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Tricky Tours Australia

Tool tour mate and Parabola star Tricky is coming down to Australia to do his Trip-hoppy type stuff, and as well as playing the Splendour in the Grass festival (which is sold out), he’ll be playing several dates in the Eastern Capitals. That’s right, as usual Adelaide and Perth miss out, and I’m not sure that NZ get any love either.

Here’s the dates:

JULY
30 – The Metro, Sydney
31 – Prince of Wales, Melbourne

AUGUST
2 – Splendour in the Grass Festival, Byron Bay
3 – The Arena, Brisbane

Slightly more info can be found at Undercover.

Rolling Stone Top 100, Mastodon Live

A couple of quick ones today.  Blair has advised us via Toolband/Army that Vicarious took the 100th spot in Rolling Stones recent Top 100 Guitar Songs list.  Why Vicarious beat a whole shitload of other Tool songs is bound to be a source of debate.

Also, Blabbermouth are reporting that Fuse will be broadcasting Mastodon‘s set from Bonnaroo live on the web on Sunday evening US time (Monday morning for us).  They will also be showing the Metallica performance from the same festival for those that would like to see these ageing metal giants.  Hopefully Lars will bring a proper drumkit along rather than a set of paint tins.

More details on the Nightmare Before Christmas

Usquan from Toolarmy has posted these further details on the upcoming Nightmare Before Christmas festival, curated by Mike Patton & The Melvins. As expected, Ipecac bands feature quite heavily:

All Tomorrow’s Parties takes great pleasure in announcing that the next
curators for the Nightmare Before Christmas this December 2008 will be
Mike Patton and Melvins. Both are hugely influential, innovative and
vital productive forces, and we’re very very pleased to be able to
present performances from both as well as a fantastic bill of artists
picked by them. The event will take place December 5, 6 and 7 at
Butlins Holiday Camp in Minehead.

The line up so far looks like this:

Curated by Melvins

Melvins
Isis
Neil Hamburger
Dälek
Big Business

Curated by Mike Patton

Fantômas perform The Director’s Cut
The Locust
Zu

Pretty awesome lineup I reckon. The Fantômas set should be pretty cool.

Mike Patton & The Melvins curate Nightmare Before Xmas

According to a recent post on Rock-a-Rolla, Mike Patton and The Melvins will be curating the Nightmare Before Christmas festival in Minehead, UK.

Mike Patton and Melvins are set to curate this year’s Nightmare Before
Christmas, ATP’s annual festival held in Minehead, UK in December.
Previous years have seen the likes of Thurston Moore and Portishead
invite their personal favourites to perform over three days. Sources
close to Ipecac, the record label co-owned by Mike Patton and Greg
Werckman, have confirmed that this is going ahead as planned. The
details are still sketchy, however the line-up will no doubt lean
heavily towards Ipecac’s roster and Patton’s numerous projects.

No news on who will be playing, but it’s sure to be a great show…

Isis Tour Dates

Looks like Isis are embarking on a tour of Europe, including an opening date in Moscow:

Apr 13 – Ikra Club, Moscow
Apr 15 – Uebel & Gefaehrlich w/ Jakob, Hamburg
Apr 16 – Conne Island w/ Jakob, Leipzig
Apr 17 – Forum w/ Jakob & The Austerity Program, Bielefeld
Apr 18 – ROADBURN Fest w/ Celtic Frost, Electric Wizard, etc., Tilburg
Apr 19 – Grenslandhallen – POLSSLAG FESTIVAL, Hasselt
Apr 20 – Substage w/ Jakob & The Austerity Program, Karlsruhe
Apr 22 – Arena w/ Jakob & The Austerity Program, Vienna
Apr 23 – Feierwerk w/ Jakob & The Austerity Program, Munich
Apr 24 – Latte w/ The Austerity Program & Jakob, Brescia
Apr 25 – Mascotte w/ Jakob & The Austerity Program, Zurich
Apr 26 – L’Epicerie Moderne w/ Jakob & The Austerity Program, Lyon (Feyzin)
Apr 27 – L’Autre Canal w/ Jakob & The Austerity Program, Nancy

I also noticed this morning that some Australian The Mars Volta dates have been announced. Just as well I’m not a huge fan since they’ve skipped Adelaide…

Review: Big Day Out 2008

I headed out to the Adelaide Showgrounds for the annual Big Day Out festival yesterday, and here is the obligatory review post. For those that want to short version, highlights were Rage Against The Machine, Battles and the Electronic Drumming Robot. Lowlights include crowds and aged rockers slowing down. For those that want the long version – read on!

