When you go to the Big Day Out, the title of the show lets you know what you are in for.

The best way to prepare for it, is to make sure you have a decent breakfast. With the long lineup, there isn’t any sure time where you’ll be able to grab some food amongst it all. It makes the breakfast that much more paramount to the day. Ha ha! My friend Richard and I had made sure we got a nice cooked breakfast down, and once done, we casually prepared before heading out to Mt Smart Stadium for the days activities.

It was a weird start to the day. Grey and overcast but still very warm. The weather reports were saying to expect some rain later on, although, you never really know how its going to go down, with Auckland. It was humid though. I took along a light jacket preparing for the rain, but was immediately regretting it with the heat.

There were some new noticeable things going that I had not seen in previous years. Granted I have not been the last couple of years, so these things could have been put in place on the years I didn’t attend. One was the Flying Fox that went from the very top of the grandstand area to over the main stage crowd. It looked like a lot of fun. I could see the appeal in it, and thought it was a nice addition. The other most noticeable thing was the rolled out grass in the stadium. I’m torn on this one. If the day was a pristine summers day. Then I’m sure it would have been the perfect thing. However, it was likely to go the other if things got soggy later on. Which it did. The other odd addition was a giant terminator head that swung above people. Ominously welcoming them in as they came through the main gates. It’s full purpose would not be revealed until later in the evening.

It felt like a good lineup this year, but my complaint was, I wanted to see it all, and there was just know way I was going to be able to. Instead, my friend Richard and I just kind of winged it for what made sense at the time. The weather ended up playing a big part in that decision making process along the way.

The first band I was really up for, was the Deftones. They ended up being scheduled on the main stage at around 3pm. We got into the mosh pit area just to get a closer view of the band. My concern as the area filled up, is I quickly noticed the vibe of the crowd get just a little more aggressive as we edged towards the start time. I knew we were in for a rough one. It proved to be exactly that too. I was pretty wrecked after three songs. I had to kick out a little further away, so I wasn’t right in the mix. A young man, I am no more. Ha ha!I really enjoyed the set. It was obviously a short one being at a festival. However, they mixed the right amount of old favourites with new grooves. It was pretty fantastic. Hopefully they’ll be back sometime in the not too distant future to play a full show sometime, because I wanted more. Heh.

Other highlights seen through the day include Andrew WK bringing people on stage and getting a circle pit started at the Lilly world stage. Seeing Ninja from Die Antwoord rocking Pink Floyd “Dark side of the moon” boxer shorts. Checking out Crystal Castles briefly was fun. Shihad, as always put on a fun and very rocking show. Iggy and the Stooges put on a powerful show. Followed by perhaps the surprise of the show, but I really enjoyed the spectacle of the performance that Rammstein put on. It was impressive. Impressive enough to actually make Tool look not as impressive in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, Tool were still great! However, that was a tough act to follow in terms of performance.

The down side was, the heavens opened up right around middle of the way through Shihad’s set. It started out as just an annoying drizzle. By the time Iggy and the Stooges were on stage, it was full on rain. My friend and I were sitting in the grand stand. Thinking we were so smart by opting to grab a seat early. We were set with a great viewing spot for the rest of the night. However, in reality, we ended up completely drenched and damn cold by the time Tool finally hit the stage. The rain gave us a brief reprieve. That didn’t last long though. At the end of Tool’s set the rain came down hard. People who had bought the disposable raincoats were littered throughout the crowd amongst those who didn’t. It looked like a sea of human condoms. It really did.

We opted out of Tool about 10 minutes early. In our hypothermic state we thought it best not to get caught amongst the mass exit that was bound to happen once Tool were done. With our teeth seriously chattering, we headed over to the only place that made sense in the cold rain. The Boiler room? Where else are you going to warm up, other than a giant tent filled with people? That and MIA was due on. It was just what the doctor ordered. We got warmed up and sorta saw what looked to be an amazing show. It sounded epic, and the lighting was cool, and I think I saw MIA a couple of times!

It truly was a big day out. Also: Bonus! I didn’t get a cold after.

More pics can be found here.

Thanks for reading,
Marc