Big Day Out is a festival that brings to mind many a memory when you mention it in a conversation. Some reminisce about it being the first festival they ever went to, or about that time Nirvana headlined, or when tickets were close to 50 bucks. But this year, on a glorious Sunday in 30+ degree heat and humidity, the Gold Coast welcomed eager punters, new and old, who flocked to Metricon Stadium to get a taste of the festival in its 21st year.

First on the agenda were Mansfield rockers Violent Soho. With a crowd so large that punters were spilling out from the tent of the Red Stage, the four-piece did not disappointment. Every beat and guitar riff encouraged circle pits left, right, and centre. Crowd-pleasers ‘In The Aisle’ and ‘Covered In Chrome’ received the biggest reception, highlighted by thousands of people screaming “HELL FUCK YEAH!” at the appropriate times. Earlier hits were also received well, like ‘Muscle Junkie’, ‘Tinderbox’, and ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’ – a song the band dedicated to “everyone who had to go to a private Catholic high school.”

The Naked And Famous tore up the Blue Stage whilst a number of festival-goers eagerly waited at the Orange Stage barrier to catch a Tame Impala set. The energy from frontwoman Alisa Xayalith was contagious, as was every song from the band. Gorgeous harmonies paired with alt-rock stylings made it seem like the Kiwi act were made for the summer festival season. The five-piece busted out song after song to an extremely hyperactive crowd, with numbers like ‘Punching In A Dream’ and the concluding ‘Hearts Like Ours’ producing dance moves from the least likely of audience members.

Soon enough, following three extensive “Tame” chants, the lo-fi psych boys from Perth graced the adjacent stage. Beginning with ‘Mind Mischief’ and ending with ‘Apocalypse Dreams’, the material from LPs Lonerism and Innerspeaker combined to form a well-bodied set. The crowd became hypnotised not only by the sweet melodies floating from the speakers, but by the band, including Kevin Parker’s geometrical sunglasses. Avid Tame Impala fans cheered when ‘Half Full Glass Of Wine’ kicked into gear, and Parker addressed the crowd after the song concluded.

“This next song should get you dancing,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how bad you look, you will never look as bad as me dancing at Big Day Out.” And with that, the thumping bassline of ‘Elephant’ got just about everyone at Metricon Stadium moving and grooving.

After the psychedelic adventure, it was time to get rough with the Cosmic Psychos at the JBL Essential Stage. The tent was filled with the sounds of revved motorcycles so loud that some plugged their earholes in desperation. With ice-cream tub hats firmly on their heads and tiny pushbikes underneath them, the three band mates rode out on stage in style, setting the bar high for every other act that day.

Flipping the bird, the Cosmic Psychos kicked into some classic punk gems spanning their career. Pubs, beetroot, sex, and drugs – nothing less was expected from the Aussie blokes. Singing “love songs that will bring a little tear to your eye…written by some c*nt”, along with some beautiful beer-gut belly dancing and mooning, seeing these rockers will go down as something unforgettable. Old mates Mark Arm and Steve Turner watched with delight from side stage before it was their turn to please the crowd as Mudhoney.

Showing immediate distaste for the smoke machines (“Can you cut this fog shit out, please?”), Arm soon kicked into full throttle, opening with ‘Slipping Away’. Tunes ‘In ‘N’ Out Of Grace’, ‘I Like It Small’, and ‘Touch Me I’m Sick’ delighted fans of all ages. The Seattle stars proved that, although they may have aged, their musical talent has not, each song brimming with overloaded distortion and Arm’s signature drawling vocals. Water cups were sent flying and mosh pits went from humble side-by-side jumping to dickheads throwing punches. A quick farewell to bassist Guy Morrison (who bowed in response!) was immediately followed by a sprint back to the main stadium to secure a good spot for Beady Eye.

Swedish stars The Hives, who made hundreds of revellers sit down during ‘Tick Tick Boom’, entertained the masses. However, frantic murmurs amongst the crowd suggested Noel Gallagher was side of stage, possibly hidden amongst AJ Maddah and POND members Cam Avery and Joe Ryan. But all was forgotten once Beady Eye walked on stage.

Most of the crowd must not have realised that the band are indeed made up of most members from Oasis. That is, not until Liam Gallagher (being the Gallagher he is) said, “This one’s for all the Blur fans” before playing not one, but two Oasis songs – ‘Rock N Roll Star’ and ‘Morning Glory’. A setlist oozing with the band’s sophomore album BE, the performance was fittingly precise and captivating, and finished with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’.  Gallagher parted the stage with the words, “Thankyou for coming out. You’ve been good – but not as good as us.”

Desperately refilling water bottles, running into Triple J’s Matt Okine, and viewing snippets of sets from Arcade Fire, The Lumineers, and Bliss N Eso helped pass the time before Snoop Lion hit the Red Stage. The smell of a certain substance became heavy, surpassing that of Tame Impala’s set, and when the ‘King’ emerged sporting heavy bling and a joint in his pocket, no one was particularly surprised. Covers were all the rage at the festival this year, with Snoop jumping on board to cover Akon’s ‘I Wanna Fuck You’ and House Of Pain’s ‘90s anthem ‘Jump Around’.

Tributes to the late Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, sensual songs dedicated to the ladies, and classics ‘Nuthin But A G-Thang’ and ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ made Snoop Dogg/Lion one hell of an entertainer, despite many leaving during ‘Who Am I (What’s My Name)’ to catch the Pearl Jam encores.

Going from Pink Floyd’s ‘Mother’ to their own ‘Daughter’, and performing legendary tracks ‘Jeremy’, ‘Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town’, and ‘Better Man’, the encore was nothing short of spectacular. The honest, thoughtful, and extremely humble frontman Eddie Vedder recognised a fan in the crowd and asked him to request a song. He replied with ‘Sad’, a track the band had not played for “a very long time”.

The stage was complete with swinging lights, to which Vedder swang from one in very similar fashion to that of Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ clip. To the surprise of thousands of keen surfing lads, Aussie world champs Mick Fanning and Occy (Mark Occhilupo) were brought out to greet the crowd.

The band found the time to jump off the stage and high-five fans who had been waiting at the barrier almost all evening. Wrapping up with ‘Alive’ and Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’, the lights of the Metricon switched on and Pearl Jam were farewelled. “Until next time”, Vedder praised – an excellent way to end one hell of a big day (out).

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