On Friday 15 Jan I attended Big Day Out 2010
This is only my second BDO ever, and this time I went armed with knowledge from my last one:
- Food lines are terrible, so this time I brought along my own lunch and dinner. This saved at least an hour of my day.
- Toilet lines are average, but usually there is one part of the stadium which is under-utilized (this time, it was the ones under the east stand).
- If there is a huge line for one service somewhere else, it's likely there isn't somewhere else.
- By default, I was very likely to stay seated in the same place for at least the last two sets of the night. I forced myself into the crowd instead this year.
The day overall went really well. The whole day progressed very smoothly, there were no big gaps of boring nobody artists, nor extreme peaks of amazingness. The weather was beautiful all day, although a little too hot and humid for some of it. I saw far too many bands - 28!!! - so this review is going to be huge.Deja Voodoo
started the day, these guys are funny.
Off to the boiler room, I caught a few songs of Cairo Knife Fight
- very cool. They played an interesting progressive rock mix (from memory). I am excited that they were recently announced to support Them Crooked Vultures in New Zealand.
I then saw a bit of The Drab Doo Riffs
- nothing particularly special about this band.
Back to the main stages, I realised that The Checks
haven't really changed much - they still play the same type of rock music, which isn't quite my thing (too simplistic and boring).
Then off back to the local stages. A lot of my friends had raved about The Temper Trap
. I can see why they are so popular, but their live show just didn't seem to work well in an open venue. As an indie band they would probably be better in smaller, cosy venues. I also find it hard to enjoy male-fronted indie music with soft vocals.
However, at the same time I found O'LOVELY
on the homegrown stage. Not many people were watching, however I enjoyed them! They were a kind of female-fronted indie band with touches of Bang! Bang! Eche!
. They aren't very tight yet, but this band has big potential I think.
At 1pm, I went off to see my first must-see
band of the day - Farmer Pimp
. I got there just in time to enjoy their introduction, and I really enjoyed their short set. The weather was absolutely brutal and I got pretty sunburnt, but my memories of them playing awesome trip hop were accurate. They seem to be a NZ version of Sneaker Pimps
- I wonder if the name is any reference.
Once they finished their set, I went to see my second must-see
band of the day - Dimmer
. I went hoping they would play another crazy, dreamy set of beautiful music, but instead they played rock music. And they are pretty average rockers.
So, I went to check out the metal band Mastodon
and hide from the heat in the open shade of the stands. It might have been that I was very far away from their stage, as they sounded pretty bad. But they got quite a lot of moshing and even a couple of circles going, although nothing seemed to particularly stand out.
After they finished their set, Midnight Youth
came on. Nothing particularly memorable about these rockers, but once again, it might have been due to the poor sound where I was seated.
I went to check out Concord Dawn
(DJ set) briefly. I saw them first ages ago back when they were only one person, and I don't think they have changed at all (in fact, aren't they separated now?). But the boiler room really enjoyed them, and they did play their DJ electronica well.
After cooling down, I went back into the boiler room to see my third must-see
. They were excellent, with lead singer Ruth being really gorgeous and sexy. Their last song was particularly memorable (it seemed to be about New Zealand?), and I must get a copy of their latest album. No wonder they are world famous in Europe.
I stayed for the entire set of Minuit, onto Girl Talk
, which I had also heard many good things about. This was also a lot of fun and the crowd really enjoyed them! They took random people from the crowd and got them to dance on-stage during their set. I can totally imagine them going off in small venues, but I was getting restless (not to mention drenched) so I went to soak in the misting tent for a bit.
We all needed a bit of a seated break, so we got some really excellent seats in the west stand to see KORA
. I got to eat cheese sandwiches while watching Kora! These guys are still as good as they were the first time I saw them at Homegrown. As expected, the crowd went absolutely crazy towards the end of their set.
We went back to the boiler room so I could watch Peaches
. What a crazy, interesting woman she is! For her introduction, she was covered in seaweed (or something similar). Removing this, she then revealed a suit of body armor for her next song. I won't go into the rest of the show, but it was extremely amusing and a little disconcerting. I lasted five songs, but had a really good time at the same time.
We then went to get some drinks, and caught a few songs of Powderfinger
. The easiest way to describe this band is that they are an Australian clone of The Feelers
- so they were good live! But not the kind of music I'd listen to by myself.
