live review

Big Day Out 2008 - Auckland

Big Day Out 2008 - Auckland

December 31 2007
Shed 6, Wellington

Reviewed by UTR
30th March 2010

Ahh the Big Day Out.
Auckland's, nay, New Zealand's largest music festival has swooped into Mt Smart stadium for the umteenth time.

While it was near impossible to see everything, with various clashes etc, we hopefully caught a good snapshot of the day.

After arriving a little late, managed to catch Die! Die! Die! mid set on the main stage. They were snapping at the teeth a playing one of their most electric, fuck off sets I had ever seen. Andrew was wriggling and propulsing all over the show trying his best to elude the security, who was hell bent on keeping him onstage.

Next on our list was new Auckland band Keretta. They chimed along with huge washes of crash and guitar and at times unleashed into monster industrial moments. Think Isis/Pelican/HDU/Jakob. I must say I have a soft spot for these types of bands, and my record collection reflects this and this band did not disappoint.

Dizzee Rascal was the first large act to play the boiler room, and shit it was packed. Just standing by the door made torrents of water sweat all over me. A few technical issues to start with, but once sorted, he gave the crowd the set they were waiting for. Hip Hop on speed or something like that Dizze has taken the world of hip hop and smashed it to pieces, so that even indie kids like me can see the value.

Arcade Fire had a good spot on the mainstage at 6pm. You can tell these guys have played a lot of stadiums as their music seems to fit the mould to a T. They had, I think I counted, 9 people on stage during their set, which is anthem in itself. The crowd close to the stage seemed real into it but everyone else seemed to be waiting for RAGE.

Quick run over to the Battles, who were in full command of their jerky yet dancy band style. The mostly instrumental band seemed to be more at home here on a sunny stage than at the KA a few months earlier and it showed in the set. More fun I reckon, but maybe that was in my head.

Shit The Shocking Pinks were on and i'd almost forgotten. Quick rude push to the local produce stage showed a near empty crowd fixated on the SPs. But this is probably how it should be. All of the best bands have small audience turn outs. The few songs I heard we’re marvellous; washy guitar with hypnotic rhythm section. They came across more My Bloody Valentine than DFA but I think it suits the mood of their music. With recent addition to the band, Vaughan from D4, The Fanatics, The Shithawks, this new line up has all the makings of a band that will make a huge impact on the world scene, and as DFA boss/LCD Soundsystem from man James Murphy said to the crown during his set .. “Thank you NZ for the Shocking Pinks”. Amen

OMFG – Missing Teeth – directly on after the Shocking Pinks. Not moving a muscle. Missing Teeth are a band that should’ve been playing at the BDO from about 6 years ago. They’re killer live, fun, command a HUGE audience and have been doing it better and longer than anyone else in NZ punk. Front man Seamus McLoud, is one of the most charismatic vocalists since whenever, and sprints his way back and forth over the stage, inviting guests on and off, bantering with the audience, and the rest of the band even at one point saying to the (now sizeable) crowd “yeah I’m an arsehole”, and they seemed to love him more for it.

Bjork. Bjork.. Bjork… love her to bits. I really do. No actually I do. I don’t think her music is cut out for mainstage BDO. Way to many dynamics and subtleties going on to give any real impact. When she picked it up a little and played Army Of Me, things really started to gain momentum, but then she went back to some of her softer songs. Maybe the boiler room may have been more suited, I don’t know. When she shone she shone (loved the green lazers BTW). About half way through her set the crowd had already started to gather for RATM.

Rage Against The Machine were late to start and I was willing them to get on with it as LCD Soundsystem was about to play the boiler. You could tell from quite early on this was what most of the punters had come here to see. I’m a little surprised by this considering the time since they broke up and the tragic side projects they’ve been involved with (well not the singer). But truth be said, they did rock. Their music is made for prime time main stage. Big jumpy 4 on the floor, excitable, building rock. The crowd was going ape-shit and the band seemed to love it, maybe a little to much as it’s a little off putting see Zach smiling during a politically charged song like “People of the Sun”. Sorry yes I am the fun police.

The Boiler room. Now 200 mtrs away and 4 hours walk (of so it seemed). LCD Soundsystem are mid set. Fuck me it sounds great. I should’ve been here all along! Missed all the big hits like “daft Punk is Playing At My House” and ”North American Scum” but what I did see was killer. Full band just in the moment playing music they love and is cool, and they know it’s cool.

Best Bands:
Die! Die! Die!
Karetta
The Shocking Pinks
Missing Teeth
LCD Soundsystem




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