Gig preview: Big Day Out 2012

By Chris Schulz

Reformed grunge rockers Soundgarden are one of the must-see bands at the Big Day Out. Photo / Supplied
Reformed grunge rockers Soundgarden are one of the must-see bands at the Big Day Out. Photo / Supplied

Don't forget to get sweaty in the Boiler Room, go sky high on the ferris wheel and have a mosh to Soundgarden one last time, because tommorrow is your final chance to take in the sights and sounds of the Big Day Out.

The annual music festival ends its run at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on Friday, and it's promising to go out with a bang with headlining slots from Soundgarden, Nero and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

Promoters have admitted ticket sales for tomorrow's event are lower than normal, so punters may find travelling between stages easier, fewer queues for toilets and food stalls and perhaps a little less sweat in the Boiler Room.

It's the first year officials have offered deals for Big Day Out tickets, with booking fees waved for single tickets and a buy-five-get-one-free offer on Ticketmaster.

Whether Tuesday's announcement that this will be the final Big Day Out in New Zealand boosts last-minute ticket sales remains to be seen.

But with a line-up of 40-odd acts, including plenty of New Zealand bands and skateboard legend Tony Hawk, there is plenty to see and do for those that are attending.

And with a forecast for a high of 24 degrees, with occasional cloud cover, Friday is bound to be a hot, and noisy, one.

The Herald asked its resident music experts for their advice on how punters can best spend their day.

Here's what they had to say:

Scott Kara: "The first must-see for me is local lads Beastwars because I'm picking the mighty power of their song Red God will set the final ever Auckland Big Day Out off. And from there the metal continues with Cavalera Conspiracy - and listen out for their version of Troops of Doom, a song by the Cavalera brothers' old band Sepultura. Then, a little later on grab your partner by the hand for some mariarchi punk rock from Mariarchi El Bronx. Yeeha."

Hugh Sundae: "I can't remember my wish list ever going to plan but very keen to see Cairo Knife Fight and Beastwars both filling the main stadium. I'll do my Boiler Room time early and hope to catch @Peace and David Dallas. I'd like to see if Cut Off Your Hands have some new songs on the Converse stage along with UMO, The Vaccines and Wilberforces. Then some deep fried dinner and into the evening with Kasabian, hopefully a Jesus Christ Pose from Chris Cornell and I can't help but think Noel Gallagher closing the festival up top is going to be one of those moments."

Russell Baillie: "I want to see what Gin Wigmore wears outdoors on a hot day. I want to see if Jon Toogood gets confused (because he's playing the last Auckland Big Day Out with The Adults instead of Shihad) and he starts cranking into My Mind's Sedate and throwing himself into the crowd, one which this year may not quite have enough density to support his skinny frame. I want to give Regurgitator and the Living End one last chance. Maybe. I want to see superskater Tony Hawk prove to the younger generation yet again that they should get outside and do physical stuff more, rather than be stuck inside on PlayStations."

Lydia Jenkin: "I'm hoping to see some crazy on-stage antics from ex-Mint Chick Ruban Nielson's new three piece Unknown Mortal Orchestra on the Green Stage at 2.45pm - Ruban and his brother Kody have a reputation for unexpected chaos. At 8.15pm I'll be struggling to choose between atmospheric Norwegian electronic music duo Royksopp in the Boiler Room, and the crazy mariachi punk stylings of Mariachi El Bronx on the Skate Stage. Mariachi El Bronx will win I think. And I'm looking forward to checking out one of the rock world's biggest egos closing the festival, when Noel Gallagher takes to the Green Stage at 10.30pm with his High Flying Birds. Surely there'll be some nostalgic Oasis sing alongs."

Chris Schulz: "Apart from the fact that it's the last Big Day Out ever, is there any other reason to go that's not Soundgarden related? Their third, and final, Big Day Out performance is my must-see event of the day. And with Kanye West and Odd Future both no shows, the biggest hip-hop act on the bill has to be wayward slackers Das Racist. I'll be there early for that, as well as Kiwi acts Cairo Knife Fight and UMO, which I'll be seeing, and no doubt loving, for the first time."

The Big Day Out is held at Mt Smart Stadium and will feature Soundgarden, Royksopp, Nero, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Tony Hawk, Das Racist, Foster the People and many more. The first band starts at 10.30am with Noel Gallagher's 10.30pm slot the last act of the day.

* nzherald.co.nz will provide live coverage throughout the day, including a live blog, band reviews and updated photo galleries.

- Herald online
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