Big Day Out 2012

Stonefield, Frenzal Rhomb, Parkway Drive, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards, Odd Future, Getaway Plan, Hilltop Hoods, The Living End, Soundgarden, Kayne West, Cavalera Conspiracy and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

I have a personal affiliation with the Big Day Out, this was my 19th one in a row, so I have many amazing memories associated with this festival, The Big day Out was always the biggest highlight of my year in my 20's and continues to be all these years later. The thing that has always been the defining point of the Big Day Out is the diversity of the bands the festival manages to put on every year, and every year there are haters that bitch and moan about the line up because it isn't up to their personal taste, understandably it is a lot of money to invest for a festival if you a young person on a minimum wage. But in my opinion it has always been one the best value for money festivals around, sure things have got more expensive of the years but that is too be expected, round about 40 bands give or take a few play every year and the ticket price is $160, that works out to be about $4 dollars a band, that is cheaper than any pub gig or major venue performance.


This was my first year of reviewing the Big Day Out, so getting the perks that go along with that was awesome, it also helps when you have awesome company that enjoy the same bands that you do, meeting random's at festivals is an integral part of the festival experience but when you go with good mates it makes the day that much better because of the shared memories and experiences.


The first point of call when we arrived at the BDO was the bar, smashed a few beers in the sun and headed over to the Converse Stage to see up and coming Triple J Unearthed winners Stonefield, four sisters who smashed through a set of stoned grooves who had the Converse Stage packed out early , the new single 'Bad Reality' showed the crowd they are no one trick ponies, last year they played the Glastonbury Festival, and this year the BDO, next year they will be head lining the main stage, they have that all encompassing that would be perfect in a bigger setting.


Next Up were BDO veterans Frenzal Rhomb, who smashed their way through the own brand of pop punk, Frenzal have been hero's of the underage scene for years so all their long time fans who have grown up with them and the newer ones lapped up every minute of their blistering set.


Up next on the Blue Main stage was Parkway Drive, Parkway are a funny band to try and categorise, they don't quite fit in with the metal crowd and they don't quite sit with the hardcore punks either, but they seem to appeal to both camps, I have heard their albums and it didn't really appeal to me, it sounded all a bit generic, but live they are whole different beast, the energy these guys exhibit is brutal and melodic at the same time. Lead singer Winston McCall cookie monster style of singing polarises lot of people you either get right into it or laugh your arse off because you can't take it seriously, but never the less despite the hardcore nature of the music they have had great mainstream appeal, their set consisted of fan favourites such as Unrest and Sleepwalker, just watching this band you feel exhausted.


After Parkway it was time for another beer so back to the VIP tent for some more fun in the sun, and lapping up my temporary rock star like status. It was time to head back over to the Hot Produce stage to check out blues rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards, King Gizzard tore Meredith festival apart when they played their last year and continued to do the same thing to the BDO crowd, the blend of keys, blues harp, rock guitars and drums, got the crowd on their feet despite the soaring heat. A few of the smaller stages had been moved into bigger tents, considering the heat I'm not sure this was the best idea, later on in the day, it was ok to get away from the heat, but most of the time it was way to hot to handle, if anything I think the heat made the band go harder, they sweated their arse off and provoked the crowd to get involved with their energetic shenanigans.


After this set it was time for a food break, the options they have at the festival is varied but still quite pricey. I was intrigued to catch out latest hip hop sensations Odd Future, controversy has been dogging this band all through the tour including Tyler the Creator getting banned from the New Zealand BDO for wearing Homophobic inducing t-shirts, why he was only banned from one gig and not the others is bit confusing. I only caught a couple of songs from Odd Future and from what I heard it seemed to be all hype and no substance, broken beats with garbled vocals made for quite a dull performance.


Back on the Converse Stage was all ages' pop sensations Getaway Plan who had a huge crowd bouncing along to their style of innocent but kind bland pop punk, if I was 15 year old kid they would probably be my favourite band in the world.


