30 May 2024

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Words by Amanda Ratcliffe

45 thousand music lovers from all over New Zealand crammed into Mount Smart Stadium last Friday for what I reckon was one of the most impressive BDO’s it has ever seen – it’s true!  Read on…

Over the past few months, there’s been a huge amount of interest surrounding Auckland’s very own Pop Strangers.  The three-piece have come a long way in the time that they’ve been together, so I shouldn’t really have been surprised that they were amongst the kids sporting the Local Produce stage this year.  Catching them at 11 was easier than I thought as we sat in the already beating sun to see what the lads had on offer.  To be honest, I wasn’t that moved by the performance, as they really just got on with the job.  Probably the most memorable moment was watching front man, Joel Flyger climbing up the railing at the side of the stage, but even that wasn’t mind-blowingly awesome.  In saying all that though, I’d really like to see these guys perform at a more intimate venue where they are comfortable enough to let loose with their obvious potential.  For a first go at a major event, I spose they did all right.

Catching the end of Deja Voodoo was pretty funny for two reasons.  One: Because I knew all the words to the songs they were belting out, and Two: Because I enjoy watching bogans getting into it, and there were plenty to be found, hanging out yelling along to hits like Jack The Ripper and Punisher which features on their latest album, The Shape of Grunge to Come.  From where I was standing I couldn’t really see a lot, but the crowd provided plenty of entertainment, so I wasn’t too fussed.  Other clear favorites they finished up with were P, Can’t Do What (I Wanna’ Do), Beers and crowd pleaser every time, Feelings.  Dirty dirty boys.

Next door on the Blue Stage, Devonport boys, The Checks began their set keeping the crowd reasonably tame until they got into radio hit, What You Heard.  That resulted in a mass of pushing and shoving, and to be honest with you, I got pretty brassed off.  Yip – brassed off.  I was willing to get in a fistfight with a bunch of kids pushing their way to the front.  But instead I managed to fuck them up by quietly kicking the shit out of them until they moved their fluro covered asses.  With that out of the way, it was time to get in there and enjoy what the lads had to offer.  We were treated to Isabella, Get Off The Stage Man, Take Me There, and personal favorite – Ballroom Baby off their superb album, Alice By The Moon.  The last year they performed at BDO I was disappointed with their lack of energy and enthusiasm that they’re so well known for, but there was none of that this time round.  They were pure rock n’ roll and are well up there on my list of favorites for the day.

After hearing all about Passion Pit on George FM, it was an absolute necessity to head on over to hear their sweet sweet tunes.  Of course the Green Stage area was packed out, so hanging on the other side seemed like a pretty good option.  From what I did manage to see, these guys looked fabulous, and really got the crowd going with songs like The Reeling and To Kingdom Come off their debut album, Manners.  They were a sweet treat and a lovely surprise, as I can’t say I know many of their songs.  Yet.  As if that wasn’t enough, the people of the Pit were wonderful – there’s no way I would have had to get my kick on with that lot.

The Horrors were gracing the signing tent this year, and seeing that I wasn’t able to see them at the same time as Kasabian, I went on over to have a look at the lads up close.  MmmMmm…
Now, I do try to be a nice person most times, but there are moments when the bitch in me comes out, so if you don’t like the thought of that you may as well head on to the next paragraph now…But for all of you assholes out there, picture this:  Two fifteen-year-old girls sitting at the foot of the platform waiting for the lads.  Crying.  Overwhelmed at the thought that they were moments away from meeting their idols(?).  They finally get to have their stuff signed, and they both just stood there crying.  To The Horrors.  One of them nearly fainted as she was dragged out of the way.  Half an hour later – still crying.  What the hell?  I bet they feel like absolute dicks now, and good job – so they should.  The guys didn’t seem too bothered by it though as they politely greeted all the other kids who had most likely been lining up for hours.  I’m so gutted that I couldn’t see them on stage.  I bet they were amazing.

