A Killer of a time awaits at Big Day Out

By Martha McKenzie-Minifie

Review the Big Day Out for us! On the day, send your pxts and reviews to 021 YRNEWS (021 976 397) or bdopix@nzherald.co.nz and we will run a selection of them online.

Taking it easy - that's what The Killers lead singer, Brandon Flowers, has been doing since arriving here for tonight's sell-out Big Day Out.

Flowers - an active Mormon who is said to have an air of supreme confidence - has kept a low profile at the Ascott Metropolis hotel since arriving in Auckland on Wednesday morning.

Not so his fellow band members, who have partied into the early hours at Galatos and Pony Club.

However, drummer Ronnie Vannucci headed out quad biking last night, after vowing to enjoy extreme sports on each leg of the six-stop Australasian tour of the American synth rock band.

And he seemed to be lapping - or rather eyeing - up the local sights. Asked how Auckland's night lights compared with those of his native Las Vegas, Vannucci replied: "I don't know about the bright lights but the girls are nice."

The band's comeback single, When You Were Young, remains in New Zealand's top 40 after 15 weeks.

Other headline acts at today's BDO include Violent Femmes, Tool, Muse, Jet and My Chemical Romance.

Fans gathered outside hotels yesterday in a bid to catch a glimpse of their favourite bands and it was easy to see from their T-shirts which ones they favoured.

Andrew McFarlane, 18, sailed up from Christchurch, taking more than a fortnight, to see metal band Tool. "They're in their own class."

A spokeswoman for the Big Day Out organisers, Summer Wharekawa, said the last of the bands were flying in this morning.

Yesterday, crews were adding finishing touches to the Mt Smart Stadium site in preparation for the expected 44,000 fans.

"Beautiful weather is forecast and we've got a good line-up of bands. It's going to be really great," said Ms Wharekawa.

Extra buses and trains had been scheduled to take punters to and from the venue.

Telecom consumer marketing general manager Kevin Bowler said coverage had been increased for the expected surge in text messaging and calling.

The company would also have on-site facilities where customers could recharge their cellphones.

Warming up to the big one

The Big Day Out got its traditional Big Night Before last night, with warm-up performances by many of the event's stars.

At the St James, four diverse acts played to a crowd keen to warm up for today's show, or maybe it was a consolation prize for those who missed out on tickets to the sold-out event.

The gig featured the first live appearance in some time by local hip-hop giant Scribe. He and his band are also in a prime-time slot on the Big Day Out's main stage today as he approaches the release of his second album.

The show was opened by local art-rockers The Veils, followed by Canadian Peaches - reputed to be the "wildest woman in rock" - and American folk-punk veterans The Violent Femmes.

Meanwhile, at the Studio on K'Rd it the was the turn of English outfit Kasabian, a band which many see as the new Oasis.

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