Blog: Live from the Big Day Out

By Joanna Hunkin, Megan Gibb

It's the biggest music event of the year and we've got it well and truly covered. We'll be keeping you up to date with all the action as you sit in your office or at home wishing you were out in the sun catching some of the best music acts with us!

* 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. Make sure you remember to include your name


Megan, 10.00pm The crowd surges over to the other side of the stadium for headliners Tool. Security have trouble controlling the crowd trying to enter the 'D' barrier area directly in front of the stage. It seems some people don't understand the red light, green light system for entering the front section. One beer too many perhaps guys?

A deep blue lighting show signals Tool's arrival, pity I can't even see who the singer is until about mid-second song. Yep, seems there's plenty of Tool fans here as well, some in the seated corporate section near me jumping up and down on their seats.

I make the decision to try and avoid the crush and leave the stadium before Tool's set is up. Wise decision it seems, and I have no trouble finding a taxi outside the gates.

So that's it for another year, A low-key BDO for me this time around, but the stand-out acts I mentioned (Especially Lily Allen and Lupe Fiasco) made for an enjoyable day none-the-less.

Megan, 9.00pm Muse get a huge reaction as the sun goes down on the stadium. I wasn't aware they had such a big fan base in NZ, many people know all the words. I kick back and catch up with some friends now that my text messages have finally reached them. Is it just my phone, or is there a huge txt lag at the moment?

Megan, 8.35pm I'm cursing the organisers for putting Lupe Fiasco on at the same time as The Killers. Who to see?

I decide to stay put for the first few songs of The Killers before heading up to the Boiler Room to see rapper Lupe Fiasco. My plan was to head back to the main stage after a while to see the end of The Killers but once there, there was no way I was leaving.

Lupe was on fire - there's no way a 40-minutes set does this man justice. He was amazing. Loping around the stage, rhymes flowed from his lips like silk, he made it all look so easy. Fans were happy to help out on the chorus of his single 'Kick, Push'. The crowd participation a highlight of a stellar set.

Joanna, 8.15pm It was set to be the highlight of most people's night - and for the most part, it didn't disappoint. The Killers put on a captivating and well crafted set, despite sound difficulties (which weren't their fault) they still managed to move the crowd and satisfy a legion of loyal fans.

Mixing tracks from both their albums, they had thousands jumping and many more singing along.

While it wasn't perfect, general consensus suggest The Killers will be the highlight of the day.

Joanna, 6.45pm Jet and Scribe showed why sometimes even the best laid plans go awry. Both acts would have been brilliant in 2004 - unfortunately it is 2007 and their prime time slot on the two main stages were thoroughly unjustified and broke the momentum of the afternoon.

While Jet relied heavily on the material from their first album, they still managed to get some of the crowd up and dancing. The same cannot be said for Scribe who drew perhaps the smallest audience of the day.

If we had wanted to hear the debut album we would have fished it out and put it on the stereo. Alas, we didn't come here to hear the best of 2004.

On the other side of the stadium, The crowd is already forming for The Killers - looks to be a biggie.

Joanna, 5.50pm This just in.

Some stars are too big for their boots. A reliable source just tipped us off that BDO headliners Tool have pulled out of a meet and greet with ten die-hard fans.

The Rock radio station ran the competition for three months, offering ten lucky winners the chance to meet their idols. After thinking their dreams had come true, the devastated fans were told the shock news just half an hour before they were supposed to meet the band.

Poor form guys, poor form.

Joanna, 5.35pm Apologies, I've been MIA for awhile now. When I last left you I was off to see My Chemical Romance. After waiting patiently midfield for more than half an hour in the sweltering heat, the Emo Idols finally took the stage for what was to be the biggest let down of the day. Sound difficulties made it near impossible to hear the band and after three songs, I gave up and went to find me a better option.

Despite claims that traffic would flow better this year, it still took about fifteen minutes to ascend the main stairwell and get across to the Green Stage. As the afternoon heated up, the crowd became less amicable and profanities abounded as people became angsty and irritable.

After wandering the grounds for a while I found myself drawn to the boiler room where I caught the tail end of DJ Diplo and the first half of Lily Allen. Lily lived up to her lippy reputation, telling it how it is and spreading her signature brand of girl power.

She also delivered the highlight of my day when she told a certain male punter in the front row that he wasn't hot, he was actually a tosser after he spent the first three songs wiggling his tongue at her in a lewd gesture. Lily's popularity packed the boiler room and it soon became too hot for this intrepid reporter to handle.

After squeezing my way through the jam-packed crowd, I wrangled my way over to see British chart toppers Kasabian, who filled up the Top Field to maximum capacity.

Right, that brings you up to date. More news later. I promise to be more frequent with my visits.

Megan, 5.20pm I'm regretting wearing relatively new shoes as the blisters build on my heels, so I head to the St John's tent in search of plasters.

Speaking of footwear it seems like many have heard the advice of BDO veterans to wear comfortable shoes. I've seen hardly any wearing jandals or impractical heeled shoes. No, comfort and surprisingly stylish footwear abound here. Even the Westend boys would have a serious case of shoe envy over the kicks Lily Allen and her crew are wearing.