Arrival

My two friends and I decided that we’d plan to arrive at the BDO at about the same time Anti-Flag came on. After hearing a couple of tracks on Myspace we thought they could be interesting. As it turned out, parking near the showground sucks, as there are now only 2 hour and 4 parking spots within 20 minutes walk of the venue. I’m sure the last Adelaide BDO I was at (probably 5 years ago now) you could more or less park where ever you want. Personally I’m surprised the nearby parklands weren’t open for parking. Even if there was a fee of say $5 I would have been happy to pay.

Anyway, getting into the venue was pretty painless, unlike previous years in Sydney where you can stand in line for half an hour or so just waiting to get in. One thing that strikes me in Adelaide is that the showgrounds are really a quite dusty and relatively desolate location. There’s not much in the way of trees and shade, and a hell of a lot of ashphalt and dirt patches where most of the eating and market areas are. On a relatively hot day, shade was at a premium. I don’t think there’s really anyway the venue could improve on this, but the showgrounds in Sydney are much more user friendly in this regard.

We worked our way to the main stage for Anti-Flag, walking straight into the D barrier was quite easy. Anti-Flag were OK I guess, the sound was relatively quiet, and the crowd seemed to be getting into them, but their by-the-numbers punk wasn’t really working for me. We quickly moved on from there, and decided to take a walk around the venue.

We checked out some of the market stalls. One thing that strikes me is how much of the merchandise being sold in some stalls is legitimate? We walked through one where there was heaps of Tool merchandise, some which had symbols and logo’s I didn’t recognise. Still, I couldn’t resist buying a size 1 Tool T-Shirt for Hellboy Jr. I’m pretty sure they don’t sell those on Toolarmy!

Eventually we made our way around to the local stage, where Skeletons where playing. These guys were pretty good and we stayed and watched them for 10 minutes or so. We also came across the Roborock display, which a robotic drummer, who played Helmet‘s Unsung, RATM‘s Bullet In The Head and fittingly Iron Man by Black Sabbath. It was damn cool, and more entertaining then a lot of bands we saw…

After bludging around a bit, we decided to work our way back to the main stage in anticipation of the first band I knew would be good- Regurgitator. Before they came on though, we caught the end of the Midnight Juggernauts set, which was actually alright. Not really something I’d listen to much, but good festival music none the less, and the crowd seemed to be really getting into them.

Eventually The ‘Gurg came on, dressed up in white tracksuits, and played a greatest hits set which was probably one of the more energetic ones for the day. They switched style from alt. rock, to electro, hip-hop and then back again, and I enjoyed them a great deal. Definitely a highlight of the day for me, though as their (unplayed) song says – I like their old stuff better than their new stuff. The Hilltop Hoods came on after that. We didn’t stick around, I think they suck. Personally Regurgitator’s take on Hip-Hop sounds better…

Afternoon

After leaving the main oval once again, we made our way to the Essential Stage for Enter Shikari. We only got to see a few of their songs, but what we hearded sounded alright. One song was quite heavy and hardcore, while others where a bit goofy. Not quite sure what I think of these guys at the moment. Still the Essential Stage was indoors and air conditioned, so it was worth being there just for that!

Next up were Battles who were a band high on my list to check out. After finding a spot right next to Kim from The Mark of Cain (obviously there to see how band mate John Stanier was doing), Battles came on and did their thing. It was a pretty energetic set, and played more or less all the “hits” I expected them too. The crowd seemed to be getting into them too, though quite a few left early I assume to go and see Grinspoon on the main stage.

After Battles we decided to go see The Nightwatchmen, which was actually better than I expected. The highlight was a version of AC/DC‘s Dirty Deeds. Soon we got sick of his folky political songs and moved back to the Main Stage to check out the end of the Grinspoon set. I’ve seen Grinspoon before, and they’re a good live band, and this afternoon seemed to play more old stuff than new stuff, which worked for me. The singer doesn’t seem to have the same presence on stage since he stopped taking Meth…

Following Grinspoon there was a big gap with no one that really stood out were on. The Arcade Fire was boring the crowd on the main stage, while Spoon did their thing on the Green Stage. Spoon sounded ok, but I’m not really sure I see their appeal at this stage. We had dinner in the dry, dusty markets, and eventually found a slightly shaded footpath to sit down on. I had gourmet pizza, which had a gourmet price but wasn’t really that gourmet!

