Big Day Out 2013 @ Gold Coast Parklands, 20.01.2013 – Part 2

Big Day Out 2013: Death Grips @ Gold Coast Parklands, Sunday 20 January 2013

The quickest way back to the media tent after a few songs of Jagwar Ma is through the photo pit.  Grinspoon are about to start so I make the most of the walk by taking a couple of photos in the first song.  Some might say it was a good walk spoiled.

Death Grips are probably the highlight of the day.  As a photographer, it’s the sort of performance that you relish, even if it’s made a bit more difficult under the average lighting conditions in the tent stages.  It’s a performance that doesn’t pause for breath and being in the front row of the photo pit gives you that feeling of being right in the midst of it all.  Musically it’s a bit one trick pony but the vitality and the passion pulls you in.

I quite like Band Of Horses, I even have a couple of their albums.  I enjoyed them when they played at Splendour a few years ago, enough to buy their at-the-time-current album and had been looking forward to seeing them again today .  But when it comes around, I just don’t feel in the mood for it.  Being in the photo pit doesn’t inspire me and so I call it a day after less than two songs.  It’s partly the impact of jetlag and the comfy confines of the media tent calling to my wearing body and mind but also because they’ve drawn a really short straw after the explosive set that Death Grips are still in the middle of over at the Essential Stage tent.

There’s a very short window of opportunity to photograph Off! before Childish Gambino, with ten minutes between their respective start times.  Luckily, Off! manage to squeeze in 4 songs in first five minutes, and a I get a few nice shots of Keith Morris before an almost leisurely walk back over to the Essential Stage tent.  It’s still far too soon after Death Grips to be enraptured by Childish Gambino, although the tent is packed and everyone seems elated by the set.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of those bands that always seem to bypass Brisbane.  One of those acts that, if we’re lucky, we’ll get the short festival set (not always guaranteed to actually be in the city itself or even in the same state or timezone) but rarely to never actually get a sideshow and a full set.  A 45 minute set every few years seems to be all that promoters ever offer Brisbane for some acts and often we’re not even blessed with that, with some acts, often fairly high profile ones, flown in to only play shows in Sydney and Melbourne.

I’d been wanting to photograph the YYYs for years and they’re the only act of the day that I stay for to watch the whole set.  Photographing them isn’t too bad although the three songs whizz by in the blink of an eye.  The main frustration is that I really want some good photos of Nick Zinner but he keeps either hiding too far back from the front of the stage or where the foldback speakers and equipment only provide a really limited view of him.  It’s hard not to take photos of Karen O throughout, but I’ve always considered them to be one of those bands that are equal in what each member brings to the band and want to at least try to take divide the limited time to photograph each of them equally.

The set they play is ok but I just don’t think that they’re a band that’s meant to play the main outdoor stage at big outdoor summer festivals.  It doesn’t suit them and despite Karen O’s presence, they don’t really project themselves to a really large crowd.

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