it owes him money. In short, a solid opening salvo followed by an instrumental medley of classic rock tunes certainly helps their cause of global conquest today.

Over on the main stage are rockers Papa Roach [6] who last visited Australia way back in 2002. Long-time fans therefore respond with a glee akin to a teenager discovering online porn for the first time, and for others an early singalong during Getting Away With Murder is a welcome distraction as they sought to dry off. “Do we have any old school fans in the house?” asks Jacoby Shaddix. A resounding yes it seems, as the somewhat dated but much loved rap/rock of Between Angels And Insects, Blood Brothers and Dead Cell eventually followed.

More recent, oft-uninspired material is met with indifference in certain quarters, excerpts of livewire frontman Jacoby Shaddix’s patter are cringe-inducing, and the rain returning has many again scurrying for cover. That said, those seeking a nostalgia kick get their fill during inevitable closer Last Resort.

If the weather gods had been kinder, both outfits may have benefited more from the opportunity, but today is a necessary effort to reintegrate Australia into their respective touring cycles.