Review: Big Day Out – Gold Coast, Parklands – 22/01/2012

A below-capacity crowd of over 30,000 punters flocked to the Parklands Showgrounds for the first Australian stop of the 2012 Big Day Out tour on the Gold Coast yesterday. Despite lower numbers than previous years, the crowd didn’t appear to be all that different to any other Gold Coast Big Day Out and certainly didn’t appear to replicate the failing festival that was speculated by media in the lead-up to the event.

First cab off the rank was Victorian sister 4-piece and winners of the 2010 Triple J Unearthed High, Stonefield, who played to a 3-quarter full tent, which was surprising for the midday time slot. The girls played a solid set wooing crowds with the limited tracks from only 2 EPs as well as previewing some new tracks and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino impressed crowds with a usual dreamy summer set while promising crowds that the next time they returned to Australia, they would have a new record to bring with them.

Odd Future bumped around the boiler room lead by crowd favourite Tyler The Creator. Intense moshing and crowd surfing forced many people to flee the front section after only 1 song.

As the rain started to poor down on what was previously a stinking hot Queensland day, Kasabian took to the stage and delivered a performance that held up to the promises of an electric high-energy set. Performing new hits Days are Forgotten and Re-wired along with old favourites Fire and Shoot The Runner.

Rain unfortunately rendered Tony Hawks skate ramp useless, forcing him to delay his appearance by 2 hours.

The small Converse Tent failed to accommodate the large number of people trying to pack in and escape the rain for the evening set from Californian indie pop group Foster the People, who can basically fill an entire 45-minute set with crowd-friendly singles from their debut album Torches. Favourites included Helena Beat, Houdini, Call It What you Want as well as a remixed performance of chart hit Pumped Up Kicks.

The night was ended by a performance from Kanye West, which was almost identical to his show at Splendour In The Grass back in July of 2011. Crowds became agitated during the 45-minute delay, which was blamed on the rain. His performance left many fans leaving disappointed after not being able to witness any songs from his latest collaboration album with Jay-Z Watch The Throne.

Despite timetable delays, weather and technical problems, the Gold Coast Big Day out was an enjoyable day and it looks like event organisers will live to fight another year in the rapidly declining Australian Festival Climate.

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