The Big Day Out made its return to Auckland yesterday at its new home Western Springs Stadium.
The festival had taken some time off from New Zealand, with the 2012 edition deemed the last one for this country (the 2nd Big Day Out to be declared the final one; 1997's being the first). The picturesque Springs was certainly a breathe of fresh air and much more spacious than it's predecessor... which was probably a good thing as patronage for yesterday's BDO was well up!
Of course more people means more queues... long queues. More port-a-loos for next year and a better system to get drinks would certainly be welcome. But on the plus side there was very limited drunkenness... maybe this was the plan? And the weather came to the party also, after it looked quite menacing and was chilly in the morning, it turned into a scorcher. Bound to be a few lobsters walking around today.
I started things off with Prowler at the Tamaki Stage. Prowler won Radio Hauraki's competition to play at the festival. They played a nice heavy set to start Big Day Out off with a bang as the crowds started flocking through the gates.
Beastwars was next on the list as I marched up to the Kowhai Stage. Arguably NZ's best metal act right now, Beastwars once again did not fail to engross the crowd. Bearded front man Matt Hyde was true to form with him and the band putting on a hell of a show.
Aussies Tame Impala impressed with their form of funky psychedelic rock. They noted they don't come to New Zealand nearly enough and commented on the hand written ‘Lees Back' sign that was on display in the stands. "This song's for you, it must be nice to have a hand written sign" the band yelled.
Then it was Primus. Some very impressive funk rock from a band I've personally waited to see live for a long time. Les Claypool is a master on the bass... a lot of musical wanking it must be said, but some very impressive and entertaining wanking for sure. He even pulled out the electric double bass masterfully playing it with a bow. Old favourites ‘My Name Is Mud' and ‘Wynona's Big Brown Beaver' were performed and one they say they never play but just for us they will ‘Jerry Is A Race Car Driver'.
As soon as Primus were done The Hives took over the Tui stage next door. It was about this time that the crowd became noticeably larger as the Swedish band played a plethora of hits including crowd favourite‘Hate To Say I Told You So'.
It seemed time for a little sit and a recharge, so headed to watch Jesse Sheehan at the intimate Metro Cube. Bat Country played a quick ditty first; a nice dirty blues band and featured a cracking harmonica solo. Sheehan has an outstanding voice and his blues-rock style was a delight. The tight three piece played an outstanding set and were joined by the talented Lisa Crawley for a quick song too.
I now had a decision whether to watch Mudhoney or Beady Eye. Beady Eye won out, possible more by circumstance, as Liam Gallagher and friends played a bunch of hits new & old including Oasis' ‘What's The Story Morning Glory' and ‘Rock N Roll Star'.
Arcade Fire were solid as I expected them to be. Aptly starting things off with ‘Ready To Start', the Canadianindie rockers played a huge set which featured ‘The Suburbs', ‘Keep The Car Running' and ‘Reflecktor'. Judging the people around me they made a fair few fans that day!
And speaking about making new fans, I certainly became one of Swedish metal band Ghost. With frontmanPapa Emeritus II dressed as a spooky Roman Catholic Cardinal, Ghost proved they are far from a gimmick band and played some fantastic melodic metal. I'lm sure to be checking out some more of their music this week.
Then for a complete change of things it was time for the Snoop Dogg... with a bit of Snoop Lion thrown in too. Snoop went down a treat with the fans, with him and his entourage encouraging everyone to smoke up as bellows flowed from stage. Included in the set were The Next Episode, Gin And Juice, Nothin' But A G Thang, Drop It Like It's Hot and Who Am I (What's My Name?). Snoop also commented that a certain customs officer had made things difficult for him upon arrival, certainly not making things easy for him...
Snoop clashed with Pearl Jam, so I made a quick escape to catch a bit of their set. "It's a pretty good view and it looks like everybody at the back is doing just fine" said front man Eddie Vedder, acknowledging the houses on top of the hill before launching into ‘Given to Fly'. Good crowd for PJ, but Snoop's was arguably bigger.
Deftones got things back on the metal track, performing hits ‘Diamond Eye's, 'Shove It', and crowd favourite‘Change'. The sun had gone down at this stage and the wind was starting to pick up. Luckily most were kept warm by the sea of humanity watching Deftones!
Major Lazer was the last act of the night and the dancehall DJ project proved they had a few tricks up sleeve and started the set with Lorde's ‘Royals'... who even came out on stage for a dance! Diplo took a zorb as he was pushed over the crowd.
And then it was all done and dusted. The Big Day Out proved it's back and is a festival that has been missed from Auckland's summer.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.
They immediately sold out Sydney and Melbourne dates earlier this year, and now LCD Soundsystem are returning to Australia and New Zealand for their biggest headline shows ever this summer – touring February 2018!