Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Gimme Shelter

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  • Damian Christie, in reply to danielpresling,

    Yeah, I've definitely never had a problem buying only one or two beers rather than four @danielpresling, and I'm pretty sure that would break some major licensing principles. There's certainly a maximum of four, but perhaps you just saw everyone taking four (which one tends to do, after queuing half an hour and not wanting to do it again anytime soon) and assumed that was the rule?

    Aside from the main beer ghetto, which was HIDEOUS and we didn't even attempt it, there were relatively small fast-moving queues for the other licensed areas. At one point I even had to ask if the bar (the big one, side of Green stage) was still open, because there were literally no customers inside.

    @ana, nah didn't totally ruin my day - LCD were great - but it was the enduring memory.

    @Mark - you sure those taxis weren't just booked for other people? I had one booked, and as we approached it, it was like a zombie movie, ill looking people clambering all over it, banging on it, trying to open the door, begging for a ride/fresh brains.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And now some LCD from Friday ...

    1.38 of the 10-minute opener, 'Dance Yrself Clean':

    And all of the inevitable closing number 'All My Friends', which just gave me goosebumps watching it again. Electrifying.

    The Auckland crowd looks much bigger and much more up for it than the the Gold Coast crowd did a couple of nights later.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    And all of the inevitable closing number 'All My Friends', which just gave me goosebumps watching it again. Electrifying.

    Epic. I would have gone for LCD over the Primals based on that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to recordari,

    Definitely saw evidence of the changed mentality Damian and others have covered here. I kept looking for the sheep dip.The coffee, as seems to be usual at the BDO, was fantastic. Well done whoever is in charge of that!

    Ah, the sheep dip. I noticed this about three years back, the last time I attended the BDO, I commented to someone that the whole thing had turned into an A&P show and we were the cattle, herded around from sales point to sales point. The whole exercise was like a corporate monopoly state. You would think the event was organised by North Korean Breweries and the RIAA "You will drink our beer, you will buy our music...."
    And $130 for a coffee is a bit steep...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I haven't been to the BDO for a couple of years now-I can't say I have enough good memories to justify shelling out the cash for a ticket (as well as taking the time off work) though I still remember my first experience of the Mars Volta live with a kind of surreal wistfulness. Plus I'm, a grumbly old fart who distrusts Auckland's weather and can't stomach the thought of standing outside for 10+ hours.

    The one thing I can say about the BDO's alcohol policy is that they've always policed the ID requirements very well. As someone who doesn't drive, and who only recently got myself a passport, I was simply shut out of buying alcohol at every BDO I went to, despite having a fair bit of facial hair and swathes grey at my temples. Managing to minimise underage drinking at an event like the BDO is no mean feat.

    I do remember hearing a few things about one of the security companies back when I worked at the Ponsonby Burger Fuel as a student back around 2000 or so. We were pretty close with the bartenders at the Safari Lounge next door, and they mentioned to us that they wouldn't use one of the more popular security companies due to the fact that they had an unofficial "minimum one punter beating per night" rule-if it was near closing and the bouncers hadn't had a dust up, they'd deliberately provoke one of the drunken punters into brawling with them just to keep themselves sharp. Seems like the sort of urban legend you hear all the time in hospo circles, but I've seen enough extremely one-sided violent "ejections" on Ponsonby Rd that I'm not sure I'd dismiss the idea out of hand.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Ah, the sheep dip. I noticed this about three years back, the last time I attended the BDO, I commented to someone that the whole thing had turned into an A&P show and we were the cattle, herded around from sales point to sales point. The whole exercise was like a corporate monopoly state.

    Moving around the site is a key feature of the event, but it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as it has been some years – partly because it’s better organised now, but largely because it didn’t sell out. Getting in was a bore, but going between the tent and the top field was a breeze all day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    By the time I got to the bag check, around 1:45pm, they were only doing cursory checks for alcohol. At least it's not like Aussie, where the cops bring sniffer dogs so as to maximise their day-spoiling activities.

