The rest of the night was unsurprisingly anticlimactic. I caught a few songs from The Offspring, who were looking old: a gathering of crotchety uncles banging out pop-punk tunes. They started well with “It’s All I Want” and “Come Out and Play,” but I quickly realised that the only way I’d hear “Self Esteem” was to hang around ‘til the end of the set. Not keen on spending half an hour fighting my way out of the venue, I left after some underwhelming newer songs. I caught Metallica for long enough to see flames, fireworks, and a performance of “Nothing Else Matters” that didn’t sound great, probably because I was so far from the stage.
Overall Soundwave was a remarkably well-run festival this year. It’s taken them a while, but they’ve done a good job of spacing the stages far enough apart to avoid sound bleed while still close enough to get between. Having water easily available inside the D-barrier was genius, and I certainly wouldn’t have spent five plus hours in there without it. I do think they need to cut down the size of the lineup, with too many bands restricted to half hour sets on the day.
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