Big Day Out Wrap

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Between lots of long legs, ass cheeks and wafts of weed, it was one of the sexiest Big Days Out we’ve been to. Add to that a line-up of artists who ooze spunk – be it the prettily coiffed Brandon Flowers of The Killers, the in-yer-face platinum-blonde-boasting Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or the anti-college-jock-like get-up of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Keidis – and BDO 2013 was very much about “the look”.

Sure, “the sound” was there – so far as bands playing the songs we wanted to hear (lots of hits) but technically speaking, there was nothing too ground-breaking on the musical delivery front – no exceptionally drawn-out solos (although Flea came close a couple of times); no warped samples or DJ accompaniment on stage; just the tunes we were familiar with, delivered straight by musos dressed in all their alt/punk/rock glory.

Vampire Weekend blistered in the sun (lead singer Ezra Koenig, above, oddly dressed in double denim) while delivering brilliant renditions of songs including Oxford Comma, A-Punk, Mansard Roof and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.

Cream got to chat with Ezra and drummer Chris Tomson before their show and found the guys to be decidedly cool, calm and collected (as opposed to the hot, sweaty, been-partying-all-night look one might have expected). Indeed Tomson agreed that the guys never drink on stage, in fact rarely enjoy a drink after their gigs. Sober rock’n’rollers? Who’d have thunk it? Anyway, the full Vampire Weekend interview will be online here real soon.

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs looked a true treat (above) in peroxide locks and shiny yellow pant-suit that looked like it had been bedazzled by her grandmother. She threw all kinds of kooky facial expressions while letting rip the bombastic likes of Gold Lion, Heads Will Roll and a couple of tracks from new album Mosquito. Of all the performers appearing at this year’s BDO, it was Karen O who looked like she was having the most fun.

Now, although the media were peeved that precious Brandon Flowers of The Killers wouldn’t allow photography of their BDO performance, we couldn’t help but remain enamoured with he and teh band who delivered a tight performance, opening with hit song Somebody Told Me and having girly boys and boy-ish girls in the front rows screaming for more ambiguous delights.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers showed the crowd why they were the number one billed act but their show was, perhaps, predictable. Singer Anthony Keidis (above) might also want to consider changing his wardrobe since – post-Nineties – the “I wasn’t a jock at school but I like to deconstruct the jock wardrobe as an adult” look doesn’t quite cut it today. 

For us, it was the Bloody Beetroots who squeezed out the truly juicy tunes.  The Italian electro project gave us a dance party just when we thought we were all peppered out.

As for food and drinks, well the Big Day Out left as wanting… Chow Town, which promised samples of some of the city’s best restaurants, would have been awesome had they not run out of food early. And at $12 for a decent drop of Sem Sauv, we might have to start calling this big gig the Pricey Day Out.

Photography by Antonino Tati.