AU ABROAD

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Photo Gallery and Live Review: No Sleep Til Festival - Joondalup Arena, Perth (12.12.10)

On Sunday, Perth played host to the first No Sleep Till Festival... 9 hours of pure, unadulterated heavy metal/hard rock thunder.

Unfortunately, the two stage setup of the festival meant I was busier than a headless chicken in a tag team match with Ozzy Osborne and Alice Cooper, but I did manage to catch most of the acts that played.

House vs. Hurricane showed that Australian metal is truly alive and kicking, playing some stunningly fast and loud songs that set the tone for the day.
Next up were Sydney band Heroes For Hire, who play some brilliant hard core rock and roll. Definitely a band to watch out for. Swedish doom merchants, Katatonia followed, playing some good old fashioned heavy metal, with an incredible symphonic sound that creates this wonderful atmosphere to their music.

We Came As Romans burst onto the stage with amazing energy and passion, with a sound that could be mistaken for an American version of 28 Days. These guys were definitely a highlight of the festival, with greats songs and a love of music that shows through in their live performance.

3 Inches of Blood prove that heavy metal is not just for the Europeans, with sensational hard-rock-cum-heavy-metal and some of the best guitar riffs you are ever likely to hear.

Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies were promoted as a punk rock super group cover band. With the likes of Fat Mike from NOFX playing bass, perhaps it could have been. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more of a self centered ego trip with the group continuously telling the crowd how great they were and then butchering almost every song they covered. (INXS and Olivia Newton John will eventually roll over in their graves).

Luckily, for those that paid their money to attend the festival, Suicide Silence put things back on track with a set that blew me away. With a lead singer that looks like a tattooed version of Gollum on speed, Suicide Silence showed where the future of extreme metal should be and left the fans longing for more.

America’s August Burns Red were up next with more solid heavy metal. If there were two words to describe what live music should be like, they would be Dropkick and Murphys. These Boston lads ooze music and passion from their very core. There is something about combining Irish blood and rock music together that just works, and the Dropkick Murphys put on a performance that left jaws all over the arena floor.

Alkaline Trio showed why they are still going strong after 7 studio albums and then, unfortunately, someone let Fat Mike back on stage with his band NOFX. Now respect where respect is due, NOFX are legends within the punk community, but I think everyone needs to know when its time to retire. When you spend most of your set talking about how wonderful you are or how the only drugs you can buy in Perth is Meth, then your time is up. Maybe I just don’t get American humour, but they should really just let their music do the talking.

I had heard a lot about the next group, but nothing can prepare you for the incredible sight and sound that is GWAR live. The costumes, the fake blood and vomit, the frenzied fans and the giant dangling cock are something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

As the festival wound to a close, Megadeth took to the stage and showed that if you still have the passion - then you can keep rocking forever. Incredible guitar work, amazing songs… well worth the price of admission alone.

Last but by no means least were Aussie metallers Parkway Drive. A brilliant way to end an amazing festival - hopefully the start of many more No Sleep Til Festivals to come.