Big Weekend Up

You know, I’d decided that I was going to start this entry out by pondering how the hell people did the Big Day Out without cellphones, but then I was forced to remember. Oh yeah, if you have my number, can you please text me your name (or email me your number?)? Yeah, that’s right, it’s new Sim Card and phone time. Same number though. Stupid fucking D List ‘celebrities’.

But we can scoot backwards in time, to Thursday morning and I’m leaving the backdoor key out for our downstairs neighbour Eve so that she can look after Sebastian that night since Anji had already flown to Auckland for work, and loading my bags into Lisa Fur’s car boot and folding myself into the backseat because Fran was in the front. And then it’s a week later, and I’m switching from present tense into past, because I’m not a choose-your-own adventure book, as much as I’d like to be. A quick study guide to the BDO was playing on the stereo, and there was a monkey to show the country to. Goats were thrown at first sightings of mountains, which resulted in the people in front of us pulling aside to let us pass. The toilets in Tirau are still the best place in the country to stop, and driving into Auckland still sort of feels like a kick in the guts six years later. Lisa’s car made it on one tank of petrol though, which is incredible.

Heather wasn’t home for Fran to be dropped off to, so we headed to the place that Lisa and I were staying, the Comfort Inn on Newton Road. We’d scored ourselves a big two bedroom apartment with parking for only $65 a night each, sweet sweet accomodation candy. Heather showed up and had some beers, and we headed up the road to Gina’s for dinner. If you’re not familiar with Auckland, Gina’s is (in)famous for its ridiculously hot and over-the-top waiters. The food’s pretty good too, but it’s insanely busy, and took a long time, and it was very very crowded. We went back to the apartment and had more wine. I love the litre bottles of Banrock.

The next day it was Friday and therefore bdoing day. Lisa and I went to meet up with Heather and Fran at Roasted, and then I called an incredibly incompetant taxi driver who took half an hour to find us and kept calling me on my cellie. We got there just before Pluto started. I forgot how many people go to the Big Day Out. There were a lot of people there. Pluto were okay. They played some new songs which was nice, and drums were pounded very heartily, but I just don’t know if their heart is in it anymore. Then I put my earplugs back in (hurray for being a grown-up!) and waded through the crowd trying to get out of the stupid (but I’m sure it’s important when the stadium is actually full) D-Barrier. Texts to Lisa found her again, and we went and got our passes for the Immortals Lounge, courtesy of a wonderful friend.

I felt special as we got to ride the big glass elevator up to the sky. We got to use cleanish bathrooms, and the bar queue was short and there was a better selection (but only Lion Red or Steinie, so I saw that it would be a beer-free day for me). The view was very choice. Then it was time to skootch back down to the Green stage for Sleater Kinney. I wish I knew their music better. If ever there was going to be a replacement for Hole in my “strong women make me feel strong” listening, it could very well be them.

Breaks Coop were playing next, and I’m not a repetitive old woman so I decided to run away quickly to a clean bathroom up in the Immortals Lounge again. I checked the time on my cellphone while I was up there, and bought a drink, and then discovered that my phone was gone. Rad. I went through my bag and looked on the floor by the bar. No phone. Excellent. Then Lisa showed up, luckily, and after asking at the bar after my phone, we went down to see the Go! Team. It made me feel very grumpy though, losing phones sucks. I was going to try calling it from Lisa’s phone but realised I’d never hear it.

Then the Go! Team started, and they were fantastic, and I had a boogie, despite my knees being already like “hey lady, remember us? We don’t like this kind of behaviour one little bit”. I wish I could shake my bottom like Ninja. Fuck it – I wish I was Ninja. Their album is definitely going on my ‘to buy’ list.

I can’t remember when it was that the Brunettes started to play, but I took a photo of all the people on stage.

Someone said that there were 20 people in the orchestra (You don’t expect me to actually try and count do you?). Their rider can’t go very far. I wish I’d stayed for them, but I’d already realised that I am much too old for the Big Day Out.

