Oh, the rain! Rain rain rain. It’s almost painful without being touched. For the past handful of nights I lay with my window open, falling asleep to the mad rush of rain pellets against the roof, the windows, the pavement, slashing against the trees, car tires screeching, sirens blaring, running water rising higher in the corners of the streets; it’s almost a constant whipping sound. I just think to myself, dear god, not the floods.
I arrived back from the US a mere two weeks ago and immediately the cabbie was reminding me that it is officially one year since “the floods” as it is most commonly referred to.
I can tell you exactly what I was doing this time last year as the water peaked at 14.6 feet in Brisbane city. I was sitting in another city who just years before fought a very similar devastating battle, New Orleans. In between po boy sandwiches and late night shenanigans on Bourbon Street, mixed amongst all day work meetings of course, it was confirmed that I would be moving to Brisbane pending visa approval. Sold on a city that was under water.
And so I’ve returned from a 3 week work/holiday stint in New York ready to take on summer full swing, but I’m met with the damn road block of constant rain! I’ll give it to you straight.
Big Day Out is a multi-city all day festival. It has a reputation of being for those youngins because it’s a 15+ show, however when I saw the lineup I said myself, of all the new music I’ve exposed myself to the 7 months I’ve been here, how can I deny myself a hard core rage to My Chemical Romance and a nostalgic sing along with long time idol Noel Gallagher? Cleary impossible. So I paid the $175 to go.
I arranged for my Sunday best. I braided my hair the evening before to result in perfect crimps, I removed the packing from my shinny new fanny pack (which have I mentioned has a whole different conotation here?), and I pulled up my socks to the knees and stepped into my gum boots (uhum rain boots). I then knocked on new roomie Kelvin’s door, a manager at a top of the line fashion distributor, to get confirmation that my attire was suiting. What I received in response was a huge laugh. I defended myself stating, perhaps you don’t know I dress for comfort and convenience, over style. So off I went.
I arrived at Roma Street bus station, where I pre-purchased a round trip bus fair to save myself or others the inconvenience of organizing transportation, amongst the plethora of 16 years olds attending the show. I caught my reflection in the mirror and thought two things, holy shnikes my outfit does not look good in one bit, and secondly, am I getting a rush of being too old for this? Shnikes is right! Luckily the bus ride was calm and quiet.
I arrived a good 1.5 hours before my friends so opted for some lunch, a decent scope of the arena, and a first up jam out to the Medics, an unique Aussie indigenous band who’s bassist rocks out like no one I’ve ever seen, seriously! After a quick stop off at Calling All Cars and the Cairo’s my friends have finally arrived and we tango’d with some heavy metal sooo not my speed before I removed my gum boots to relax to California natives Best Coast.
I secretly (I think I just changed the secrecy aspect of it all) just went to the show for two reasons, amongst some other decent acts I wouldn’t mind having on my score card (Foster the People, Kasabian, Kimbra, Architecture & Helsinki and more), but ideally, it was a hard core rock out to My Chemical Romance and a nod and shake to Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds. But holy what, MCR was a disappointment! I’ve seen their shows in London, New York and Philadelphia and they are always a literal pee-in-your-pants raging good time. But on the Gold Coast this energy was low and sound quality bad. I thought it was just them but as I danced my way to Kasabian it was the same, nooooo way, this crowd should be rocking out to this way harder despite the downpour, but no avail.
So when my friends waited in the pouring down rain for Kayne West I walked away to see Noel G, shuffled myself to the second row from the stage and it all came rushing back. I was 13 again belting out Oasis B-sides, known classics, and the good stuff from his new album. Here he was, Noel Gallagher mere meters (whatever that is in feet) from my face. And after all the rain (yes, my gum boots finally came in handy), and after all the running from stage to stage, this was it, just me, myself and I, raging out to Noel Gallagher, my teen idol, and taking the bus back to Brissy with a huge yawn and smile on my face. Yeah, yeah. It may never go away.