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Review - Big Day Out 2008 - Adelaide

Author: Lachlan Pender
Thursday, 14 February 2008
I have to admit something. Something that doesn't quite sit right with my love of live music. I am not a fan of massive outdoor festivals. "How can this be-" I hear you asking yourselves.

Essentially it boils down to the fact that I hate feeling claustrophobic, and what is even worse, I hate feeling claustrophobic outdoors. Massive festivals to do this to me, they make me feel like the world is closing in as people hustle and jostle trying to get the best position to see their favourite band/DJ from ten miles away. That's why when I was asked if I wanted to review the Adelaide BDO I was a little unsure. The last time I went (2004) I had felt like I was stuck in a 1mx1m box, as it was so packed. The cliché of sardines in a tin was extremely applicable.

However, when I finally got there, (work can be a bitch on the day of the BDO), I was surprised to say the least. The perimeter of the grounds had been extended, making a huge difference to the flow of the crowds and that horrible sardine feeling. Not once did I feel like the world was closing in on me this year. Everybody had room to move and it was awesome.

The separation of entrances and exits made a huge difference in the flow of the crowd. The atmosphere was made all the better by the inclusion of market stalls that gave it the festival feel that has sometimes been lacking at the BDO. The general infrastructure of the event was really good this year as well. Toilet lines were not that long in comparison to some years, suggesting that either people weren't drinking (the bar crowds would dismiss that claim) or that they had provided extra places for pee. On the bar front, the token system for buying drinks is always an awesome idea, it reduces the wait at the bar exponentially. The best part of this system though is always the end of the day when people have too many tokens left over. Great way to score a quick alcoholic lubrication.

The Boiler Room, as per usual, is where I spent a lot of the day, although I missed what many were saying to be act of the day Dizzee Rascal (back to the point of work being a bitch on the day of the BDO). The production in here was top notch as per usual. It was its own self contained little event with its own bar, superb lighting and not to shabby sound considering it was in essentially a large version of the tin shed that you have in your backyard. Different this year to 2004, was the single flow entrances and exits. Annoying at first, but once you got used to which way to enter and to exit it was awesome. Especially at the end of the night when every one was trying to get in to see Carl Cox after the juggernaut that was Rage Against The Machine.

To the important part - what were the acts like in the Boiler Room- Well, being the frustrated breaks head that I am, (however disenchanted I am with the quality of breaks tunes getting released at the moment), set of the day needs to go to Krafty Kuts. No matter what you think about his style of 'in ya face' mash up break beat fun, you can not deny that it is fun with a capital 'F'. The man knows how to rock a crowd. Next up would be Pnau. These Aussie kids also just wanna have fun, but with a stage show that would have been perfect at the Coca Cabana.

The wild strawberry, well what can I say-

UNKLE also rocked it. One of the best truly live dance acts in the world, but the crowd had dwindled which is a shame. In Adelaide though, it's hard to expect anything different when up against the Chair. Worst set of the day, well to me any way goes to Carl Cox. It might be a strange coincidence that last time I went to the BDO he also got that honour. I love my techno, but he hasn't evolved along with techno. My judgement on Cox's set seems to be backed up by the fact that the Boiler room wasn't full after Rage finished, as the majority of people had seemed to make their way on to somewhere else. Maybe a reflection of<