Melbourne music fans sweated it out at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne yesterday, as temperatures soared yet again at the 20th anniversary of Big Day Out.
After the cursory walk past the sniffer dog and police stand (were there more than usual this year?) we were on our way to an epic day out in the sunshine.
Even though it was my third time to this festival, it never ceases to surprise me that it actually IS a BIG Day Out. So many bands, so many stages and not enough time to see them all. It's this kind of 'spoilt for choice' mentality that sets Big Day Out apart from the rest!
We started our day in a fairly mellow fashion, enjoying Boy & Bear's relaxing set which included their amazing rendition of Fall At Your Feet (originally by Crowded House), then moving on to see Kimbra who pepped the crowd up with her quirky dress sense and beat rocking band.
Architecture in Helsinki was the next group on the list, surfacing from backstage adorned in space age lights, to the song Chariots Of Fire -- which strangely was a song Kanye later referenced in his set. Architecture is always lots of fun, with their synchronised dance moves, synth heavy dance beats and all round good time vibe. Their set included That Beep, Hold Music and a cool cover of Betty Davis Eyes.
Girl Talk raised the mercury next in the Boiler Room, getting the crowd jazzed up with his signature mash-ups. To be honest, Girl Talk pretty much just plays through his CD for his live shows... but because they're so awesome that's all he really ever needs to do! This was my third time seeing Girl Talk, but he's someone you just can't get sick of!
One fantastic thing about every Big Day Out is that the amount of different bands on offer means that someone else can have a completely different festival experience to you. One of my friends spent the day moshing it out to hardcore and heavy music, while I floated away exclusively in pop and dance land. Can't really say the same thing of Stereosonic or Summadayze!
We did make one venture into the heavier side of things later on in the day, listening to Soundgarden on the main stage as the sun started to set. I don't really know many of their songs (surprising from a Take 40 writer eh?) but Chris Cornell's signature rasping voice drew us in, and kept us enthralled for a very long time. Definitely worth checking out, and they played Black Hole Sun thankfully, which was the one song I knew.
Really though, the whole of Big Day Out could be re-named The Kanye Show, because Kanye West was definitely the biggest highlight of the day!
Kanye epically emerged in the middle of the crowd on some sort of a cherry picker for his set, accompanied by a flurry of pantsless models singing opera. Who else would dare do such a thing?
His set was one of the most self-indulgent I've ever witnessed (cue the 20 minute auto-tuned monologue about the time his ex-girlfriend didn't text him back) but it was also one of the best shows I've ever seen.
Never afraid of theatrics, Kanye West played an epic 90+ minute set including pyrotechnics, lasers and every KW hit song that I could think of, plus some I'd forgotten (remember American Boy with Estelle?!). Make sure you stay tuned for our solo Kanye show review on Wednesday morning!
We left after Kanye, tired and content with everything Yeezy taught us. He was definitely the best part of this year's Big Day Out for me, and from now on Imma let you finish Kanye, Imma let you finish every time.
I give this year's Big Day Out 8 sweaty armpits out of 10.
Check out some of our backstage BDO interviews below!
Did any one go to the Big Day Out ?
I am doing some research with the university of wollongong to find out why music festivals are important to young people - I would appreciate it so much if those who went to the BDO would take a couple of minutes to fill this survey out. Cheers!
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