GOLD COAST PARKLANDS SUN. JAN. 23
Kicking off Big Day Out action at the Converse Essential Stage was New Zealand's The Naked and Famous.
The tent was filled to the brim with eager festival heads, including a collection of gents who had let their girlfriends' backsides take up residence on their shoulders. Ahh, modern-day chivalry.
Also at the Converse Stage, a barefoot Megan Washington pumped out a series of crowd favourites, while a new song was warmly welcomed by the audience - but did anyone else pick up on the uncanny likeness of Washington's 'Plastic Bag' to Laura Marling's 'Rambling Man'? Waiting at the Green Stage for Grinderman, I got the feeling that a lot of people would be crossing entries off their bucket lists after seeing 'the man', Nick Cave, in action. Cave did not disappoint, and neither did Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey or Jim Sclavunos. An adoring audience was treated to unbridled live versions of 'Worm Tamer', 'Love Bomb' and 'Get It On'.
By: Jodie Grinsted
With an image of a strange half-human, half-lizard face on the stage screen, South African hip hop DJ group Die Antwoord unleashed themselves upon the audience. Though not as obscene as one might have expected after watching the groupâ€™s YouTube videos, Die Antwoord were nonetheless amazing to see in the flesh. With pinpoint vocals and an orgasmic amount of bass, the group kept the audience captivated until the end of the set.
The same cannot, unfortunately, be said for Iggy Pop, whose frail, gyrating-old-man body inspired sympathy rather than a punk rock passion to rebel. That said, the performance was solid, and Mr Pop seems to be still having a lot of fun entertaining punters, so I canâ€™t really be too harsh on him. Another slight disappointment, and Iâ€™m aware I may be lynched after writing this, was Tool. Poor vocals and a complete lack of interest from lead singer Maynard left a sense of confusion and bewilderment amongst the crowd, with many a call of â€œturn up the vocalsâ€ being yelled at the stage.
By: The Blue Monkey
The Big Day Out is always a mixed bag of bands, clashing set times, dust, dagwood dogs and way too many sweaty shirtless men. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics Zeros managed to restore my faith and have me believe that smocks and top knots on a man are sexy. Speaking of psychedelic, which we werenâ€™t but you wouldâ€™ve been after seeing Sia in her Gaga-esque homemade costume, (courtesy of Crazy Clarkâ€™s and her two friends).
Resplendent in striped jumpsuits, her band provided both romantic opportunities (she pointed out which were single and which werenâ€™t) and the musical platform for Sia to jump off. Which she did - with gusto and perfectly pitched glorious vocals. Another girl who giggles is the sweet Julia Stone and together with her brother Angus performed a dreamy set under the hot air balloons that hung from the ceiling of the Converse Stage.
By: Majella McMahon
With the sun streaming down and the stench of last week's flood still firmly in many nostrils, it was reassuring to head to Parklands for BDO 2011; exactly the same as every other year. Despite a mildly uninspiring lineup, there were pockets of joy to be found, the first of which was Bliss N Esoâ€™s maiden BDO show. The duo (plus uber talented DJ Izm) was a ball of energy, prowling the stage, splitting the crowd with call and response and generally working it, getting plenty of bogan love in the mid-arvo sunshine as they ran through their genuinely impressive back catalogue.
A quick squizz at the Surecut Kids over in the Boiler Room saw them working a bass-heavy sound with splashes of Baltimore and dubstep - perhaps a bit derivative, but it got the young gurners in the tent closing their eyes and flexing their mandibles nicely. Back at the main stage, the John Butler Trio was incredibly well received, and from the elevated shelter of the VIP tent (nice one!), where they were actually selling full-strength alcohol (even nicer one!), tracks like 'Wrong Way', 'Better' and emotive closer 'Revolution' sounded pretty damn fine. Some poor girl had her top ripped off on someone's shoulders during Birds Of Tokyo's triumphant set, the whole thing flashed up on the big screens.
By: Holden Caulfield
PHOTOS: LACHLAN DOUGLAS