Evening

After several recommendations we decided to move out to the Green Stage to check out Aussie metallers Karnivool. After having their guitars set up by Elvis, they finally came on a rocked out with a few tracks I kinda recognised from Triple J. Their sound was great, and they’re a really tight unit, but to be honest it just didn’t work for me that afternoon. Maybe it was the fact they played outdoors in the daylight, but I just couldn’t get into it.

We decided to skip UNKLE and head straight to the main stage to get a good spot for Bjork and Rage Against The Machine. Thankfully Silverchair had already finished. We took our place outside the D-Barrier on the RATM side, and eventually Bjork came charging onto stage with her horn section. Bjork’s show was a bit hit and miss. Some songs were amazing, while others just fell a bit flat. Watching the various gizmo’s that the band used was pretty cool though.

The crowd around me voiced their displeasure at having to see Bjork, but I really didn’t think it was that bad, though given the high bogan count this came as no surprise to me. I do question the timing of Bjork’s set though. While I don’t think she’s a Boiler Room act, I think putting her on immediately before Rage wasn’t a great idea. I probably would have worked better if she was the final act on the main stage.

Following a poorly placed lightning and fire show (from our spot on the oval only those taller than 7 foot could see anything – nowhere near as cool as the fire hand thing at last years) Rage Against The Machine came on. Overall it was a great show, though it was kinda disappointing that a few songs had been slowed down. They weren’t even ones I thought were particularly hard to play, while other more challenging ones were quite good (and fast). Zack seemed to smile a lot, which goes against the whole raging theme I guess, though obviously the guys are enjoying their time back together. Zack rolled out his well rehearsed speech during Wake Up too, which went down well with most of the crowd.

Carl Cox was the headline act in the Boiler Room this year. I’m sure he’s a great DJ but does he need to headline every second year? I can think of plenty of other acts I’d rather see in that position. We didn’t bother checking him out. The Boiler Room lineup was pretty weak this year, aside from UNKLE who I missed, and Dr. Octagon who skipped Adelaide, it just looked boring.

Overall/Editorial

This was the 12th Big Day Out I’ve been to since first going back in 1993, and it was a good day, though not one that will really stand out compared to many of the great lineups in the 90’s. People like to complain about the crowds being worse, but personally I don’t think they’ve changed – there were as many morons at past BDO’s as there were this year, and besides, if you’re heading towards the front of the stage then you have to expect to get kicked, pushed, etc.

I guess there’s not a great deal they can do with the venue, but some better areas for eating a chilling out would be great. Getting booze was much better than in Sydney though, I had no problems getting a drink while at Homebush I’d be waiting in line for 30 minutes or so. There was a good range of food too, and the toilets seemed to be bearable, though there was the usual queue for the ladies.

Getting out of the venue was a real pain in the arse.I’d say there was about 25,000 out of 35,000 people in the oval for Rage, and everyone trying to get out at once through a somewhat constricted path to the ext mean that there was basically a hugh crush right in the middle of the venue, worse than the actual pit during RATM. Organisers need to do this better next year, since I can’t remember it being a major problem in the past.

They also need to do something about the D barrier. While I have no problem with them trying to limit the amount of people in there, I think the way they are going about it is wrong. All they’ve basically achieved is moving the crush from the front of the stage, to the D entrance, and security have nowhere near as good access to people at the entrance as they do at the front of the stage. Admittedly if it weren’t for pushing morons this wouldn’t be a problem, hopefully it won’t take a death for them to make a change. I also think that given the size of the Adelaide BDO it’s unnecessary and a T barrier would be more effective.

Maybe I’m stuck in the past, but I don’t think there has been enough depth in the bands at the Big Day Out in the last few years. The Australian and Local bands are fine but most of the second string international bands in the lineups in the last few years have been pretty ordinary in my opinion. In years past I’ve been more excited about the smaller international bands than the headliners, but the last few years if it weren’t for Rage and Tool, I’d never have gone. In fact next year, unless there’s a good lineup, I can’t see myself going either. I’m no longer in a space where I’d just go for the experience of the day.

Poll Results: Who are you most excited about seeing at the Big Day Out?

Last week I asked who, apart from RATM are you looking forward to seeing the most at the 2008 Big Day Out.  I was a little surprised to see Bjork on top of that list.  I’m looking forward to seeing her, but picked Battles as my #1 choice.

Some other silly people voted for Silverchair.  To see how far they’ve fallen 9though personally I don’t really think they ever got up in the first place) check out this video.