After a bit of pottering around, I caught the end of Midnight Youth down at one of the main stages, and as always, they were fabulous as they effortlessly belted out their tunes off The Brave Don’t Run. 
Jeremy Redmore sure knows how to sing - proving it with perfect versions of The Letter, and a particular favorite, Benjamin.  Watching Scott Oscroft was also quite the treat as he smiled and chuckled his way through the last of the fifty-minute set – obviously having a brilliant time.  Finishing up with All On Our Own, it was wicked to hear the crowd singing along and really getting into it. 

UK rockers, Kasabian were next to grace the Blue Stage, and as they strutted out, it was made very clear that these guys expect nothing but the best from their audiences.  In turn you get one hell of a show filled with energy and professionalism making all the other acts so far feel miniscule.  To my absolute delight, Vlad The Impaler kick-started a set dripping with confidence and power as Meighan glided around like he owned the place.  He definitely owned the crowd with his charisma as he got everyone clapping and singing to Underdog off the lads’ latest album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.  Naturally, Shoot The Runner was a massive hit along with Empire, but what really gained my attention was song-writer, Sergio Pizzorno and his stunning vocals scattered throughout the set which was an unexpected treat for all.  Fast Fuse was just that, and again proved how tight this act is.  Ending an epic performance with Clubfoot was brilliant – these guys are as solid as they get, and I’d love to see them in their own concert one day.

After a quick hello to Dizzee Rascal (not really, but I did see his happy little face as he was seated at the signing tent), it was time to jive to the popular Pip Brown, AKA, Ladyhawke.  Again I only caught the end of this one – which makes me sound like a real lazy ass, but it was enough to hear the hits off her debut album like Paris Is Burning and Magic.  Yay!  She looked and sounded fabulous and drew in a huge crowd – hence the reason I only saw her last few songs.  I imagine if she plays BDO in a couple of years time, that blonde cutie will be on one of the main stages making us kiwis proud.

On the stage next door, The Veils began their beautiful show with Not Yet off their popular album, Nux Vomica, which was followed by The Letter.  Front-man Finn Andrews wooed the crowd with his unique and emotional vocals that are so loved by fans all over.  As the sun finally started to go down, the gorgeous four-piece got into Jesus For The Jugular which was a clear hit with the audience who were now swaying in the afternoon sun.  Sadly it was time to find a spot in amongst it for headliner, Dizzee Rascal, and after beating our way through the crowds, we settled for a spot in the stadium.  Not my first choice, but pretty much the only choice that came without getting trampled on.

The minute he came on stage though, those thoughts went out the window and were replaced with delight as he cheerfully ran around the stage.  The crowd looked incredible bouncing up and down with hands and arms in the air praising the genius before them.  The Rascal got the entire stadium from the front to the back pumping with tunes off Tounge N’ Cheek like Road Rage and Dance Wiv Me, before getting into some older hits.  I can’t applaud this guy enough for the raw energy that comes with a set like this, and I can say without a doubt that this was the highlight of the event for me.  Definitely one of the most memorable shows I’ve experienced at BDO over the years, and that’s a lot.  The last couple of songs for the one-hour set were Holiday and Bonkers – making the sea of heads go absolutely mental.  To be honest, I was really grateful that I wasn’t amongst it because I imagine that there would have been a few bruises in the making with that performance.

Ms. Lily Allen was next on the bill who looked stunning in her handsome pink (most likely Chanel) dress and signature high-heels.  Clearly the cameramen thought she looked pretty damn hot too - taking shot after shot of her figure for the crowd to enjoy as she opened with Everyone’s At It and LDN.  This gal is pure talent and has a fabulous way with connecting with the audience, and as she sung 22 it was pretty obvious that she’s the real deal.  No wonder so many girlies have a crush on her (including myself).  This grew even more as she performed the Kaiser Chiefs’ Oh My God.  Brilliant.  Following on with Smile and The Fear she had the crowd singing along, before hitting another cover – Brittney Spears’, Womanizer.  The most outstanding moments came with her radio hit, Fuck You which started out with a little speech about the song being dedicated to ‘whoever you want’, before pointing to a man in the crowd and saying, ‘You sir.  Fuck you.’  Chuckling her way through whilst flipping the bird, it was awesome to see her having fun with it.  What a diamond...