It was mid afternoon by now and Hilltop Hoods were about to erupt on the Main Stage, Hilltop have a massive well deserved fan base, who's live shows have always been spoken about with fervour for their relentless energy and crowd engagement, this was no exception they belted through a greatest hits set that included 'The Hard Road', 'Chase That Feeling' and perennial favourite 'The Nosebleed Section'. It was the first time I had seen the Hilltops with a live band, the extra oomph of keys and drums added that bit more to the performance.


I was already in the D- Section in front of the stage so we just moved over to the right to get the full assault of The Living End, this is one band that never fails to disappoint, they built their strong reputation by putting on killer live shows without any gimmicky playing, it is all about the rock and roll with The Living End, their set was chock full of crowd favs such as 'Second Solution', 'Prisoner of Society' which had the whole crowd singing and pumping the sky in unison, this song might be nearly 20 years old but it hasn't lost any of it's punch.


Because it was the 20th anniversary of the BDO the band celebrated the fact by playing a cover of Nirvana's, 'Breed', not sure if any of the young crowd understood the significance of this song or not but for the older crowd it brought back many fond memories of the very first BDO when Nirvana headlined, at the end of the song they got the crowd to sing 'Happy Birthday' and then concluded to throw a whole cake into the audience. It was kind of humorous to see Chris Cheney bait the crowd waiting for My Chemical Romance by calling them a bunch of soft cocks for not dancing and singing along with the band. Myself and my friend who I was with were defiantly not one of the soft cocks we almost screamed ourselves horse from screaming along so loudly, they finished the set with blistering version the classic song 'West End Riot'.


The second head lining band Soundgarden were making a much anticipated return after a 10 year absence, I for one was stoked to see these stoner rock legends again, I had seen them twice before 94 and 97, 94 was my first BDO so I have great fondness for Soundgarden, I used to go a lot harder in my younger days so their sets were a bit blurry from then, I have mellowed a bit on my mature years, some of my friends might scoff at the statement, but it's a the truth and I'm sticking to it ha ha.


Soundgarden's set consisted off all the classic songs such as 'Outshined' and 'Rusty Cage' from BadMotorFinger, Chris Cornell amazing voice has not aged in the slightest he can still hit those amazing high notes on songs such 'Spoonman' and the dark brooding classic 'The Day I Tried to Live', Soundagarden really looked happy to be back on the scene and they didn't come across as nostalgic act for one second.


The only thing that disappointed was they didn't play the Jesus Christ Pose, but besides that small gripe it was a killer set


Next up was Kayne West on the main Blue Stage, that was my time to leave, Kayne was big mistake to some people to head line the festival, for various reasons, and for me and my friend we chose to check the metal behemoth giants Cavalera Conspiracy, this is Max Cavalera newish band with brother Igor formally of Sepultura, absolutely nothing can prepare you for the sonic onslaught of this band,.


I have a small interest in metal but this is nothing like I had witnessed before for a whole hour it was relentless barrage of grinding metal, that would made any other band on the BDO bill run away and hide, I cant say I am a convert after this, but this was might impressive. For the old school Sepultura fans they finished of with 'Roots Bloody Roots'.


After that onslaught we decided to mellow out a bit and go and check out Noel Gallagher, I have fond memories of Oasis from my youth, I never got to see them live but this was the second best thing, Noel played a half a set of new songs from his new album called Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds interspersed with Oasis classics such as 'Talk Tonight', 'Half the World Away', and the crowd favourite 'Don't Look Back Anger', this was a perfect end to the day it, the Big Day Out is always what you make it, and to me I don't try and see everything I just go with the flow, and I have always found with this attitude I always make the most of my day.


Here's to another 20 years of Big Day Out, hopefully the next years 21st anniversary will reinvigorate some of the energy and line up mishaps that was missing from this year.

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