Sunday, 2 February 2014

Big Day Out 2014

12:30: On the train, almost at Joondalup. Big excitement for Grouplove, Major Lazer and of course Arcade Fire.

Keen to also check out some of the lesser names, and try out some that I have hardly heard of such as Bo Ningen (Japanese acid rock).

1:30 Just checked in to see a bit of Peking Duk. Great little sample of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in a song called Mufasa (perhaps?). Then a few mins ago headed to see Toro Y Moi on the Red Stage. So far, really enjoying. Terrific summer festival sound, tight instrumentals and a very in-control front man (Chaz).

 Toro Y Moi - "So Many Details"
Looking at the set times I think I'll be bouncing around these two stages for a while, with The Drones, Big Gigantic and Rufus coming up.

2:30: Really enjoyed Toro Y Moi.  Good decision.  Have then continued to bounce between the Boiler Room and Red Stage.  Firstly, caught some of Big Gigantic.  Two words: Dubstep.  Saxophone.  Wow.  So, so impressed.  Great energy, but just so awesome to see a saxophone in a dance/drum'n'bass/dubstep band.  They played a newish single called "Touch the Sky".

Big Gigantic

Also checked out The Drones.  Their album I See Seaweed was highly, highly regarded.  Can't say I was the biggest fan, but was wanting to hear how it came out live, and I must say I enjoyed hearing them.  The front-man wears his heart on his sleeve, and belts out every tune.  Good cohesive group, with plenty of good sounds.

3:30: Caught half of Rüfüs' set in the Boiler Room.  Fresh off their success at the Hottest 100, they had a big crowd in attendance, and had everyone bouncing around.  Definitely a big one to watch in the future - predict a strong career ahead.  Currently enjoying Grouplove.

 Rüfüs - "Simplicity of Bliss"

4:30: When I first saw Grouplove at Southbound a couple of years back, they were just so, so fantastic.  The male lead singer had a cow onesie, and they were just jumping out of their skins, playing in front a festival audience.  That was shortly after their debut album, when everything was happening very quickly.  Since, they've released another great album and their performance today was a bit more measured, containing around half new and half old.  Still plenty of energy and crowd interaction.

 Grouplove: "Bitin' the Bullet"

Have just floated apart from that - caught a bit of Bo Ningen (heavy guitar lashes of Japanese acid rock), Pez (managed to catch "The Festival Song") and some fresh summer air.

5:30: T minus 1 hour to Arcade Fire.  Have basically just been filling in the time, trying to catch as much as possible.  Saw Flosstradamus in the Boiler Room - just two guys behind the decks, but producing plenty of excitement and energy.  They seem to have quite a loyal fan base, who put up "the warning sign" as a sign of collectivism.  Enjoyed their set a lot. 

Also, popped in to the "Noise Free Nightclub".  Wow - so awesome!  Basically it's a "silent disco" where everyone gets a set of headphones when they walk in, and listen to the DJing through the headphones, rather than through a traditional speaker set-up.  Very cool.  Very cool.  Definitely going to become more popular in the future, in my opinion.

In the past hour, I've mostly just been relaxing.  Had some food and sat and listened to Northlane, an Australian heavy metal band.  Not really my thing, but did enjoy the set, and so did the crowd.

But now it's time for Arcade Fire:

8:00: SUPERB! Amazing! Just wonderful. From start to finish, the band was in full swing, the crowd sang along to every song, and the band reciprocated with a lot of crowd interaction. Win pulled a phone off someone in the front row to take on stage pictures and video. 

Set list: via
A healthy mix of new and old, and got to hear my absolute favourite Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) in a majestic, ethereal rendition.

There was no encore, as due to the 1.5 hr time constraint, the band just pushed through and played as many as possible. 
Many lengthy songs, with most of those played clocking past 5 minutes, but this is Arcade Fire.

 "Ready to Start", from the album Neon Bible

Before the finale, Win paid tribute to the fans, highlighting that the band were "kinda co-headlining this festival, despite not having had any hits.  So thank you for buying the records and supporting us" (paraphrased).

Then it was a beautiful, awe-inspiring finale of "Wake Up", featuring confetti, joy, exuberance and a crowd full of people singing along.  A wonderful, perfect end to a wonderful live show.

10:00pm: After the buzz of Arcade Fire, I was not particularly fussed about seeing any of the remaining artists.  But with so much quality still available, I ventured for a taste of a few.  Saw parts of Flume (tight sound, got to hear "On Top" - my favourite of his), Snoop Dogg/Lion (good fun, plus innumerable references to marijuana), Pearl Jam (as always, loud and commanding) and Major Lazer (got the crowd big-time bouncing).  Unfortunately didn't get to check out Ghost, Deftones or Steve Angello.

Overall, some might be disappointed at my lack of demonstrable keen for those artists, but my ticket was bought for Arcade Fire, and once I had seen them, I was a happy man, ready to head home.

If this was indeed the last Big Day Out in Perth, I'm glad that one of my favourite artists was headlining, and that they delivered such a terrific show.

Until next time!

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