Big Day Out 2011:
Overall a great year, the weather, for once, was perfect, and the Boiler Room is finally not a portable crematorium. act-by-act
Kids of 88 - good dumb fun for a while, but it gets a bit repetitive until they bust out the only song anyone knows (My House). At least they were smart enough to save it till last.
Ratatat - sooo goood. Loud, and bassy as hell, but it was crazy. Crowd was wild for it, and it was all the better. Only 30 minutes, though?
Airbourne - meh. I literally could not tell the difference between the songs, and the only way I could tell when a new one had started was when the lead singer guy stopped and announced the title of it, and even then it basically sounded exactly like the last, but the chorus had different sounding words in it this time. Became slightly interesting when the guitarist tried climbing the rigging and playing from the roof of the stage, but his guitar became disconnected and then I just completely tuned out.
Deftones - HELL YES. I was kind of worried prior to this, since Chino has a reputation for bad live vocals, but it definitely did not show today. He's never sounded better, and when he screamed, it sounded ten times more powerful than the studio versions. Got knocked about like crazy during "Rocket Skates". Good times.
Andrew W.K. - what surprised me most about this one was how quickly the crowd went from "passive peace and love pass the joint bro" to "ready to mosh out with mah mooster out" and all it took was for Andrew to say "ARE YOU READY TO PARTY, AUCKLAND?" Great show, though. The band was tight, Andrew was doing as Andrew does (*hint: party*) and the crowd was literally the insane crowd of the day. Lots of pushing, but, for once, it was all in good fun, and everyone was smiling widely. For "Party Hard", he got about 40 people on stage, and I got to hug him. Highlight of my life so far.
Die Antwoord - I admittedly didn't even know of this group outside of "Enter the Ninja" which everyone on the internet is probably already aware of by now, but oh my gods it was literally the most fun hip hop concert I have ever been to (I have only been to a few, but that's beside the point). INSANE.
Crystal Castles - Biggest disappointment of the day, if only because they were only on for 20 minutes, and Alice was on crutches. Ear-piercingly loud, of course, but six songs and 20 minutes is just cruel.
Shihad - I've seen Shihad three times (all at BDO), and this has to be the most boring set they've ever done. Sure, they're doing The General Electric live, and what was pretty much the entire stadium singing along to "Pacifier" was kinda cool, but man, once that song was over, I tuned out for the rest of their set, waiting for Iggy.
Iggy and the Stooges - who, by the way, was also a bit meh. He's got enormous energy, and The Stooges themselves were a tight band, but I was just not really into it at all, or not at least until he, as well, got like 60 people on stage, and also got them all to take their shirts off. Stage invasion count - 2.
Rammstein - Insane. I was trying to hide it, but the 16-year-old in me was massively excited for this, and I was not disappointed. Ridiculously over-the-top, and proud of it, they definitely deserved a slot longer than just 60 minutes. The pyrotechnics were particularly incredible. Penis foam cannons and all.
Tool - Oh, how my heart sank. Maynard just didn't sound into it at all, and he messed up some of his lines on "Aenema" (the opening song). The musical end was faultless technically, but it was really just like watching Tool rehearse. I saw them in 2007, and it was so much more intense and passionate. Where did that go? Oh and there were lasers and stuff but whatever.
LCD Soundsystem - I left Tool before they finished, to catch LCD Soundsystem, since I knew they were going to break up before they ever came here again, and oh my gods it was glorious. James and his band were totally enjoying every minute of the performance, the crowd was lapping it up, and every song was basically just another excuse to dance like a total lunatic and no one is going to judge you at all, since they're doing the same. I swear, I had some sort of religious experience in the last 60 seconds of "All My Friends".
M.I.A. - last act of the night, and she was literally bonkers. From the moment she took the stage, she was leaping about, as if her very life depended on her leaping about the stage like a complete and utter loon, which rubbed off on everyone else, and basically made the Boiler Room into one big party tent. Also, for the third time today, she got like 90 people up on stage for "Paper Planes". Best way to end such a great day.
Bring on 2012!
Call me a safe bet,
I'm betting I'm not.
I'm glad that you can forgive,
I'm only hoping as time goes
You can forget.