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BIG DAY OUT 2013 - Gold Coast, Parklands Showgrounds, 20/01/2013
Having attended the Big Day Out festival on the Gold Coast quite a number of times since 2001, I got a very nostaligic feel as I
headed toward the main entrance, thinking about the number of great artists I'd seen over the past 12 years at Parkland's Showgrounds. Today would be the last at this iconic venue, until they hopefully find a new host on the Gold Coast hopefully.
Again the organisers had thrown up a diverse lineup, catering for young (Vampire Weekend, Alabama Shakes) and old
(Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Grinspoon) and a great selection of local and international bands and DJ's.
Gold Coast band Lilly Rouge kick off proceedings on the local stage, their exciting and edgy heavy rock tunes are an
appropriate way to get things going for the long humid day. The on stage five piece are led by fiery redhead Leah Elizabeth Martin-Brown, her powerful vocals are pefectly paired with dark lyrics as well as memorable riffs that were sure to leave a
lasting impression for anyone who was in attendance.Recent release " Spit On Your Grave" a highlight from an energetic set.
Florida punk rockers Against Me! are led by vocalist Laura Jane Grace, (previously known as Tom Gabel) mimicking Bon,
with the tight leather pants, scraggly dark hair and a bit of a cheeky leer as she dishes out tracks such as "Sink Florida Sink".
An early set highlight on one of the two mainstages.
A new addition to the travelling festival was the introduction of the robotic rock band, set up in between the two mainstages.
The three piece band (lead, bass, drums) play some recognizable tunes (Seven Nation Army, Smells Like Teen Spirit) to
warm the crowd up before each 'human' band take to the mainstage for their respective sets.
Veteran rockers & local heroes Grinspoon are no strangers to the festival crcuit, and after nearly 18 years together, they are
more than familiar with their surroundings. It doesn't seem to stop them from drawing a large crowd in the seering three o'clock
heat, starting off with "Hard Act To Follow", then including fan faves "Ready 1", "No Reason", "Lost Control", "DC 3X"
and classic "Chemical Heart". No doubt these lads have the songs to keep the crowd happy, but for how much longer will
they continue playing this all too familiar set?
Seattle five piece Band of Horses have the late afternoon mainstage set, and it's already clear before they kick off, just how
strong a following they have in Australia. This is purely based on the crowd that gathers for their impressive catalogue of
songs that follow for the next forty five minutes. They appropriately start their set with "The First Song", lead vocalist
Ben Bridwell charming the masses with his Neil Young/Wayne Coyne-like vocals, no more evident on arguably the band's
most popular single "Laredo". But it was closer "The Funeral" which would turn out to be one of the day's first of many
genuine festival moments.
Band of Horses Setlist (Sydney)
Vampire Weekend draw the biggest crowd of the day (aside from tonight's two headliner's), and you can tell from the reaction every four or so minutes from those present, that they clearly have an arsenal of festival favourite tunes to choose from. They
may not be the most most riveting band to watch, but it was the songs themselves that kept the baying crowd going throughout,
especially during favourites "Holiday", "A-Punk" and closer "Walcott".
Vampire Weekend Setlist
It's been a good six years since Las Vegas' most famous band The Killers, last played the Big Day Out. But that hasn't stopped
them touring here quite frequently during that time. I've seen them quite a number of times at festivals and in their own national tour, but tonight they were simply fantastic, moreso than usual. You can tell that they are trying to be the ultimate entertainers, as they
have continued to perfect their live stage show with each tour. A fifteen song set played out like a greatest hits line-up,
"Mr. Brightside" a surprise opener, and then after that it's just a slew of endless hits including "Spaceman", "Human"
"Smile Like You Mean It", and new single "Runaways".
A snippet of Crowded House' "Don't Dream It's Over" leads into "Read My Mind", but it's closer "When You Were Young"
followed by confetti, fireworks and a shower of fire exploding from behind the drummer, that proves the most memorable highlight
of the day..
The Killers Setlist
So that left tonight's main attraction, California's very own Red Hot Chili Peppers to try and prevent the Las Vegas quintet
from upstaging them on the first night of the Australian leg of the tour. Having read a lot of people's reactions to the Chili Peppers
set last night, plenty of them said they couldn't hear them clearly from where they were standing. I watched them from two
different places (50m from the stage for the first hour and right at the back of the field for the rest) and I could hear them just fine.
In saying that, after waiting a very long time to finally see them live and in the flesh, I honestly felt a little let down by their set as
I had high expectations of them. The bigs hits were there for sure, including "Otherside", "Californication" and "Under The Bridge", as was an impromptu jam between the band at the start of the encore,. But I found lead singer' Anthony Kiedis' vocals
quite tired and uninspired during some songs (most notably "Californication"). For those die hard fans that were up the front
and could hear the band fine, they were treated by some of the bands best and obscure work.
"Suck My Kiss" and "Give It Away" were included in the encore, finishing up their set with another trademark Chili's jam
Red Hot Chili Peppers Setlist
Review by ADAM HEARSEY
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