Ross from Oh White Mare’s Top 5 Big Day Out festival experiences
Overall the BDO was the core (if not only) major music festival fans and prospective musicians grew up on, and especially in Perth was one of the few chances to see all of those icons up close. As such, many great experiences were had over the years!
- Getting into the after party at the Duxton Hotel in 2004 – Typical story, a friend’s sister (or some equally weak link) worked at the hotel and gave us the required intel. A few of us got in and it was pretty crazy to see the likes of the Metallica, The Strokes and Kings of Leon in person – people who were pure caricatures to us in our younger days. There was also free beer…..always a bonus. Of particular note was a rather sozzled Kings of Leon band member aggressively accusing Sam (OWM drummer) of stealing his beer, when in fact he had knocked it over himself and the rather attentive bar staff cleaned it up before he had even realised. From memory, he was politely sent to bed.
Going to my first BDO in 2003 – Looking back the quality of the line-up was insane. Bands like The Music and Jimmy Eat World were playing on side stages in the early to mid-arvo, and I got to experience the brutal live force that is QOTSA – who were touring one of my fav records ‘Songs For The Deaf’. Sam, insisted I include his 2003 semi-highlight of seeing future Collingwood and Melbourne AFL star Heritier Lumumba briefly join the Deftones on stage for a sing-a-long, prior to diving back in to the crowd. Again not to be out done, Sam’s first BDO was 1999 featuring quintessential late 90s headliners such as Hole, Marilyn Manson, KoRn and Fatboy Slim.
Discovering new bands – Always part of the festival experience and in 2006 I was hanging at The Amplifier Bar the night before, and a cool British pop/grunge trio called The Subways were playing. I was highly sceptical to learn the drummer NEVER used a hi-hat but alas, they blew everyone away with a highly energetic albeit hat-less live performance. Subsequently, I was right there to see them again the next day! Still no hi-hats though.
The leaner years – By 2012 the festival landscape was saturated and the event was starting to get tough for the promoters and to top it off Kanye cancelled. But they hosted it in South Perth on the Swan River foreshore – That was near my place and a very cool setting. You could stand on The Causeway Bridge, which was outside of the venue and see the main stage. I distinctly remember all those people jumping up and down on the bridge as Kasabian played ‘Fire’.
2005 was remembered for the massive crush that was the Boiler Room in order to see EDM heavyweights The Chemical Brothers. Looking back it was probably a bit of a pre-cursor to what became of the festival calendar. The once cool and chill EDM rave scene became infiltrated by the masses, where walking round sweaty and shirtless / being openly aggressive became the norm. The Chemical Brothers set was pretty mental though it did strike me that a bunch of punters in there were total loopers.
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