Big Day Out today. I met up with James and Leo and we went to Southern Cross Station to catch a “special” train to Flemington Racecourse. “Special” here means incredibly packed, Tokyo-style.
The first act I saw (after spending about half an hour in the line to get my bag checked for alcohol, weapons and umbrellas) was the Triple J Unearthed winner, the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra. Their music was a mix of soul, hip hop and other styles and very good fun. We then saw Bluejuice, a rock band from Sydney. They were also pretty good, and the band members wore bizarre yellow jumpsuits.
Lunch took a while to obtain, what with very long queues. James and I stood in the line for Nandos for about half an hour and had to rush off to see Kasabian afterwards. That was pretty fun, even if I did get doused by water from the sprinklers they use to keep the crowds cool. We then had the pleasure of standing in line for another eternity, this time to go to the toilet. Unfortunately, the cubicle I went to was blocked and about 80% full. It’s a good thing I went when I did, and an even better thing that I didn’t need to go urgently.
Next, we saw The Decembrists, an American indie band. I had heard some of their music before and really enjoyed them. They had a good mix of quiet strumming and louder rocking, and their keyboardist played an accordion for one of the songs. What isn’t to like? I left Rise Against early, being slightly intimidated by all the people moshing and the so-called “Circle of Death” (basically people standing in a circle, shoving each other… totally hardcore, I know). I met up with Sam and saw Devendra Banhart. He was interesting. Very good, though. Danceable, fun, and most importantly, I stood close enough to take decent photos (all of which will be uploaded tomorrow, after I sleep).
I decided against seeing Jet and went instead to stake out a spot to see The Mars Volta, seeing as Powderfinger and Muse would be playing at the same stage. They had two main stages next to each other and alternating acts so that they could run continually and have each stage set up while the other was being used. There was a D-shaped barrier around the stages with extra security to get into that inner region, but you could also see the stages from outside the barrier. Since I had my camera with me, I thought it would be a good idea to stand as close to the barrier as possible, but on the outside. So there I stood from before 6.30 till after 10. My legs were very sore.
Mars Volta were good, even if their songs did go on forever. Powderfinger weren’t really my cup of tea; I found them a bit boring. Muse, the closing act, was great- playing a good mix of their newer stuff (which I don’t like as much but is still fantastic live), older favourites (such as Plug In Baby and Newborn) and some instrumental interludes between the songs (including an interesting Spanish-sounding one). And to top it all off, lasers and smoke. Brilliant end.
Getting home was another matter, as it took as ages to find everyone and then get out of the Racecourse. Then, our train was stopped at Flinders Street and we were told to change platforms. Typical. So now I’m tired and will go to bed and do the photos tomorrow. (I forgot to mention that I’m now sick of bogans wearing the flag, but that’s not really that important).