    I really like having specific bar areas. They are hardly ghettos, and the one at the back of the stadium had a good vibe and plenty of little bars with hardly any queue at all. I went to a BDO in Adelaide once, and found that having free access to alcohol in all areas apart from the D meant wading through layers of beer cans. Yuck, trying to dance in the boiler room with cans everywhere really diminishes the experience.

    Getting the wristbands was unnecessarily difficult, and the queues were just too long. A ran into a friend, aged 31, who was denied one because she didn't have ID. Luckily, when I reluctantly queued up, one of the wristband workers had the insight to walk up the line doling out wristbands to anyone who was obviously over 25.

    The only issue I had with security was when I was meeting up with a friend in the stadium bar, and the bar had just closed (it was about 9pm). My friend had my phone, so I explained my predicament to the security guard. He told me I couldn't go in, regardless. So I nipped around the back of the tents, where another guard, who was having a nice social time with his mates, was a lot more understanding.

    Coincidentally, Airbourne was the first band I saw as well. Given that I expected them to be good-time Aussie cock-rock in the AC/DC style, I enjoyed the songs that I saw. But the Birds of Tokyo were better.

    The two jaw-dropping moments of the day were:

    * Catching the end of the Crystal Castles set, with the woman singer jumping up and down and fully rocking out. When the set finished, she picked up her crutches and hobbled of stage. Wow.
    * In Rammsteins first song, the lead singer had a light in his mouth.

    Tool were great, but not as good as last time. Maybe it's because the bass player has cut his hair. They had the best light show I have ever seen at BDO, and the barrage of green lasers played nicely against the falling rain.

    I was too wet and tired to hang around at either MIA or Grinderman for any length of time, but they were both good ways to cap off the BDO.

    You could just tell that getting a taxi was going to be an exercise in persistence, so I happily gave a lift to a couple who were vainly trying to flag down taxi.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah. This is what M.I.A. was starting into as we were leaving:

    'Boys'. Onstage madness:

    And thereafter, she did play 'Paper Planes':

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    And $130 for a coffee is a bit steep...

    $170 thank you very much. I bought late, but it was $158 online beforehand.

    Moving around the site is a key feature of the event, but it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as it has been some years – partly because it’s better organised now, but largely because it didn’t sell out. Getting in was a bore, but going between the tent and the top field was a breeze all day.

    You really did have a different experience to me. Got stuck passing through under the stands to get my wrist band (not knowing an empty tent sat in the other stage area), got stuck in the stands when everyone sat down on the stairs during the heavy rain (luckily long legs meant it was only temporary), and by the time I wanted another drink next to the Essential Stage, they had closed the bar, for reasons I can't quite fathom. Did they run out?

    Maybe next time, if there is a next time, I'll follow you around, as clearly that would result in greater enjoyment.

    Disclaimer: I was in a fowl* mood hoping a bit of music and mayhem would lighten things up, which it didn't, unfortunately. Must be the fact I'm not immortal. Well, it does relate to mortality, but that's another story.

    *Farming reference.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • nzMM,

    It was a great day. Pitty about the rain at the end, though if i had heeded the weather reports i would have dressed in more than shorts and tshirt...

    As for security, in general i keep my distance. That said there was one security fellow on the D perimeter who was awesome and refilled peoples water bottles.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    The last BDO I went to pre-this one was in 2003, and my 'two moments I remember' are oddly similar to yours:

    Firstly, having some mustachioe'd, steroid-munching, small-cocked knob-jockey with a bad attitude refuse to give me a 'elegible to drink' wristband because my ID wasn't suitable. Despite the fact I was obviously over 30. Fortunately his mate 15 minutes later was a bit more sensible.

    Secondly, taking literally two steps out of the wrong exit at the end of the night (due to unfamiliarity with the venue), and then being refused re-entry so we could go and catch our bus from the correct gate. Dude, you just saw us walk out two steps and stop! We didn't even get outside your touching distance!

