TF Archives

Big Day Out 2007 - 21.1.2007

Author: &ru
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Summer in Australia and good times with friends are part-and-parcel of living in this great country.

Usually, this type of summer celebration sees groups of people having a day out, sitting around a pool or at the beach with an esky, a BBQ and a stereo. It's great. It's part of the reason we all love Summer so much. But every now and then we want something a bit bigger. We want these singular groups to join together as one giant dancing mob! We want a full bar at every turn! We want huge banks of speakers! Put short, we want the ultimate summer party! We want a Big Day Out!

As they preach "ask and ye shall receive", this year we did ask and we did receive a tremendous day at Big Day Out's Gold Coast stop. The event was, as always, well organised - plenty of staff and volunteers about to help. The layout was somewhat different to previous years with a total of eight stages pumping a range of genres from "go" to "whoa". The intent was obviously to keep the massive crowd somewhat dispersed.

Unfortunately this didn't really work - to get close to one of the main stages, you had to file through a tiny gap in the barriers, meaning that most people picked a stage and stuck with it for many hours. The dance areas (Hot House and Boiler Room) were also packed but more so from the perennial festival problem: acts running over time or being late to start. Even in hindsight, it's hard to see a solution and it was wonderful to note the way the crowd accepted the problems and made the most of the day.

The music quality overall was solid. Everyone had their favourite acts, with plenty of smiling faces as people heard 'their song' pounding out of the various sound systems. Early on, the local acts kept fans happy with many pulling out all stops and setting a high bar for the bigger acts to launch themselves over. Evermore were one of the first headliners to play and their reception was what you'd expect for yet another Kiwi band we've claimed as our own (we have yeah-).

Straight after, Little Birdy and Scribe kicked off on the other main stages while myriad local acts and DJs entertained in the smaller tents. A mid-afternoon highlight was UK-band Kasabian (playing on the Green Stage) who fused rock and electronica in a fresh and funky way. With a very English 'pop rock meets house' sound and a lead singer who swaggered much like Liam Gallagher, the band really impressed. The music was new to most but memorable!

By this point, the day was running long and the fans were running short on hydration, back muscles and clean areas of skin. Nonetheless, the music and the intense energy from the people pushed us along and we all dashed to catch more acts.

With the sun on its way down, The Killers made their way up and truly rocked it! A good band with such diversity, we need to steal their passports and adopt them, too! Over in the Hot House, I managed to catch part of Diplo's very-late-in-starting set. Something like this I hadn't heard for a while and reminded me of Z-Trip when he's in "rock the party" mode. We were graced with proper party music. Mash-ups of rock vocals from the likes of The Beatles and we even caught a cheeky sample of Paul Simon's "You can call me Al", all over the top of some cranking house, breaks and hip-hop beats. A good fun set! Another dance act highlight was Justice. Pushing out solid dance anthems from the Boiler Room to a big crowd (even bigger than for Crystal Method). Plenty of happy dancing people and when they dropped AC/DC, well, you can imagine what the Aussie crowd did!

The final act of the night was Crystal Method who headlined the Boiler Room. They didn't have their usual array of instruments, synths and effectors, instead opting for CDJs. This was a bit of a disappointment, as Crystal Method are known for their energetic semi-live performances than a more traditional DJ set, it felt something was lacking. With that said, the lads smashed out a range of big breaks and electro tracks. H