It was exciting to be attending the Big Day Out again. On face value the festival appeared to be a raging success and I for one am sure of its return for many years to come. There were many high points throughout the day and here’s a small selection of them in the order they occurred.
The first band I saw was Tame Impala. They were impeccably tight and presented their set in a way that was perfectly tailored for the festival setting. A creamy psychedelic vibe oozed with feeling and in-the-moment experiences. Highlights for me included ‘Mind Mischief’, ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind’, and ‘Apocalypse Dreams’. I felt that it was all about the music and the connection between band and audience. I didn’t spot anyone watching through a screen.
Coming into the BDO I was very keen to see Grouplove. Over the past year or so I’ve grown to love their emotive eclectic pop/rock songs. They didn’t disappoint. Hannah Hooper was dressed in a skeleton leotard onesie rocking out next to her stoner boyfriend Christian. Grouplove are very tight and it is clear that they gave everything in this epic performance. Everyone watching looked incredibly happy and at peace. This is the effect of Grouplove’s songs. Highlights were ‘Tongue Tied’ and ‘Borderlines and Aliens’.
Toro y Moi
Toro y Moi were dreamy and high class. Like watching the sunset on a yacht with a glass of champagne. They cruised through their set sailing on smooth seas and winning my heart track by track. The sun was out and the vibe was good. Bliss.
Tom Lark and Lydia Cole
Between Toro Y Moi and Arcade Fire there was no one I particularly wanted to see. I went to the Cube to see who was playing and was blown away by Tom Lark and Lydia Cole. Their set was a combination of Tom and Lydia’s songs played stripped back with an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a synth and a few backing tracks via Ableton. I already knew most of these songs, but to see them executed in a new way was fantastic. The combination of male and female vocals also worked very well. I think all 30 people who witnessed this set will agree with me when I say it was brilliant.
I simply had to see Snoop Dogg / Snoop Lion. He was effortless. Everybody was into it – the exhibition of Snoop. It was almost comical and the audience loved that. I thoroughly enjoyed his set. The band was tight and Snoop owned the stage, briefly painting Auckland in a Californian West Coast haze.