    The upshot of that was a walk around the perimeter of the entire stadium at the end of a rather tiring day. Not exactly leaving on a high note.

    Add to that the inescapable feeling that once you've paid your ticket price and are in the venue, you're Just Another Fucking Pleb Punter to be herded around a concrete roasting tin for 10-12 hours before they can legitimately boot you out.

    I promised myself after that experience I wouldn't bother going again. But the lineup this year was a doozy, so never say never. I enjoyed myself a lot more because I'd lowered my expectations of everything except the music to somewhere around basement level. Rocked up around 6.00PM and was given the most cursory frisk I've ever had: 'Is that a wallet in your pocket?' 'Actually, it's a couple of kilos of P*. Um, I mean, yes. Yes it is a wallet'.

    The mustache-with-attitude in charge of distributing drinking wristbands also appeared to have been replaced by a row of pretty young ladies. Which took some of the sting out of them taking one look at my raddled and wizened old mug and handing one over without bothering to actually ID me.

    The beer ghetto was (still) fucking irritating, but at least they had more choice than export gold (sir, having considered this sample, I can say with some confidence that your horse has a urinary tract infection). I'm a relatively responsible adult, and it would be nice to be treated like one when I want a drink. Having said that, I saw a good few extremely pissed-up munters around the place, including one who nealy took a header off the second tier of the stands during Iggy, and another one who did take a header into a full portaloo (it's not what he's drinking, it's how he's drinking it).

    I was a bit dubious about the 'D', but it actually seemed to work ok. Looked like there was a lot of empty space in there, though. Perhaps a little less caution with the crowd numbers next time?

    Having said that, I do struggle to throw off the feeling that a little more respect for muggins punter being uppermost in the minds of the organisers would not be a bad thing.

    *for anyone wondering whether I am actually stupid enough to try and smuggle a couple of kilos of 'P' into the BDO? Seriously, have a think about it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to recordari,

    You really did have a different experience to me. Got stuck passing through under the stands to get my wrist band

    Actually, yeah, we did have a bit of a jam the first time we passed through there. Blocking passage from the food stalls to the Boiler Room was a bad call made worse by the queue for wristbands. Only briefly a problem though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    @Mikaere - "They are hardly ghettos". Yeah nah, they are. As I said, the Lilypad one was fine, and the one in between Green and Essential minimised the ghetto feeling (other than the fact you're left peering through a fence while standing in piles of rubbish.) But that main stage one needs to be sorted. There should be an option for normal ticket holders to be able to drink and watch the main stage reasonably comfortably (by BDO standards of course, which isn't that comfortable), rather than the hideous crush/queue they had for a drink, after which you're about as far away from the main stage as it's possible to be, peering through a fence in your own filth (well, mostly everyone else who's been drinking there before you), straining to hear the music that's being blown around the field.

    Of course, no-one's forcing anyone to drink, so when it came to the main stage, we didn't. But you can't tell me that ain't a ghetto back there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    This is what M.I.A. was starting into as we were leaving:

    May I take a moment to wail in a tragic and incoherent manner?

    WAAAAAH!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    In Rammsteins first song, the lead singer had a light in his mouth.

    Luckily, being Rammsteins lead singer does not mean you actually need to be able to sing...

    Mungo like FIRE! Mungo like SHOUTY GERMANS! Mungo haz a happy....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Luckily, when I reluctantly queued up, one of the wristband workers had the insight to walk up the line doling out wristbands to anyone who was obviously over 25.

    Oh and yeah, this is what it should be like. People in charge using their common sense. This is a great example. I'm certainly not 17. I'm definitely not even under 25 (although sometimes it seems the BDO ID people must get their training at the same supermarket that IDs me all the time). When I got to the front of the very long wristband queue she just asked "do you have ID, I don't need to see it", which was nice, but someone scouting the line for the elderly would've been even better!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    So if I was James Edgars and the only chance I had to sell some product was to those that couldn't be bothered queueing for beer it is possible I would be trying to keep my tent look as empty as possible to increase the chances of this occurring.

