Big Day Out 2007 - Sydney
If there’s one thing that the Sydney Big Day Out 07 certainly held true to, it was the fact that it certainly was a Big Day Out. Not only a test of stamina and fluid consumption, the Big Day Out (as in previous years) once again set itself the challenge of boggling the aural sensibilities of not only paying guests, but almost anyone within a 10km radius. A challenge it easily achieved- despite a generally more apathetic attitude from the blasé ‘musos’ of Sydney festival-goers.
So let’s start at the...start.
11am- The usual early starters graced the stages to a small but hardcore crowd-acts included Triple J’s most recently unearthed NSW winner Richard in Your Mind at the Local Produce Stage- all reports were in the green despite the unforgiving time-slot.
Those who arrived keenly enough to see the first cabs off the rank fairly quickly forgot their initial gusto for seeing as many bands as possible, and having left their carefully planned personal timetables, headed straight for the bar. And so began the mediocrity of the afternoon sets.
But what a lovely surprise: some of the highlights of the entire day occurred in this otherwise very forgettable time-lost- most notably by Trivium, who managed to win both friends and influence with their wide-eyed concoction of metal and hard rock. Other head turners included the pop-flavoured but soulful sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone, Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males and Evermore- who managed to score a spot on the blue stage backing on to My Chemical Romance.
All the while the beer and barbeque crowd enjoyed the accommodatingly mild Summer weather, the Boiler Room was seducing a slightly different but no less committed audience. Beginning with DJ James Taylor, the sound didn’t miss a beat till the close of business with the Crystal Method DJs some twelve hours later- despite a fairly motley mix of acts filling the interim hours. The decision to include Lily Allen in all this was interesting to say the least- Allen whose decidedly poli-pop take on social justice issues in the real world would generally not have resonated so well with the traditional dance-fuelled crowd attracted by the usual Boiler Room acts. Allen managed to straddle the divide very well though- particularly after a few chance comments on the manners of the Jet men. The slow-down of bpms didn’t seem to detract in any way from the crowd’s sense of fun.
Almost simultaneously, My Chemical Romance dominated the Blue Stage dressed in Beatle-esque frock coats and epaulettes. Yes the crowd was young, dressed in black and had quite cool hair- but for all the distress about emos and their increasing control of the pop scene, the show was pretty good- despite a few tortured takes on modern life for the young and empty.
The arvo highlights by far though had to be heard in the Hot House, which between 5 and 9pm showcased everyone from Diplo to Lupe Fisaco- topping it all off with the fantastic Shapeshifter from New Zealand at 10:30pm. Spank Rock was typically naughty but all in good faith, and certainly heightened the mood for Diplo and Hot Chip- whose feel-good rhythms were beating almost exactly in time to the hearts of the punters by the time they rounded off at 8pm.
Meanwhile, the biggest disappointment was probably Jet- who played a lacklustre show to a fairly apathetic audience- they did have the dinner slot though….
The culmination of the day’s blood, sweat and