My knees led me over to the fence by the beer area and I sat down for the Magic Numbers and took some Nurofen Plus. Mmm codeieney. But people don’t look at the ground when they’re walking, and they kept kicking or tripping over my legs – despite the fact that there were people sitting all the way along against the fence, and it was just pissing me off too much so I decided to pop up to the Immortals Lounge again. More liquor and more codeine was taken, and I pulled an armchair up to the window at the back of the lounge and settled down for Shihad:

They played their standard fare. If I hadn’t been so doped up, I might have been a little sad that I wasn’t in the mosh, but then again, if I had been, I wouldn’t have been able to see how fantastic the crowd’s arms looked when they did ‘Pacifier’. But I was, so that was okay. When I felt lonely I had another drink. Haha excellent. Then a guy who was Kateb’s brother’s best friend growing up who’s now in a band that I interviewed for Pulp a while ago came over and hugged me, and tried to introduce me to his fiance, but given that she was a friend of Kateb’s at uni, I already knew her. And that was the only people at the Big Day Out who I bumped in to, apart from Jessie. That was strange, cos I am used to seeing so many people I know there, and I was actually a little bit afraid of who I might bump in to.

Franz Ferdinand played, and they were pretty average, and my arm chair was very comfortable. Then Iggy started, and I was like “what the fuck am I doing? This is the Big Day Out and I’m sitting up here like those wankers that I hate at gigs who only go because they get in free, and they don’t even like music”, and plus the BDO book talked about a cocktail bar in Lilyworld, so I went off to find that. Apparently, the cockails are only in Australia. I also couldn’t find the Krishna food stall, so I had a $9 kebab instead because I realised that I’d had one TEN YEARS AGO at my first Big Day Out, and washed it down with a Lion Red, Mate. I contemplated having a dance, but I was too chicken/sober to dance by myself with the models. Did I bitch about the girl carrying the Nova bag yet? I mean, hi, you’re wearing high heels and an expensive looking dress, and you’re stick thin and gorgeous. We get the point. You’re a model. You don’t need to tell us what agency you’re with. If I was to bitch about the other 30,000 people there though it would take far too long. I’m too old and jaded. And I was also kind of lonely. It’s fine to be by yourself at the Big Day Out if it’s your choice, but if you’re just a lost puppy who can’t contact people cos no one has handed your phone in, then it sucks.

I sat at the back of the stadium and took photos of the human lightening people, who could have been a lot more impressive than they actually are:

Then the White Stripes started.

They looked kind of cool, but the sound was craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappy at the back there, and I couldn’t stomach going up closer.

I went to go and wait at the rendevouz spot that I’d (phew!) arranged with Lisa earlier in the day, and then Jessie was there, and I was like YAY and hugged her and felt a bit like I did that one time at the Gathering when I found Katy and Anji after I’d been lost for a couple of hours and thought tents were frozen bodies from Titanic and that there were Jim Henson creatures walking around me and I’d lost the ability to speak, except, you know, without the acid. And Lisa showed up, and Fran, and we got told off for walking on the road by a policeman, and we took a taxi and we went home, hurray! It was strange to leave a Big Day Out and still be able to walk and not have my ears ringing,and I wasn’t too badly sunburnt except for my nose. I am no longer hardcore. I miss being hardcore.

On Saturday Lisa and I met Heather and Jamie from NZM at Benediction. I’ve decided that avocado on turkish bread is quite possibly one of the best breakfasts ever. Then I made Heather come to St Lukes with me, and I used a Farmers voucher leftover from Xmas to get myself a new phone. Then, of course, I went back to her house to charge my phone and check my email, because that’s the only reason I’m friends with her. I also got to watch Alt TV, and I wet my pants in delight at seeing a Guns’n Roses video that I’d forgotten even existed. Awesome.

I went home and had a bath and tried to nap but it was too hot so I read magazines and texted people back going “who is this?” because of the lack of numbers. Exciting, yes, I know. Luckily my social secretary KateH had booked us all for a dinner at 8pm at Canton. Holy crap I love the food there, it’s soooooo good. And for $16 each, we certainly ate plenty. Then people came back for some more drinks, and someone called me trying to arrange a booty-call for the morning (*) and I was metaphorically speechless.

This is Shirley and KateH and her boyfriend Andrew:

This is Maree, who was up from Hamilton for the weekend:

This is J.C and Nigel, who is doing his best J.D Fortune look, while claiming never to have watched ‘INXS: Rockstar’:

What’s more interesting than looking at photos of people you don’t know? Relating dialogue from the night? Yeah, so I’ll stop this now. On Sunday Lisa and I drove back down to Wellington. I like visiting my friends in Auckland. I love the Arcade Fire. The end.

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