Music event doesn't change its Stripes

By Steve Boughey

Big Day Out 2006 organisers said today they were thrilled to confirm headline act The White Stripes were returning to next year's open-air concert in Auckland.

The American combo of  Jack and Meg White has been one of the hottest acts of the last three years, releasing two critically acclaimed albums, "Elephant" and "Get Behind Me Satan", to go alongside their reputation as dynamically energetic live performers.

The White Stripes last played Auckland's BDO (Big Day Out) in 2002.

One of the legends of rock, Iggy Pop, will also be headlining BDO. The grunge-y danger man of the 70s has reformed his garage band for the Australasian legs of the summer concert series, and will bring a real edge to the Mt Smart stage, say organisers Ken West and Vivian Lees.

Scottish new-age rockers Franz Ferdinand, Southern confederate revivalist band the Kings of Leon and indie prog-punk-latin band The Mars Volta round off the top acts which are set to get Auckland kids - and the not so youthful too, in many cases - rockin' and jivin' in the January sunshine next year.

Seven people ended up in hospital after attending the 2005 Big Day Out concert in Auckland last summer, which nearly 40,000 attended.

St John Ambulance said the packed out mosh pit (the area in front of the stage), and the use of herbal party pills had proved too much for some.

It was a warm day and the heat led to more incidents of exhaustion and dehydration than in past years. The usual several arrests were made over the course of the 12-hour event.

The next Big Day Out is on Friday 20 January 2006 at Auckland's Ericsson Stadium.

* LIST OF ACTS ANNOUNCED FOR BIG DAY OUT 2006:

THE WHITE STRIPES
Since their last BDO visit in 2002, our old friends Jack and Meg have dropped two universally acclaimed albums, "Elephant" and this year's "Get Behind Me Satan", not to mention an era-defining single in the shape of "Seven Nation Army". They are the rock icons of our time, topping charts worldwide and selling a quarter of a million albums in Australia alone. Their simple, two-person, guitar and drums line-up belies a huge blues/garage/country/folk/rock'n'roll cacophony.

IGGY & THE STOOGES
"Search and Destroy", "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "No Fun," "Down on the Street" – THE STOOGES' dangerous and grimy '60s-'70s catalogue was the blueprint for every punk rock, garage rock and metal band to come. After 30 years apart, THE STOOGES reformed in 2003 to contribute to Iggy's album "Skull Ring" and to play a string of rapturously received shows. This is the iconic IGGY POP and the original underground sound of THE STOOGES.

FRANZ FERDINAND
BIG DAY OUT is thrilled to have the Scots with the mostest along for the ride. Universally acclaimed as the album of 2004, FRANZ FERDINAND's self-titled debut has now been topped by the brand new "You Could Have It So Much Better" . It's more dramatic, more emotional, more three dimensional. Not just new wave, FRANZ offer a new world: rock music with style, sexual intrigue, smarts, and more plenty of room for dancing. They've conquered the world – what chance does the BIG DAY OUT stand?

KINGS OF LEON
These southern boys should charm the pants right off the BIG DAY OUT. The Followill boys (three brothers and one cousin) burst out of Nashville in 2003 with "Youth and Young Manhood", a butt-kicking debut of garage rock, boozy blues, rootsy riffs and a dash of country. Soon the uber-cool foursome were gracing the covers of rock mags across the globe, and gracing the 2004 BIG DAY OUT stage. From the first album's primal rock, KOL leapt into darker, more emotional territory with last year's "Aha Shake Heartbreak".

THE MARS VOLTA
Led by former At the Drive-In vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, THE MARS VOLTA have taken music to new frontiers over two mind-blowing concept albums, "De-Loused in the Comatorium" and "Frances the Mute". Beyond genres, they blend sci-fi, primal punk, electronic pulses, hair-raising vocals, Latin grooves and classic rock with a charisma and conviction you can't tear your eyes or ears away from. More than just a live show, THE MARS VOLTA are an experience.

Also pencilled in …

A FIRE INSIDE
SLEATER-KINNEY
THE MAGIC NUMBERS
SOULWAX
2MANYDJs
THE LIVING END
GERLING
DEI HAMO
FAT FREDDY'S DROP
ELEMENO P
THE BLEEDERS
CHE FU
PLUTO
FRONTLINE
THE BRUNETTES

BAND BIOs/SOURCE: www.bigdayout.com

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