TMCnet News

[January 20, 2006]


(New Zealand Press Association Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)(pics available at

Auckland, Jan 21 NZPA - A 35,000-strong crowd were unrelenting in their energy and screaming yesterday at the marathon 12-hour Big Day Out music event at Auckland's Ericsson Stadium.

As night fell the tempo was lifted and after already eight hours of booming sounds from 70 international and local bands divided over six stages, the crowd continued to heave to the big names in this year's line up.

Scotland's Franz Ferdinand began the frenzy, and the masses gathered in front of the main stage for their pop-rock ballads.

The standout stage performance was to come next however, and for anyone in the crowd born after 1980 they may not have been expecting the power of Iggy and The Stooges.

Iggy, the royalty of rock, showed the young ones how to do it.

Shirtless and dressed in skin tight jeans, he writhed on the stage, jumped into the crowd and dragged 15 stunned concert-goers back up with him.

``He's mesmerising -- he's the most cutting edge here today,'' Philippa Price, 32, said during Iggy's set.

She said he was ground-breaking in the 60s, and if the younger members of the crowd knew anything about rock and punk music they would know Iggy.

``It's generational. The Kings of Leon (US) looked like school boys, but they were great.''

Next was a striking red and white show from Detroit's two-piece band The White Stripes, bringing the crowd to a crescendo with their single, Seven Nation Army.

While the Djs satisfied the dance music lovers in The Boiler Room tent at the end of the night, New Zealand's acclaimed seven-piece roots band Fat Freddy's Drop were the grand finale up on the green stage.

The bikinis and scant clothing from the midday heat remained, with one man entertaining the crowd with a dance set in his lime green speedos.

Concert-goers had plenty of other entertainment choice if the legs or ear drums grew tired -- a giant water slide, super-loop, hurricane fairground ride, food and clothing stalls, and the Lion Red beer bar for those old enough.

The twelfth Big Day Out was relatively calm for security and medical services.

Paul McKessar from CRS management said police had arrested nine people up to one hour before the concert ended at 11.30pm -- half the number of last year.

McKessar said one arrest was drug-related, but the rest were from drunken behaviour.

``Police said it was a really good crowd this year -- just enjoying the music.''

St John's said they treated 500 people, but only two were taken to hospital. One for a knee dislocation, the other an elbow dislocation.

``There was no real trouble -- it was a resounding success,'' McKessar said.

NZPA AKL jlh hl

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