Saturday, December 13, 2008

Archive: BDO 08 (21/1/08)

Well Auckland turned on a scorcher despite weather forecasts of showers, it was just blue skies and heat, plenty of it. It was a great BDO and despite being somewhat ambivalent about the lineup, the day lived up to its reputation as being the greatest music festival NZ has on offer. I started the day with White Birds & Lemons, which delivered a stellar little set. The band was tight and the vocals superb. Well worth keeping an eye on. Floated around witnessing Die!Die!Die! perform with energy and sound that was spectacular. The Checks too were a pleasing surprise. I'd avoided their album after luke warm reviews but the set they put on made me think otherwise. I was really looking forward to Liam Finn, his album being a highlight from last year and still on high rotate. He was a clever bugger, the way he virtually performed solo with loops, and percussion accompanyment, but it was a mixed bag in the end and I think more suited to a more intimate venue. Still, great to see. Then came Tiki Taane. I was totally amped for this and from the opening song with his Dad you knew you were watching Tiki carve new territory. Great support from the Shapeshifter crew, but why this wasn't in the Boiler Room I don't know. Kate Nash came next, the next Lilly Allen apparently. She was fine for a summer afternoon and good music to catch up with Tristan to. I then drifted over to the mainstage to see Spoon, who I had heard nothing of. They seemed in good form and put up some great little pop gems, maybe worth some further investigating? Billy Bragg bitched about his sound levels but still peeled a good mix of old and new tunes, including my personal favourite There is power in a union, Go Billy! Following the same theme, but not the timetable, was Tom Morello under his Nightwatchmen monkier, solo political raves ala Billy Bragg, plenty of good content but not exactly groundbreaking. I then decided to make for the D before it got closed off, listened to a couple of Pluto tracks before being completely blown away by Arcade Fire, the highlight of the day. I heard someone describe them as a travelling circus, nicely put. How the 10 of them on stage manage to coordinate to make such glorious noise I don't know. Songs from Funeral were better than those of Neon Bible, by a long shot. Shihad then came on to deliver a set of new tempters and old favs, including Screwtop, what a treat. Bjork, the crazy pixie, came on and stunned the crowd with an awesome selection of tracks from Volta and early albums, standout was Hyper-ballad. Finally, Rage Against the Machine hit the mainstage with unequalled energy and songs as relevant now, as they were 10 years ago. It was hit after hit, through songs like Calm like a bomb (my fav) to the final track of Killing in the name of. Just awesome. Caught a few tracks of Supergroove before heading home. I saw them at BDO '95 and still think they have some of the best songs ever in NZ music, it was a great sing-a-long to end the night.

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