GIG REVIEW- SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE – MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA 1 MARCH, 2013 It's that time of year again. Festival season's back, & with it comes Soundwave. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, it's where you go if you like things a bit heavier. With metal legends like Anthrax, Slayer, & the mighty Metallica, the bodycount was always going to be high. Initially I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I wanted to get enthused about the upcoming slaughter. But Anthrax & Slayer were missing members, for one thing. So how wold things like this affect performances & the overall festival experience? What can you of old & new material. Overall a decent performance. I'll give Soundwave 2013 a solid 8 out of 10. It was looking grim for New York metallers Athrax, being down two members. Guitarist Rob Caggiano announced his intention to leave the band to focus on record production & other projects. Drummer Charlie Benate opted out to deal with undefined “personal issues”. If anyone could overcome obstacles this severe, it was Anthrax. My only real complaint with their set was that Caggiano's replacement, none other than Shadows Fall's Jon Donais, came across as a little disconnected or restrained. Drummer Jon Dette more than made up for this, displaying trademark aggressive style. The core members who did show up... Belladona, Bello, Ian... went on to deliver an outstanding performance. Highlights from the set included a dedication to Dimebad Darrell & Ronnie James Dio as well as an AC/DC cover. I missed out on seeing Periphery's set to check out Stone Sour. It's always interesting to see Corey Taylor outside of his Slipknot persona. A relaxed Tayor clearly enjoying his time onstage, joking around & interacting with the audience instead of throwing around the usual aggression. Songs leaned heavily towards material from their most recent studio albums. A Slayer set is guaranteed to be an intense experience. The Califonia metal giants failed to escape the curse of Soundwave. Drummer & co-founding member Dave Lombardo had been removed from the bands Australian tour dates thanks to butting heads with the others over financial arrangements. Jeff Haneman was a no-show aving undergone emergency surgery on his right arm after contracting a bacteria- caused infection. When the going gets tough, the tough get angry. It's almost like the boys upped the intensity level to make up for things. Song choices for the day might've been a touch predictable, but “South of Heaven” was a lethal addition. Metallica can be forgiven for failing to do any solo Sidewave shows by virtue of delivering a blistering set. A lot of material from the first five studio albums, a display of classic Metallica at its finest. A pleasant surprise was “Field of Misery” played for the first time in Austalia. The only significant letdown of the night was A Perfect Circle's set. Any band going on after Slayer was going to be in for a rough time, sure. But their song choices were predictable & offered no punch at any point to make up for it. Maynard James Keenan warbling his take on 'Imagine' struck me as out-of-place & lacklustre. Overall a quite oddly-paced set that was hard to wrap my head around & left me feeling underwhelmed. It's like the band was merely filling in stage time & making no real effort. More highs than lows, so I'll rate Soundwave 2013 a 7 out of 10.