Monday, 28 January 2008

Melbourne Big Day Out 08

This was the second Big Day Out I've attended in Melbourne; the first was back in 2001.

This time it was a Flemmington Racecourse, and I must admit I prefer the old Showgrounds (and moreover, Adelaide Showgrounds) because there's hardly any shade and no where nice to sit. The stages are miles apart, and you have to walk pretty far between them.

There were a few things different - they had a single entry to the 'D' - basically the area right at the front of the stage, and prevented people entering when it was full. This meant I didn't get anywhere close to the stage at any time. They had drink tickets, but this time they sold them in lots of 10 for $30, and drinks were 1 ticket for water, 2 for beer, and 3 for spirits, which works out really well when you think about it.

But I had a really fun time.


Got there for Muph & Plutonic and they were heaps good... ;)

Midnight Jugernauts were meh, and didn't excite me in the slightest, so I wandered around and heard a local Melbourne group called Mammal, who weren't too bad.

Dizzee Rascal got me bouncing, and performed lots of stuff from English & Mathematics. He closed with Stand Up Tall, which I love.

Hilltop hoods started with a couple of covers - "Just To Get By" and "It's All Good", then dropped into their usual set. They had a singer and the string quartet with them as well, but I was a bit disappointed they didn't do any of the songs they wrote about Adelaide - "City of Light", for example.


Grinspoon annoyed me because they didn't even say hello to the audience - not that I heard anyway, so I grabbed a beer and did a wander. Managed to catch a little of Billy Bragg and I'm such a little commie that I was singing along to it, knowing all the words.

After him I popped over to the Lillypad and caught some of Dexter's Gorilla Step, which is a lot of fun. Dexter DJs whilst drummers drum on logs, and dancers dance around like gorillas, but in hiphop / break dance battle style. It's really cool.


Tom Morello is a funny guy. His banter between songs really humanised him. He did an acoustic cover of "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", changing the lyrics to be all about the evil that is George Bush. He then said "Not bad for a guy who's been digitised for Guitar Hero III" and proceeded to tell the crowd how crap he is at the game. He was quite folky, and I'm sure it would have put a lot of typical rage fans off, but I liked it. At the end he told everyone to go download his album, saying "we sold so many of that Rage Against the Machine record that it doesn't matter".


However, most of the day I felt like something was missing, and it wasn't until UNKLE Live came on that I realised what it was - straight up rock! Most of the acts I had seen were hiphop or folk, and when UNKLE came on and proceeded to rock I was really surprised and really happy. They reminded me a lot of Depeche Mode actually, and the lighting in the boiler room was top shit!

Krafty Kuts and Dynamite MC played after, and I gotta hand it to Krafty, he certainly knows how to rock the festival crowd. I wasn't really feeling it though, so wandered to the bar and chatted to some randoms (Melbourne is so friendly and so full of freaks it's awesome!) and then caught 5 minutes of Pegz, who was rocking his home crowd well.


I made my way over to the blue stage in preparation for RATM, so caught most of Bjork. I really enjoyed her set, although lots of people around me whinged like little bitches about her playing right before Rage. The video showed her horn section jumping around, and the freaky instruments she uses. One was this large round touchscreen that you put cups on, and the different cups have different sounds, and the closer they are the different frequencies they make. Really interesting and I want one! (I've since found out it is a ReacTable)

Then Rage Against The Machine came on, and if I was lamenting the lack of rock, they fixed it for me. Playing all their hits, they simply smashed it. Although I got to take issue with one thing - Zac had a rant about the system, as he is want to do. It's all well and good to rant about "the system" comrade, but "the system" is the thing that's got you in front of 50,000 people singing and earning millions instead of doing an honest day's work... But it's only a minor gripe and I love the commie bastards.

Things got a little out of control in the crowd too - there were people up on the roof of the bar tent, people on the scaffolding, people in trees, and security and cops couldn't do much, although I saw one security dude just laying into one of the crashers. Not good.


But all in all it was a pretty good Big Day Out, although I think I might head to Adelaide next year, for the simple fact that there are nice places to sit and see the action, unlike at Flemmington, because my legs and feet are fucking killing me right now!

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