The Punk Vault

Cold Waves XI Day Three – 9/24/23 at Metro

Sunday night was the third and final night of the Cold Waves Festival at Metro. It was bittersweet that this was going to be the last show for the fest until next year, but they sure closed it on a high note!

Rabbit Junk may be the only opening/mid-card band in Cold Waves history that had a big segment of the crowd chanting for them as they were setting up. This duo from Los Angeles played industrial metal, but it was more upbeat and danceable than you’d think. The duo was smiling and talking a lot between songs, and when they played their energy and enthusiasm was infectious. The crowd was bouncing all over the place and a huge chunk of the main floor crowd seemed to be really familiar with them. They were a ton of fun and you couldn’t help but smile along with them as they played.

Hailing from France, solo synth artist, Sierra, took the stage next. She was the surprise hit of the entire weekend. Great heavy synth music with a groove, amazing light shows, and a really strong vocal performance had the audience entranced for her entire set. From start to finish it was simply amazing and the songs were all great. Hopefully she comes and plays here again, either at the fest again or a show of her own, because she really stole the show!

Paul Barker’s long-running solo project, Lead Into Gold, made a return appearance. This time Paul wasn’t flying solo, he had another musician on stage with him handling guitar duties and other electronics. The duo played a 45 minute set of great, and mostly recent Lead Into Gold material, but they ended their set with “Faster Than Light” it was a great set, one of his best, whose only flaw was they once again didn’t play “Hatred’! That’s the best Lead Into Gold song ever. Paul, if you are reading this, PLEASE add this song to your set when you tour in November!

Godflesh made another return to Cold Waves. This may be their third one now, but maybe it was only the second. The two band members each stood in the front corner of the stage in the dark while the entire middle was wide open. There was visuals being displayed on the big screen behind them, but you could hardly see the band members at all on the stage in the darkness and extremely low backlights. This made photography pretty near impossible. What they lacked in the ability for the audience to see of them, the crowd had no problem hearing them as they pummeled the Metro with their trademark industrial fused metal. The songs were pounding, and heavier than you can imagine, and they knocked everyone on their ass. They played a bunch of newer material, but busted out a few old favorites from Streetcleaner to end the night, all of which sounded incredible. The rendition of “Like Rats” has never sounded heavier, it was awesome!

After an hour of relentless heaviness, Godflesh said thank you and left the stage, closing the final night of the 11th Cold Waves Festival. It was a pretty amazing weekend with a really diverse selection of bands. It’s going to be a long year waiting to do it all again next year!


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