Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Now I know I am getting old...

As my 27th birthday approaches next month, I have been having slight panic attacks. When did I get so old? What have I been doing with my life???

But it was never so apparent as how I felt yesterday at Big Day Out. Never, ever again. I've been going to big day out for 11 years. 11!!! I think I've probably missed 3 BDOs in that time and have had some amazing times there at a number of different venues. I remember seeing Muse there years ago, Rage Against the Machine last year and many more incredible acts over the years.

Yesterday at Flemington destroyed a lot of happy memories for me.

Its been a long, long time since BDO was in Melbourne on Australia Day. I would like to think that this contributed a huge percentage of the dickhead factor at the event. I've never seen so many aussie flags/tattoos/inflatable fingers in one place, as well as the usual assortment of racist and embarrassing t-shirts ("Purebred Australian" - what the fuck does that even mean??? You might as well wander around with a tattoo on your head saying 'I'm a dickhead'). Having the festival on Australia Day probably bought a bunch of wankers out of their redneck wonderlands. It certainly seemed that way. I think that about 90% of the crowd were not really 'music' people. Maybe 9% of the crowd were familiar with the artists and their materials. The other 1% were emos.

I arrived just before Kasabian took the stage (with some very impressive double denim) and watched them play a very solid hour of good material. I was very surprised to see such a HUGE crowd at their set. I couldn't understand why so many people were there, especially since they had such an early playing time. It soon became apparent why so many people were there... very disappointing to see the bulk of the crowd leave after they played 'fire' about a third of the way through their set, which meant they missed the highlight when they played 'lsf' as their last song. This would be come the theme of the day. The bulk of the crowd were Nova/Triple M listeners, who knew a couple of new songs and that was about all.

Headed off to see Girl Talk in the Boiler Room next and stayed for the whole set, waiting for that 'magic moment'. Unfortunately, it never came and coupled with a pretty terrible sound quality, led to a very disappointing set. The tent looked great though!

We had planned to see a bit of midnight juggernauts but ended up leaving the boiler room to get away from the people in there and went to see the last song in the hilltop hoods set and get a good spot for Dizzy Rascal. I had not seen Dizzy since I lived in London, just after he won the Mercury Music Prize. He was very skinny and British back then - he was BUFF yesterday. It was kinda weird! He played a bunch of stuff from Boy in da Corner, including 'fix up, look sharp', but true to form the crowd just stood there during that fine performance and chatted to each other. Different story when he played bonkers, holiday and dirtee money. They loved that! Look at the crowd go wild!

I had intended to watch all of Lily Allen's set immediately after Dizzy. But 4 songs in, she was SO bad that I had to run away and hide until it was over. It meant that I missed her Britney Spears cover of 'womaniser'... but having watched her try and do anything original in the first part of her set (and failing miserably) meant I am not too upset about that. We ended up coming back to watch the last couple of songs (watching Lily try to harmonise her own songs was PAIN FULL) and decided to hang around and watch a bit of The Mars Volta. At least, we figured, the majority of the dickhead crowd would be off watching Calvin Harris (we did watch the first 2 songs of his set, but I am not a massive fan and was starting to get violent, so we left). And we were right! The crowd was cool. Just like in the good old days! We had a good chat to a couple next to us about if the boys would open their one hour festival slot with a 35 minute instrumental (they didn't) and how cool it would be if they played 'one-armed scissor' (as if).

They were good, the sound was good and they had very big hair. I liked them a lot. It did get a bit self indulgent towards the middle of the set, but we had to head off to meet friends and eat some food before we got ready for the evening shows. I was so fed up by this stage that I didn't make the effort to get over to the Green Stage to see Grinspoon and I really should have. Turns out, they played 'just ace' and 'dead cat X 3'! They took a poll on facebook of what people wanted to head most. haha!

Pretty soon, it was time to try and get a good spot for Muse. The only reason I bought the ticket to BDO was because of them. I passed on the first round thinking I would get side show tickets, only the side shows never came. So I bought a last minute ticket to mainly see them. I think it was the 9th or 10th time I have seen them now, and their shows are always good. But this was definitely a Resistance tour - they played pretty much the whole new album and 2 songs off each of Origin of Symmetry, Absolution and Black Holes. Nothing off Showbiz, which was pretty disappointing. Again, the crowd didn't really know any of their old stuff (newborn and plug in baby) but went crazy for some off the stuff of black holes. It was not the best show I've ever seen them do, but there is nothing quite like singing along to Hysteria with 40,000 people. They didn't quite have the same impact as RATM last year (imagine 50,000 kids screaming 'fuck you, I wont do as you tell me') but it was pretty cool. They are such an incredible act. I love them.

Lucky they played. Otherwise it would have been a most disappointing day. Then again, I probably would never have bought a ticket if they hadn't played. Hmmm. Either way, I think this marks then end of BDO for me :( The program this year stated "It [BDO] was and still is delivered to you by passionate music fans and we work hard to keep the event true to it's original vision" I guess I couldn't quite see that past all the sponsors and a badly managed event. I watched a security guard punch a dude in the face for knocking over a garbage bin of tinnies. I waited 35 minutes at the end of the event to get onto the platform to get a train out of there. Each time I needed to go to the bathroom I waited a minimum of 20 minutes. The one time we got food we waited over half an hour.

There is no question that the event has changed. Significantly. It felt like there was many more than 50,000 people there yesterday. I guess maybe that's just me getting old... But the people we talked to and shared memories with from the 'good ole days' agree - its not what it used to be. I guess I really am turning 27 soon...

And you can bet I am selling my Good Vibes ticket. Any takers?

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Tote is closing :(

Sad news today - The Tote is closing it's doors for the last time this weekend.

Click here for the release from owner Bruce Milne on

Last drinks!