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Big Day Out 2004 - 16.1.2004

Author: Toby Hemming
Saturday, 28 February 2004
Big day Out Sydney 24/01/04 2003

Another year and another big day out rolls in to town and with dance music supposedly dying a death, its good to see even a mainstream rock show like the BDO can still host a dance stage to rival the intensity of the main acts.

The day dawned well as another Sydney scorcher promised instead of the promised thunder. Arrival at Homebush however, proved things have changed in the big day out universe, as well as hosting an unprecedented second show, we were subjected to an hour and a half queue to pick up re booked tickets. Annoying to say the least, the wait was made even more fun by the abundance of police with their friendly sniffing canine friends causing a few minor heart attacks amongst the assembled.

Once inside however the boys in blue were far behind us and happily conspicuous by their absence. A quick stroll through the boiler room saw a half capacity afternoon crowd grooving to the audio bully's with their own particular flavour of geezer punk house. A real problem of any all dayer event has to be the prospect of playing to half a crowd awaiting the main act. The Bully's swaggering charm however was more than up to the job and the faithful pogoed and sweated along with great charm.

Next up on the main stage Black Eyed Peas thrust from semi obscurity by the addition of a sexy new singer, and of course the helpful vocals of Mr Timberlake. BEP held the floor of the main arena admirably not resorting to chart favourite "Where Is The Love", until they had the crowd in their hands.'

The beauty of an event such as BDO is the ability to see acts that would normally pass you by. And retreating to the bar we sank a few waiting for the self-styled 'coolest rock band in the world', The Strokes. This however meant sitting through two hours of generic heavy metal, the criticism most often leveled at dance music by the rock fraternity is the cry that it 'all sounds the same', listening to this however, the expression people in glass houses springs to mind.

Next up were the aforementioned Strokes, who blew the competition apart with a funky, melodic and downright tuneful take on New York punk rock. Even had the cynical journalist in the guest bar up and dancing which is no mean feat.

As the longhaired hordes assembled in the gloom for the arrival or rock dinosaurs Metallica, those with the funk in their bones made a beeline for the boilerroom to catch Basement Jaxx. Arriving early we were treated to the closing salvoes of drill and bass from Aphex Twin before the main act of the night appeared. The twin appearing alongside fellow electronic renegade Luke Vibert seemed less 'experimental' than previous appearances and the subsonic bass assault certainly warmed the crowd for things to come.

By the time basement Jaxx hit the stage things were a little fuzzy, and exact setlist remains a little unclear. However at their fourth BDO appearance, basement Jaxx proved their critics wrong once again by combining all that is great about, house, hip hop, ragga, punk and techno. Providing a rarely spotted glimpse of the legendary acid house vibe that made the scene so vital in the first place they ripped through both classics and the more eclectic numbers from last years Kish Kash.

After three encores including the highly awaited 'where's your head at' the boys left the stage and the crowd happy. A great day again, and a really good excuse to experience the festival vibe without having to wallow in fields of mud, or dodge bullets, with the only blight this year being the over zealous security, BDO triumph again, with an eclectic and funky show.
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