The sassy British songstress has just finished an amazing performance despite being on stage in the sauna-like Boiler Room tent. Kicking off with her recent singles LDN and Window Shopper, Allen impresses me with her word-perfect rapping, bubbly enthusiasm and her ability to pull off chunky white Nikes with a floaty little dress and look stunning. I vow to pick up her CD next time I'm in a music store.

The smile barely ever leaves her face, even while admonishing some young lad in the crowd for wiggling his tongue suggestively at her. She keeps up her chatty banter between songs and offers some advice to the females in the audience on how to deal with unwanted male attention, "I just punch 'em in the face."

She's now taken the top spot on my best of the day list.

Megan, 4.30pm My Chemical Romance start up as soon as the last note of Blindspott rings out on the adjacent stage. A relatively low key start to the set builds into frenzy when the band rocks into hits, "I'm Not OK" and "Welcome To The Black Parade" mid-set. The singer Gerrard Way - now with black hair! - gives the obligatory, "Your country is so beautiful" speech.

It's a shame these guys didn't get a spot later in the day, their theatrics and songs about death and darkness seem to have less impact in the bright sunlight.

Megan, 4pm: Blindspott singer Damien ignores the huge 'no crowd surfing' signs leaping a gap of a couple of meters between the stage and crowd. He finishes the set being passed above the heads of the fans in front of the main stage whilst being simultaneously pulled back by security guards. I don't think he missed a word of the song either! Nice work.

My colleagues report back some tips: the queues for the toilets are ridiculous, and don't even try and get up and down the stairs between bands. After spending 20 minutes in a human traffic jam crushed up against a shirtless guy with sweaty dreadlocks and another regularly dousing himself with water, I heartily agree.

Megan, 3.35pm: Launching into an awesome set of their angst-fuelled rock, Blindspott drummer Shelton walks to the front of the stage and takes a few snaps of the crowd. Must be an impressive view from where he’s standing. The stadium floor is heaving.

Becoming very claustrophobic as the crowd builds steadily in anticipation of My Chemical Romance.

Megan, 3.00pm: Lunchtime and $15 gets me some lukewarm wedges (no sauce OR salt), a little fruit salad and some water. Oh well, time for a rest as Blindspott builds the intensity.

Joanna, 2.45pm Travelling further a field I made my way to the Green Stage to check out local sensation The Tutts. Though the crowd was thick and sweaty the general atmosphere remains calm and positive and humour is running high. The Tutts delighted a mellow crowd with their upbeat happy rock and roll. It seems most people were taking advantage of the good music, great sunshine (temps in the crowd upwards of 28 C) and chilling out in the beer zone, making friends with other fans.

Megan 2.00pm: 30 seconds in the Boiler Room tent is enough for me. The drum n bass is ridiculously painfully loud! Best T-shirt slogan seen so far: on a green John Deere shirt: "I wish my lawn was EMO, so it would cut itself". Another shirt: Friends don't let friends get mullets".

It's heating up here, although the clouds are sticking around and there's a bit of a breeze so it's not overwhelming.

Megan, 1.30pm: We settle into our office for the day right in time for metallers Trivium on the main stage. "Throw your horns in the air" their rallying cry. Cue 100s of fans banging their head in unison to some squealing guitars and thunderous double-kick. A cover of Metallica's song Master of Puppets sends the metal fans into mosh heaven. Bloody good rendition it was too. Is it too early to say best band of the day?

With the Bogan in me satisfied I am off to check out the surprisingly quiet market place. Although it is a sell-out this year it doesn't feel like the overwhelming crush of BDO '04. I guess others might be having trouble with the traffic too. There's a laid back vibe in the crowd, a lot seem to be taking a break for their lunch.

Joanna, 1.20pm: Two hours after we left the office, we finally arrived at The Big Day Out. Traffic, misguided taxi drivers, confused security guards and general mayhem, significantly slowed our journey. Feeling thoroughly frustrated, the entertainment team are finally set up and ready to share our thoughts on The Big Day Out.

Our feelings of frustration dissipated when Trivium hit the stage, thrashing their raven-haired locks in an act that entertainment reporter Scott Kara described as 'mini Metallica'. The crowd became a surging beast, swirling towards the stage, goats thrown into the air, with wild abandon. Now I'm off to check out what else the vast music machine has to offer. Report back soon.

Megan, 11.40am: Note to those not heading to the Big Day Out: don't go anywhere near the Southern Motorway. We're sitting in traffic on the Newmarket overbridge. It's traffic hell out here. If you have to go on the motorway, you're in for a long ride.

Megan, 10.20am: Well the weather's looking good today, warm but not too sunny just yet. As I have a rep for getting sunstoke, I'm pleased there's plenty of cloud cover! Judging from the amount of black eyeliner-smudged faces I've seen in town already this morning, The My Chemical Romance fans are out in force. And yep, I've already seen the ubiquitous BDO fans with food colour dyed hair-dos and shirtless guys with dreads, and I'm not anywhere near the venue yet! Joanna and I are getting ready to fight the traffic out to Mt Smart Stadium. As this year's BDO is sold out, it might take us a wee while. If you're also heading out to the stadium, send us a text at the number above and let us know what the traffic is like. We'll publish your update for everyone to read. And in the meantime check out:

>>Send us your views
>>Our must-see acts of the day
>>Our favourite memories of BDO's past

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