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Big Day Out @ Showgrounds, Adelaide (25/01/2013)

Before I begin, let me make this clear: leaving half way through the Bloody Beetroots set is as big a crime as dancing Gangnam Style in a moshpit. Alas, you cannot help but worry that you may have missed out on juiciest bits of a set when the main act comes on the stage late and you have to leave before they finish to catch your ride.

But onto the music: I’m pleased to report, the Boiler Room lived up to its reputation of facilitating a high-energy dance arena. I cannot remember one of these events that have not given way to a very attentive audience! Although I considered the line-up fairly weak in comparison to other years (though that’s probably down to festivals like Stereosonic owning the dance market), the music certainly wasn’t disappointing on the ears… well, most of it.

What was disappointing was the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Granted, I’ve never been a superfan – but unless you were swaying drunk you couldn’t ignore the sloppiness of the performance. Anthony couldn’t offer any commentary between songs, so instead we got left with Flea talking filthy toilet-style humour – whatever substance or vibe they were on, I certainly didn’t want what they were having. So much for the main act being the highlight!

This prompted me to make a move toward the Boiler Room to get a prime spot for the Bloody Beetroots. I would feel sorry for any act leading into such a high energy performance and being up against the Chilli Peppers is a tough spot to fill. Unfortunately, I got stuck listening to Nina Las Vegas for forty minutes, which made me feel like I stuck outside Red Square on a Thursday night…if you’re from Adelaide, you would understand my pain.

On the plus side, I was fortunate enough to catch up with a few of ITM’s favourite artists in the Boiler Room. It seems that the likes of Morgan Page, BT and Nicky Romero all agree, Australia (much like the US) is exploding with dance music, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of a thriving scene. So just what did they dish out to us begging fans?

Morgan Page played a bit of everything to an appreciative crowd. Most well received were his own tracks, Fight For You and a remix of his timeless classic Longest Road. Still even now, that track never gets old! Other remakes included Bruno Mars’ cover of SOS and a male vocal cover of Rhythm is a Dancer meets Rhythm of the Night. At least this old raver knew the words!

BT is the man with the luscious hair and even higher energy. It was pleasant feeling the trance influence amongst a festival crowd, which can kind of get lost amongst the high volume releases these days. Between the beach balls, the crowd chanting and dancing about and the guards handing out water to combat the heat, it felt like Ibiza.

Then Nicky Romero stepped up. For a 24-year-old, this man gives a lot back to his audience. The epic intro soon gave way to boys showering in bromance and people dancing with their phones. The classics and samples came out with Encore in Fois, some Chemical Brothers and Rock the Funky Beats. Don’t let the young pretty face deceive you, he’s got talent!

So how did I feel after such a long day? I must admit I felt slightly out of touch with the younger crowds antics; I wasn’t out of touch when it came to enjoying the music. The word from the boys getting up on the stage is that it’s exciting being amongst Australia’s dance music culture. I suppose I’m used to heading to festivals, so it was a nice to see such an eager crowd out in force, even if the music wasn’t particularly diverse in the Boiler Room. Luckily the live elements of the day still gave us that variety, which is what has always been great about the Big Day Out. I hope it gets to see another year, otherwise that gap between the dance scene and those who appreciate live music may continue to get wider.