The last act of the day on the Blue Stage was the super stars that are Muse.  I’ve seen them a few times now, but this show definitely topped the others with incredible graphics laid out over three massive screens behind them.  Usually I’d stick to the front, but with a light show that they’re so well known for, I settled for the back to feel the full effect and goddamn, it was worth it!  Playing tunes off their last couple of albums like Uprising and Super Massive Black Hole was a perfect way to get into the legendary tight set that the band are so admired for.  Team that up with a laser / light show, and you’ve got yourself one epic set that will not be forgotten in a hurry, that’s for sure.  Starlight had the whole crowd clapping – right to the back, giving me goose bumps from all the excitement!   Lucky I didn’t cry about it like those stupid girls earlier in the day.  Pah!  Ending their amazing performance with Knights Of Cydonia and Plug In Baby, these guys proved that the only way for them is up.  Imagine what they’ll be doing in the years to come with technology the way it’s headed?

With all that to try and process, it was high time for a cup of tea and a lie down after the biggest day out.  Ever.

2010 is definitely going to be a hard act to follow.  Can’t wait!

There is also another great review that has been posted by Jevon Wright, a good friend of muzic.net.nz. You can read his review (and check out his photos) here:

Big Day Out 2010 in Auckland

Everything below is for Archival Purposes:

As 2010 looms on the horizon like a sci-fi sequel it’s time to announce what’s confirmed for the next instalment of travelling mayhem known as the Big Day Out.

This time around we intend to deliver a monster series of shows designed to put a smile on your face. The biggest party in the world featuring what we believe is one of our strongest line-ups ever.

In keeping with the Big Day Out tradition of presenting dynamic emerging acts as well as the worlds’ most significant artists across many musical styles, we are very proud to welcome back the hottest band currently on the planet to close our 2010 event: Muse.

Also we are very pleased to announce the long awaited return of Powderfinger who will be heading up the rockin' Antipodean Contingent.

So from all at BDO to music fans far and wide we would like to present to you our first round of incredible artists.

It’s looking like a great summer.

Or as Calvin Harris would say ‘ these are the good times in your life, so put on a smile and it will be alright’

So here we are again...


The Mars Volta
Lily Allen
Groove Armada
Dizzee Rascal
Girl Talk
Rise Against
The Horrors
Gin Wigmore
Calvin Harris
The Decemberists
Eskimo Joe
The Temper Trap
Passion Pit
Simian Mobile Disco (DJ)
Beenie Man
Devendra Banhart
The Silent Disco
Fear Factory
DJ Chucuchu
Poirier Feat. MC Zulu
Dead Prez

Kiwi acts:

Gin Wigmore
James Duncan
The Checks
The Veils
Deja Voodoo
Kidz In Space
Cairo Knife Fight
Tim Phin
True Lovers
Lord of Tigers
Midnight Youth
Head Like A Hole
Batucada Sound Machine
Farmer Pimp
Tahuna Breaks
House Of Shem
Concord Dawn
The Drab Doo Riffs
Dick 'Magik' Johnson
Elston Gun
Mile High
Nick D
The Turnaround


Auckland - Friday January 15th - Mt Smart Stadium, Maurice Rd, Penrose

Ticket price is $132 + booking fee. Strict limit of 4 tickets per customer.

Available from Real Groovy, all Ticketmaster Outlets, phone and credit card bookings 0800 111 999 or www.ticketmaster.co.nz, and from the Big Day Out website www.bigdayout.com.

For more information please see the official Big Day Out website at www.bigdayout.com

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View the Full NZ Top 40...
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