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Feigning normality since 1973

Big Day Out '08

Filed in: Music.

Last Friday, as well as going to see Cloverfield, I went to the Big Day Out in Auckland. No, seriously. Look, I even have photographic proof:

[Alden with T-shirt]

Yes, I bought a Björk T-shirt so that if the mood takes me, I can dress up as the cover of Volta. Woohoo!

Only having a vague idea of what to expect, I turned up at Mt Smart stadium at about 4pm, along with a friend of mine, Jeff. By then the BDO had been in progress for roughly five hours and the ground was already covered in litter, despite the many handily placed rubbish bins. I'd hate to be the person who had to clean up that mess afterwards.

After wandering around a bit and establishing where everything was (and where we apparently weren't allowed to go because we didn't possess the mysterious blue bracelets that some of the crowd possessed), we found seats in the main part of the stadium and waited. Before Björk took the stage, we had to wait through Pluto, Arcade Fire, and Shihad - together with Björk and Rage Against the Machine, a some what odd mix of genres.

Eventually Björk did take the stage. Due to the rules listed on the BDO site, I didn't take along my digital camera, so I only had my phone camera, but if you squint, you can almost make her out in this picture:

[Bjork on stage]

Björk was wearing a sort of turban on her head, with lengths of fabric hanging off the bottom, making her look like she was wearing a fabric jellyfish, but this only lasted for the duration of "Earth Intruders", after which it was discarded. Following this was, ISTR, "Hunter", which included a neat bit where she flicked her fingers and streamers shot out.

I'll note at this point that the sound system the BDO had set up was very loud and tended to distort the music a bit. Some songs were more badly affected than others - "Innocent" was fine, but it took me partway though "Army of Me" to figure out what was being played. After the sun went down, the laser show started up:


Around 9, everyone left the stage, and the audience started wandering off. As she was listed as being on until 9:10, I was entirely unsurprised when Björk reappeared to deliver two songs as an encore.

So, my memory of the Big Day Out is of it being loud, crowded and noisy. I don't think I'll do that again, but at least now I can say that I've seen Björk perform live, and perhaps she'll come back to New Zealand some day to do a solo concert.

Posted January 23, 2008 8:35 PM

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