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Damian Christie,

    When I got to the front of the very long wristband queue she just asked "do you have ID, I don't need to see it", which was nice, but someone scouting the line for the elderly would've been even better!

    There was a queue? Clearly stumbling in my senility around the side of the tent and entering from the exit, paid dividends*. I insisted on showing my ID, but.

    * This actually happened, as I thought the queue was for the toilets. No one seemed to mind.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Damian Christie,

    There should be an option for normal ticket holders to be able to drink and watch the main stage reasonably comfortably (by BDO standards of course, which isn't that comfortable)

    I agree that the one down the bottom at the back of the stadium is a bit of a zoo and I tend to avoid it, but if you want a better view you could always go the upper section of the eastern stand. The sound is a bit muddy but you can see both stages OK. It does mean having to go for a bit of a walk, but you do get a seat out of the rain, and the queue in the eastern stand bar is minimal and very unzoo-like.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • KingKenny,

    I saw Smashing Pumpkins at that first BDO, and to this day it amazes me when someone mentions how great they are. It's all opinions about art in the end, but what I saw was a bored, tired band going through the motions. The first obvious example of what would become a BDO standard: knackered band on first proper world tour wilting in the mid-afternoon Antipodean sun.

    Vietnam • Since Jan 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Rammstein were hilarious - proof of the cookie monster theory of heavy metal vocals, and (probably unintentionally) as camp as a row of tents.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I think bar access is the least of the benefits of a pass to the Immortals Lounge, which is where journalists, suppliers, friends blaggers, etc, get put. (VIP would be overstating the case, really.) It’s more respite from the noise and easier access to toilets.

    The Immortals Bar was a real lifesaver. I loved the clean bogs and my kid got a huge buzz at standing 6 feet away from Nick Dwyer. Too shy to say hi but txting his mates like mad. Sadly, as predicted it went haywire there in the last 3 hours and we couldn't get in. That plus the rain plus the fact Tom had seen the main people he wanted to (apart from MIA) meant we were happy to hit the road early.

    I'll put in a kind word for Mt Eden Dubstep in the Boiler Room. Cheesy they may be, but they were the main thing Tom was there for and when they kicked off with their single and the large (very young) crowd started singing along it was quite the BDO moment. I looked over at my boy and he just had the biggest grin all over his face.

    Big Day Out, job done.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Horrocks,

    Just to say I am very pleased that some people have criticised the security at BDO. I have been going to this event for many years and it's felt to me as though the security presence has become more obtrusive every year. I am a quiet guy about four times the age of the average BDO customer and I don't see myself as representing a major security threat. I got really fed up being searched every time I came out of a drink area (like the Lily Pad). On the first occasion I was physically grabbed because I had simply not heard the guard ask me to stop. Again, I could not get near the main stages until I checked my bag. And even then I got searched. It started to feel as though Homeland Security or Blackwater were on the job. In the course of the day I did encounter a helpful security man in the Boiler Room (we chatted and he got me a cup of water) - but later I got pushed back by a different one simply because I was in the front row. I don't want to be a nostalgic old hippie, but rock festivals in the old days were (in my experience) a lot more relaxed and better for everyone. I agree with Steve who says "that the whole thing has turned into an A&P show and we are the cattle, herded around from sales point to sales point. The whole exercise is like a corporate monopoly state." Officious security people can create the very anger and violence they are supposed to be guarding against.
    .

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    (probably unintentionally) as camp as a row of tents.

    Part of the appeal to me is that I reckon they know exactly what they’re doing and how they come across. Tongues are firmly in cheeks.

    I offer the court Exhibit A. Which may not be safe for work, depending on how tolerent your workplace is of footage of naked muscular oily men writhing against each other. Man against man, indeed….

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Whoa. That's 3 minutes 46 of my life that I'll never get back again and has probably left me scarred for life!!!!

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

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