Big Day Out 2003 - Auckland Review

Big Day Out 2003 - Auckland Review

Photographer: Emily JennerJolene Boyce on 17 January 2003

Ericsson Stadium

With a smaller crowd of 30,000 the general vibe of excitement and energy seemed to be lacking, however overseas acts lived up to it, local acts shone and freaks came out in force for what was quite possibly one the most diverse Big Day Outs ever.

8 foot Sativa Kicked it all off on the main stage, announcing every song in a deep rasping growl, to the obvious delight of hardcore fans. Aussie rockers Machine Gun Fellatio kept it interesting with nakedness and dirty talk, P.J Harvey looked divine in a frock made for her by a friend and Deftones kept it real by letting fans have a go on the mic.

The Music - who admitted they actually hated playing festivals - took to the stage looking alarmingly like four average blokes you probably went to school with rather than international rockstars. Sound quality was bad but lead singer Robert Harvey was extremely entertaining with his psychedelic dance moves.

Perry Farrell from Jane's Addiction twirled around the stage drinking red wine from the bottle like he was the happiest man alive and executed a classic moment in rock with a moving rendition of their hit 'Jane Says'. Kraftwerk's set was rather visually overwhelming, consisting of four men dressed in black business suits wearing head sets and mechanically working on black laptops, musically spectacular none the less and clearly a boiler room favourite.

Foo Fighters seemed to be the highlight of the day for many, attracting an enormous crowd. Opening with "All My Life" Dave walked on stage playing the intro and the crowd went absolutely mental. Burping into the mic, spitting on the stage and throwing his full beer cup into the audience Dave was clearly on form. He couldn't go wrong, after praising New Zealand for our "good shit going on down here".

Playing their first gig in 3 weeks, international exports The Datsuns were super-charged and ready to rock, inviting The D4 on stage and generally making rock'n'roll history. Being the good hearted Cambridge [New Zealand] boys they are The Datsuns cut their set short by at least 15 minutes to allow Queens Of The Stone Age to complete theirs which had previously been ruined by some nasty technical hitches.

The Queens made a spectacular close to what had been a fine display of global talent on an absolute scorcher of a day. With acts already being looked into for 2004, Big Day out regulars and anticipating first timers only have another twelve months to wait before the most exciting Friday of the year is upon us once again.

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