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Big Day Out 2010

Posted by craigz , 12 July 2011 · 2805 views

Date: Sunday, 31st Jan 2010
Venue: Claremont Showgrounds
Reviewer: SoulSour

For images from this review visit the new perthbands.com gallery section!

For those of you who have never been to the Big Day Out Festival at Claremont Showground, it is truly the king of all Australian festivals. 2010 was the festivals eighteenth year and it was just as huge and beastly as ever.

Generally the day starts at about 9am for most punters who don't hesitate in finding the best bit of concrete to park their still drowsy butts on before gates open. It's at around this time that you really see the professional festival goers; they've all packed light, are wearing sensible(ish) clothing and are starting to apply their first round of sunscreen.

At around 10:30am the line starts to move and security checks promptly ensue. Everyone is slightly irritable now as they're itching to get inside and its starting to get hot. (Warning to all future festival goers: Security checks involve throwing out sunscreen, food, water, aerosols, perfumes, deodorants and anything else staff feel necessary. Aerosols - "They're not called flame throwers for nothing".)

At 11am there is a steady stream of punters through the gates - this year the crowd is 40,000 scantily clad young girls and sweaty shirtless boys strong. The first bands are starting to play and the sun is starting to sear the skin of the crowd. It was my first BDO and upon taking 10 minutes to walk around the main area I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of this musical playground the masters of music festivals had created.

Sugar Army kicked off the festival on the Orange stage with kicking drum solo's and Placebo-like vocals. The four-piece drew a good crow and preformed well considering the earliness of the set.
I left mid way to check out local group The Emperors - I was not disappointed. They had some serious kick assness to them. I can't wait to see them live again.

The morning's honourable mention goes to Human Extinction Project. Personally I'm not really into this kind of metal but I felt glimpses of enjoyment when this band played. Their crowd was just 15 people strong but they still gave it their all.

There were several bands I was keen to see and Bluejuice was one of them. In true crazy Aussie style the whole band wore bright yellow jumpsuits and they even bought, what looked like, giant blue tongue lizards out on stage with them. The suits didn't look the like they were coolest attire on such a hot day however Bluejuice still had an amazingly energetic stage presence - I'm pretty sure I didn't see them stop dancing once.

Over on the Green stage Lisa Mitchell had a great chilled out performance with her soft sweet voice and innocent stage presence. Lisa got crowd clapping through 'Clean white love' - overall quite a shy performance but a great relaxed smooth south with electronic keys added in, I loved it.

It was in the VIP room over a Chicken Treat lunch that I sat back on a bean bag and watched Karnivool, Mastodon and Kasabian. All drew massive crowds but I was particularly pleased to see British rockers Kasabian perform Shoot the Runner and Where Did All the Love Go? - This made my afternoon.

The Temper Trap was a very popular gig gathering a huge crowd. The group's reputation has recently taken off and everyone really got with the performance of Sweet disposition. I'm a fan of the distinct sound and vocal range from the lead singer giving that signature sound along with deep drum beats and the odd organ keys. In classic festival style one guy from the crowd made it onto the roof to cheer everyone on and moon everyone on his way down.

As the day went on huge numbers poured into the Claremont Showgrounds filling the venue to a point where it was hard to move. The additional areas such as the markets, rides, Lily World (the crazy area for DJ's, fire juggling, cocktail slushy's, crazy costumes all in a Mexican Day of the Dead themed atmosphere) and Silent Disco (where punters can dance, jumping, clap and singing away to music everyone else can't even hear) gave everyone so much to explore. BDO is so much more than a music festival. It's probably an unwritten law that if you say the ‘B' word (bored) then you're instantly thrown out.

The honourable mention in the second half of the day goes to local heroes Eskimo Joe. Kav introduced the band as ‘Eskimo Joe from Fremantle, Western Australia' which sent an obviously proud Perth crowd wild. They opened with the recent hit Foreign Land and continued on with hits off their latest album Inshalla. I was surprised to hear them play older tracks such as Don't Let Me Down, From the Sea and Sarah, which the crowd appeared to really appreciate.

As the afternoon moved on Passion Pit conquered the Converse Essentials stage where their performance was by far the most talked about, dubbed as the one to see.  Unfortunately, when I got there the Robinson Pavilion was packed to the rafters - there was no way in, and for some people, no way out. I listened to them for a while and I was pleased with what I heard, the sound wasn't the great up the back but most people seemed to be enjoying it.

By about four o'clock in the afternoon it was apparent that if you didn't have a front row position in the crowd and weren't willing to stand for the next 5 hours to keep it... you weren't going to get one. So I headed back up to VIP - it was time for a well earned beer and Dagwood Dog. By this stage I was very sunburnt and feeling quite sorry for myself. I had spent $50 on water and 2 meals and I was still feeling quite dehydrated and hungry. That's just festivals for you.

As I nestled in to my bean bag close to an open window the Hill Top Hoods graced the stage with their presents. The Hoods were super energetic, as usual, jumping and running around stage, there were even a few push ups at one point. Suffice to say they engaged the crowd well. The down side to having all that energy is that it often makes hip hop/rap lyrics sound shouted, not good considering the sound quality for the Orange stage was already quite poor. Nevertheless The Nose Bleed Section still blew my mind.

Dizzee Rascal really had the crowd jumping away with his popular beats - like the crunchy sounding Bonkers and Holiday. In true Dizzee style he had a go at a crowd member for throwing a punch mentioning "You have to look after one another, you can't just punch people in the face".

The highlight of my day had to be the gorgeous Lily Allen. I sat, watching her in awe as she took to the stage in true glamourzon style, sparkly dress and all. The diva did not hesitate to take to smoking and drinking on stage as she did a rendition of Brittany Spears' Womanizer. She did many a costume change as her set went on, her small voice trying desperately to carry hits such as Fuck You, The Fear, Who'd have Know, I Could Say and Everyone's At It (my personal favourite).

Calvin Harris had a few sound difficulties as well with volumes going up and down, but aside from that everyone seemed to have a great time with the distinct sounding produced tracks and vocals that are Calvin Harris. A lot of people were content to sit back, relax and chill on the grass as the heat started to die down as we got into early evening and take in the performance, it was great!

Ladyhawke was Brilliant, I loved her stage presence with the flowing all white hippy style outfit and long blonde hair, rocking along with her electric guitar and humbly thanking the crowd too. The sound quality was great with a really good in time band, getting a real solid sound.

The Last mentions of the event go to Powderfinger and Muse. The two most massive acts of the entire festival, and they did not disappoint.

Powderfinger have been away for over five years and in that time they have managed to become stronger than ever. They ripped through a set that included hits such as All of the Dreamers, Bless My Soul, Love Your Way, My Happiness and Lost and Running. If you didn't see them at the BDO then go see them live somewhere else, they rocked! They have amazing visuals with a spectacular light show matching the rocking tunes round for round.

Last, but definitely not least was Muse. I have to say if you had never heard of Muse before that night, you would have fallen in love. The British trio kicked off their set with the call to arms Uprising, then continued on to play a killer set encompassing Supermassive Black Hole, Time is Running Out and Knights of Cydonia.

The last honourable mention of the night goes to Jet. The band got on stage with Muse to play what can only be described as an almighty rendition of AC/DC's Back in Black. Nothing caps of a great Aussie festival the one of the true great Aussie anthems.

It seems, ladies and gentlemen, that after 100 shows BDO is better, bigger and greater than ever... and loving it.