Big Day Out 2009 Gold Coast Review

Big Day Out 2009 Gold Coast Review
Author: Tara Kai Hammond

Whilst 2009’s Big Day Out line up contained more locally-grown artists then big- name-crowd-pulling international acts; other activities and entertainment like the dunking-pool, the movie theatre, and the ‘ carny’ style rides; all helped this years festival to be a big day out of live sun, fun and music for all styles and ages.

[photo: Stuart Blythe]

Sporting band leader outfits, The Grates to took the stage and were an obvious crowd favourite. Patience has an instant reapport with the massive crowd and has them singing along and on each others shoulders, poppin and bobbin.

Local six piece outfit, Cool Calm Collective, were that and so much more during their short thirty minute set on the Hot Produce Stage. The reggae/funk/ska/dub/blues style outfit; (that seem to draw inspiration and influence from the likes of Blue King Brown, Sublime & Salmonella Dub); created a very laid-back and happy-go-lucky-vibe that chilled-out the crowd of around 400. And had everyone moving and grooving to their tunes, without breaking a sweat, or feeling the need to ‘mosh-out’.

Electronic act Sneaky Sound System, played a high-energy set on the orange stage, (to around 20,000-30,000) and to our surprise they sounded better live and in flesh, then any other format. They played a popular set with the crowd that included hit songs like “UFO”,which had the whole crowd singing along in unison.

UK rock/electronic outfit, Pendulum,played a high energy, chunky, bouncy beat set, with a multitude of crowd favourites that had the place pulsating and moving in unison during their 50 minute set on the Blue Stage on Sunday arfternoon.

Next up on the Blue stage was Australia’s number one rocka-punka-billy outfit The Living End. Veterans of the festival circuit and always a band to play a great live show, these guys definitely kept their reputation during their hour long set. Kicking off with Raise the Alarm from their new album White Noise; they played a truly rockin’ set that also included hits from previous albums. Wake Up from their 2006 album State of Emergency; and Who’s Gonna Save Us,? All Torn Down, Save The Day and West End Riot; all from their self titled album The Living End.

One of Mike Patton’s side projects, Fantomas, played a mixed set of high to low energy, metal, classical, mash that is probably best described as a horror movie for the ears, or a mash of maniacal metal confusion that you just cant stop listening too. Not the kind of music you can really dance too, but definitely worth checking out if you’re a Mike Patton, a metal/alternative music fan, or just appreciate the peculiar in general. Lead singer and samplist Mike Patton truly is a musical maestro; using his voice as a percussion instrument one minute, morphing into a suave crooner for a sec, before bursting out as a manic metal head the next. With so many styles of singing in between that you feel like there’s actually at least ten singers in the band, instead of just the one.

After the hectic pace of Fantomas, Neil Young’s 90 minute set was a totally different change of pace. Even though he rocked out at times during his set; most of it was so laid back and mellow that I just wanted to lay on the grass, smoke, snuggle up with a special someone, look at the beautiful night sky and just drift away… to the first time my parents saw him perform, well over thirty years ago; when peace, love and psychedelic drugs were flowing and the music being made was a reflection of the issues facing society at that time, and not about money and marketing. With songs like Hey Hey, Spirit Road , Cinnamon Girl, Heart of Gold, Needle And The Damage Done , Old Man, Cowgirl In The Sand, and Rockin’ In The Free World, and an extended version of The Beatles’ A Day In The Life for an encore; Neil Young was one musical legend that I feel so blessed to have now seen. Even though its well over thirty years since he began singing his tunes; they’re just as moving, poignant and powerful as the day he recorded them decades ago.

So, after a long and rewarding day of festival fun and festivities; the day was unfortunately over so we made our way home with the huge crowds; to hopefully sober or straighten up in time for our ‘normal’ lives to begin again in around eight hours….EEEEEEKKK!!!!!!

Related posts:
Neil Young @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre – 21 January 2009