Wolfmother at the Big Day Out
This is a little late but I've been busy and trying to catch up some sleep!
Australia day Jan 26th I went to the Big Day Out music festival at the Sydney showgrounds. A great show.
The punters were shunted in cattle class to the venue via the excellent rail system. Upon exiting the train and going through the exit turnstiles, EVERYONE was greeted by a wall of around 200 cops in blue with sniffer dogs ready to take down any of the kids trying to smuggle in illegal substances. I went past about three dogs. It was un-nerving to say the least.
Over 200 people were charged. Happened last year too, an account of the bored magistrate dismissing charges in 2005 can be read here.
Then it was to the line-up to get in the venue. About half an hour..... shuffle, shuffle, shuffle,stop.......shuffle, shuffle, shuffle,stop.........shuffle, shuffle, shuffle,stop. Soon enough I was in.
First a band report.
First band I saw was Gerling who were great as usual, playing to a fairly lacklustre crowd pity because they put on a good show. Great big balls were tossed into the audience....great fun. I missed Youth Group who were playing on another stage at the same time.
The retro 70's Wolfmother went OFF, they were great..... a huge BIG sound from a three piece and for me it was the highlight of the show, outdoing the White Stripes easily. These young guys are going to do really well if the Sydney BDO is any indication, they were put on this earth to play arenas, no doubt about it. The crowd was really receptive with the arena packed for these new guys from Sydneytown. Best gig I've seen for ages.
Hilltop Hoods were OK and did well as a hip-hop band on the main stage.
Kings of Leon were great.
Punk boys The Living End had the crowd really going. I'm not a big fan, nevertheless there were plenty of fans out there who enjoyed an energetic 60 minute set.
Franz Ferdinand were so-so........ again I'm not a big fan.
Then it was across to the Green stage to see Cut Copy who did a short but great 45 minute set. Reminded me a lot of a New Order gig I once saw but with a lot more energy. Geeky looking crowd, myself included....... I think one of the guys Mum was on the backstage area enjoying the show.
Watched Iggy and the Stooges from a distance, Iggy was his usual chaotic, writhing, manical self. How he can still do it at his age I dunno. The Stooges looked old and yet pumped out some really lets just say....... alternate.... rock. A good show.
Then the White Stripes with a disappointing, lacklustre set cut 15 minutes short. The sound sucked..... up until the last song when the PA's seemed to have found some OOMPH. But it was too late, they were gone and it was all but over.
Apart from the music, the BDO has the humanity, the sideshows, rides, freaks, normals and a great all round vibe. People will actually just walk up and start talking to you. No aggro, if you bump into someone or step on their foot, it's no problem. Considering the number of people and the copious amount of alcohol swilled, one would expect some sort of altercation to take place. I saw none except for one person get escorted out from the Living End gig and that was about it.
One wonders how the BDO gets it so right with the vibe and the cops at the recent riots at Cronulla got it so wrong. Perhaps it was a more mellow more tolerant crowd...dunno.
It was bloody hot in the main arena, the crowd was regularly sprayed with hoses, there wasn't much breeze thus, I ended up with a bad case of sunburn, some light ringing in the ears and blisters on the feet. That was the main injuries for the day.
I got home at some ridiculous hour (2AM) due to train delays at my connecting station..... woke the next day feeling a little tired, no hangover..... so I must have behaved myself!