Personally I’m planning on checking out Anti-Flag, Regurgitator, Enter Shikari (I forgot to stick them on the poll!), Battles, Grinspoon, maybe The Nightwatchmen, Karnivool (who I also forgot to put on the list) and/or UNKLE, Bjork and Rage Against the Machine.  I’ll be going to the Adelaide BDO this Friday, any Fourtheye readers going that want to have a beer can feel free to contact me and we’ll see what we can do.

A whole heap of you said you’d only turn up 5 minutes before Rage Against the Machine.  While I don’t deny that’s a reflection of the quality of the bands selected for this years BDO, I’m very much of the attitude that you shouldn’t write off any band until you’ve heard them live.  I think it’s kinda sad that people would buy tickets to a festival and then not go and check out other acts.  Sometimes the biggest surprises come from bands you’ve never heard of, or never given a chance.  This has happened to me more times than I can remember.

Anyway, enough ranting, here’s the list!

  1. I plan to rock up 5 minutes before RATM go on…. 56 Votes
  2. Bjork 46 Votes
  3. Silverchair 30 Votes
  4. Battles 23 Votes
  5. The Arcade Fire 18 Votes
  6. UNKLE 14 Votes
  7. The Nightwatchmen 12 Votes
  8. Grinspoon 3 Votes
  9. Carl Cox, Spoon, Anti-Flag and Regurgitator 2 Votes
  10. Billy Bragg 0 Votes!

Isis European Tour

Tool tourmates Isis have just announced a European tour according to Blabbermouth.  The tour, which is scheduled for April will include:

  • Apr. 13 – Moscow, RU @ Ikra Club
  • Apr. 15 – Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefaehrlich
  • Apr. 16 – Leipzig, DE @ Conne Island
  • Apr. 18 – Tilburg, NL @ 013 (Roadburn Festival)
  • Apr. 20 – Karlsruhe, DE @ Substage
  • Apr. 22 – Vienna, AT @ Arena
  • Apr. 23 – Munich, DE @ Feierwerk
  • Apr. 25 – Zurich, CH @ Mascotte
  • Apr. 26 – Lyon (Feyzin), FR @ L’Epicerie Moderne
  • Apr. 27 – Nancy, FR @ L’Autre Canal

The UK seems to be a glaring omission from that list, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we see some more dates announced.

Meshuggah, Trans-Am

There’s an interesting video interview with a couple of the guys from Meshuggah on Blabbermouth.net for those of you who want to know more about obZen and their recording style.  Worth checking out if you’re a fan.

Blair posted some Australian and New Zealand tour dates for recent Tool touring partners Trans-Am on Toolband/Army.  As usual they skip Adelaide.  For some reason they’re playing in Levin, NZ though!  I’m not a huge fan of them personally, but I’m sure there’s some of you who are!

  • Feb 1 Kings Arms – Auckland, NZ
  • Feb 2 San Francisco Bath House – Wellington, NZ
  • Feb 5 Camp A Low Hum – Levin, NZ
  • Feb 7 Oxford Art Factory – Sydney, AUS
  • Feb 8 Gallery of Modern Art – Brisbane, AUS
  • Feb 9 East Brunswick Club – Melbourne, AUS
  • Feb 10 The Espy, St Kilda Festival – Melbourne, AUS

Confirmed US Tour Dates

I checked Toolarmy this morning and there are now some confirmed Tool US Tour dates.  For those of you in Houston and New Orleans who were frantically praying that those tour dates weren’t a cruel hoax; you’re prayers have been answered!  The rescheduled LA dates at the Nokia Centre also appear on the list.

  • 11/14 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center (onsale 10/5)
  • 11/16 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center (onsale 10/5)
  • 11/17 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Arena (onsale 10/6)
  • 11/23 – Casper, WY @ Casper Events Center (onsale 10/6)
  • 11/27 – Saskatoon, SK @ Credit Union Centre (onsale 10/5)
  • 12/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Nokia Theatre
  • 12/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Nokia Theatre

Finally, for those of you that cares about who’s on the Big Day Out Festival next year: Rage Against the Machine, Bjork, Grinspoon, Arcade Fire, Hilltop Hoods, Billy Bragg, Paul Kelly, LCD Soundsystem, Sarah Blasko, Faker, Midnight Juggernauts, Dizzee Rascal, Something With Numbers, Battles, Cut Off Your Hands.  At least there’s a few good bands there….

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