|Chief Chesty Forlock|
It has been many years since I attended a Big Day Out. The crowds, heat and drunkenness had turned me off from attending the last couple, along with the fact that there weren't any bands I was dying to see.
With the White Stripes signed on for this year, I was ready to return.
It rained solidly for two days prior to the big event. I have only ever attended two music festivals where it has rained and both were extremely unpleasant as a result.
Fortunately, the clouds broke and Australia Day dawned sunny and not too warm.
I had bought my BDO outfit the day before, going for comfort and irony as opposed to my usual heavy nineties grunge. Bluey grey three quarter length sport pants with two white stripes running along the outside, and a navy blue T shirt with a white collar.
Ares and I also opted to carry all that we needed in our pockets, rather than sporting a backpack. We slapped sunscreen on ourselves prior to dressing and he took his new foldable binoculars. He also came up with the genius suggestion of driving, rather than catching the train.
We were all set.
It took us a little over half an hour to reach the venue, whereas it would usually have taken an hour or more by train, mingled in with the sweaty general public.
Getting through the gates was a breeze because we didn’t need a bag check.
One slight hiccough was the onslaught of people jumping the fence as we entered, blocking our path. Ares dragged us back through the gates and we were free of that.
We arrived in time to see Gerling at the main stage. I feel that this local band does a lot better in dance type venues and their performance seemed lack lustre under a bright sunny sky. Much better was Magic Dirt who followed. We squeezed through into the D barricade to catch the Melbourne band perform. Hits like “Plastic Loveless Letter” always go down well at festivals, along with “Ordinary Boy”. Adalita was in fine form, growling and strutting around the stage. She did get booed for starting to speak about the sad plight of Australian Indigenous people, but managed to get the crowd back on side when she expressed “I “****ing hate that ****ing ****head John ****ing Howard”.
Being about 2 pm by this time we opted to have some lunch. The Himalyan food stand didn’t disappoint. A veggie plate for me and a butter chicken plate for Ares. Piled high with noodles, rice, salad, a spring roll and other goodies. All washed down with water, as I knew that many beers would be finding their way down my throat as the day wore on.
After lunch we stopped by Lilyworld, but nothing much was happening there so we headed off to see Peabody at the local “V” stage. On the way we collected a beer. This year Carlton Draught had been added to the offerings, which was a welcome alternative to the standard VB. There were also a range of Toohey Extra Dry collector cans featuring bands from the festival. I seem to remembering downing a Gerling at some stage.
Peabody went off. A tight set in front of a small crowd, which was perfect for the band to establish the intimacy their gigs are known for. We were lucky enough to grab a couple of seats in the stands so could watch them in comfort. A fast paced, rocking time later we shambled off to the Boiler Room, always a favourite of Ares.
We caught the end of DJ Ajax’s set and then moved down the front to be closer to Soul Wax. A fusion of mixing, scratching, drums, and guitars, all fronted by a live human, produced a sublime sound that kept the crowd happy. A very mellow crowd, I might add. Lots of smiles and no frowns in sight. People were even giving others space to move. It got hot so I removed my shirt. Luckily I had remembered to put my black bra on that day. Ares was hugging me from behind. If heaven is anything like this I’ll be very blissed out.
We grabbed some more beers and some hot chips and made our way to the main stands. I always like to see the main event from the stands as, being of small stature, I’ve got buckley’s chance of seeing anything from the ground. We caught Franz Ferdinand and the Scottish rockers lived up to their reputation. Great live show with lots of movement and crowd involvement. “Take Me Home” is still easily the peak of their performance. With a song that good, who cares?
Iggy and the Stooges was the worst act of the day that we saw. A poorly mixed wall of noise, a band that looked like they wished they were somewhere else. Even Iggy’s energetic performance couldn’t save the day. He didn’t even get his pecker out, so we had no stories from his gig to share with our grandchildren.
Finally, the moment had arrived. Jack and Meg took to the stage. She with a lovely white ensemble, he with red pants edged with black and white checkers, and the black hat he sports on the cover of “Get Behind Me Satan”.
It was dark by this time and the lighting was used to full dramatic effect, aided Jack to tell the stories in his own particular way. He brandished his guitar like a well-crafted weapon and added electric piano for subtle shades of melancholy. Standards like “Doorbell” and “Seven Nation Army” brought the crowd to life. Other softer numbers had them holding their breath in awe.
Meg got her time in the limelight with her rendition of “Cold Cold Night”, as Jack played as pared down string accompaniment on solo guitar. Then it was back into a couple more rollicking numbers to finish the set. We were all very happy.
On the way back to the car I grabbed what has to be one of the tastiest Turkish kebabs I have ever eaten. The fact that I was full of beer by this time may have helped to stimulate my taste buds.
An excellent Big Day Out. Certainly the one where I saw the most people sporting the Aussie flag on T shirts, hats and even as capes around their necks. I am also happy to report that the crowd seems to have grown along with the event, with many people in their late 30s to mid 40s attending.
I would certainly not hesitate to go to another.
that's sounded awesome. too bad about the Stooges, though. i imagine the kind of energy that made them great once is hard to sustain...
WHAT WOULD XENA DO?
are you sitting on the soap?
sometimes, you just have to say 'what the f...'
Sounds like a blast. It makes me want summer to get here quicker!
|Chief Chesty Forlock|
Ugh, my apologies for all the typos in that report.
I did read it through before I posted, but I think I was still recovering.
Thanks for taking the time to read it and give feedback.
Sounds like fun!
What is Lilyworld?
Yay, the Stripes rule! Glad ya got see 'em. i'd read that Jack had problems with his voice elsewhere on the tour, so i guess all that was fixed, eh? Meg sure is a cutie, ain't she now?
btw the reason Iggy was a disappointment might be cuz that was an Iggy-bot. Lotta times only the bots make it Down Under. So you get Iggy-bot, Naomi-bot...but at least you got the real Ame!
|Chief Chesty Forlock|
Read again, lad. I said IGGY was the only good part of the Stooges set.
It's all real down here - Iggy, Naomi, Ame. What more could we want?
Franz Ferdinand and the White Stripes?
add in decent beer and it sounds like a little bit of heaven--or at least the good neighborhood of Hell.
Cool report. That sounds like a damn fine time. Was the set up anything like the Austin City Limits Fest? Was just wondering how they did things there?
|Chief Chesty Forlock|
The set up is different to ACL in the following ways:
* No chairs are allowed. No one takes blankets.
* Instead of a big grassy area the venue is a showground with sorta little streets everywhere between pavillions.
* There are fixed seats to sit on in the pavillions, if you don't want to stand on the grass below, for the larger stages.
* There are a couple of indoor venues for more dance oriented music.
* The food stalls are owned and run by independent operators, with their own signage.
* There are organised cues for beer (although they were somewhat shorter this year). You only show your ID once and get a wrist band, so you don't need to keep showing it.
* No one takes a long pole to identify where they are standing.
* No children under the age of 12.
* We have Lilyworld.
I think those are the major differences. Similarities are that there are heaps of different bands with different acts playing music, international as well as local. There are also markets selling a whole lot of different items.
I hope that explains things.
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