We finished the Powderfinger set and then watched the introduction of Dizzee Rascal
. Sadly we were all the way in the back of the stands, but I could tell that the entire stadium were enjoying themselves immensely. The surge of people that entered just before he started was impressive. I had only ever heard one of his songs before, but he's a pretty awesome rapper with good hooks.
I didn't stay for the whole set, as I went to check out The Decemberists
, an indie band that I had enjoyed a few years ago. They had a very loyal group of fans supporting them, but I think they would be better suited in a smaller closed venue as well. decesses2's journal entry
discusses it well :)
I checked out Lord of Tigers
briefly, and for the one or two songs I caught, they were alright.
I then checked out Devendra Banhart
, but was not impressed at all.
I went back to the boiler tent, and checked out the start of Calvin Harris
, as I had heard good things about him as well, but had never heard of him until the day before BDO. Very interesting - sort of a mix between a DJ and a male-fronted rock set with female support. I think I also need to hear more of his stuff.
Went back to the homegrown stage and saw Kidz In Space
. These guys were pretty cool, a NZ rap duo with a third person acting as DJ. They had a good attitude and good stage presence, and had some pretty cool songs. I think they have very good potential as well, and I need to find a copy of their EP.
Went back to the Green Stage to check out Rise Against
. These guys were good, but I thought the sound was pretty poor - it was far too quiet for a punk band. (I was pretty close as well!) They had a huge reception though, and I think I need to listen to more of their stuff as well.
I then checked out the second half of Lily Allen
. I didn't like her before I went to BDO even though I knew nothing about her, but that attitude quickly changed after just a few songs. I didn't realise she was such an alcoholic :P. The entire crowd sung along for so many songs, and had a great time! At this stage, I was looking for a place to sit down for Muse, but the West Stage was pretty much packed. So I decided to try and get close to the front (but carrying a bag meant I couldn't get into the D ring).The Mars Volta
then came on. I really enjoyed their entire set, though I am a big fan of progressive technical rock or metal. As I was in the Muse side of the stadium, I could feel the crowd getting agitated at the length of the Mars Volta songs, and also their craziness. Muahaha :D
Finally, the build-up for headliner Muse
could begin. I was stuck in the middle of a fairly large crowd waiting for the show to begin.
Muse were, once again, excellent live. Being down on the floor was a very pleasant experience, and I wasn't crushed by any waves of inconsiderate people (except for one). They had a wicked light show, complete with awesome & powerful lasers and gas canisters at the end of the encore. They had three LCD panels behind themselves, and they used these as digital projectors to great effect. At three points during their set, the light show was so crazy and the music so powerful, that I felt a powerful sense of amazement wash over me.
After Muse, I battled the exit crowds to try and catch half of the Fear Factory
set. I didn't really know what to expect, because I don't really like their recorded stuff - the synthy effects on the vocals aren't really my thing. But holy crap, these guys are brutal live! The sound was absolutely excellent and everybody there was having an awesome time. I saw so many happy metallers just moshing out. There were half a dozen cops watching the crowd, probably because they're not used to how metal works :P
The last band I wanted to see at BDO, I tried to catch 30 minutes of Groove Armada
. I only managed to catch one song of Groove Armada, Superstylin'
. Playing live, they had at least a bass player, a drummer, a horn, a singer and a DJ. It seemed they finished 20 minutes early for some reason - perhaps because the boiler room was absolutely BOILING. But of the one song that I did see, it was an amazing experience. I was right at the back of the room, and the lasers and lights were awesome. I can only imagine how awesome it might be if I hadn't been sober!
So I went back to see the end of Fear Factory. The most excellent way to possibly end a huge day of music. The $10 bus ride home was pleasant, and boy I was happy to have a shower.Highlights of the DayFarmer Pimp
were absolutely awesome (to me, at least - I seem to have a soft spot for trip hop).Minuit
played some really good music, and Ruth was so sexy!O'LOVELY
was the best band that I had never heard of before BDO.Fear Factory
was the perfect end to the evening.Disappointments
I was disappointed about the set that Dimmer
I was also sad that I couldn't catch any of Head Like a Hole
. I promise I will see you guys sometime! :(
I also found out at the end of BDO that Karnivool
are apparently awesome, and I missed them. Oh well, I always manage to miss at least two good artists at every festival.
Next time I need to not bring in a bag, and put on sunscreen!