The Editor's Choice: My Top 5 BIGSOUND Musical Moments

If you’re a stern observer of the AU, you may have noticed a lack of my usual review coverage from this year’s BIGSOUND event. This year, coverage was left in the capable hands of Clare and Bree (check out their coverage in the BIGSOUND hub) as I focused on the 30+ interviews that will be gracing the site from the event – not to mention getting everything set for the last of our major 5th Birthday Parties on the Friday night! But in spite of all that, I still saw some amazing musical moments, and here are my top five moments:

5. Headbangers unite! “Secret” DZ Deathrays show.

Less than 24 hours before they boarded a plane to the USA, DZ Deathrays put on a unofficial showcase performance at the intimate X&Y, which saw local fans join the band on stage and headbang their way through the high energy set. You can check out a photo of the mayhem below. Needless to say it was a blast. The band also previewed a few tracks off their forthcoming sophomore album, which they promise to be “full of ballads”.

4. The Lazys jam from atop OzTix tower…

With half hour sets and quick set up times, high scale theatrics weren’t something you came across too often at BIGSOUND. However, one moment that everyone seems to be talking about is when the guitarist from good friends of the AU, The Lazys, climbed on top of a trailer at the OzTix party. It was a moment that would make Airbourne proud and helped set the rock and roll band apart from the rest.

3. Saidah Baba Talibah falls… Comes out on top.

The sign of a true professional in any industry is that if you fall down, you get right back up again even stronger. In this case, however, the falling mentioned isn’t a euphemism, with Canadian artist Saidah Baba Talibah slipping at falling during her set, but pushing through and not only continuing to perform but rising and delivering one of the week’s finest moments. Bringing comparisons to artists like Sharon Jones, Saidah was one of the stand out performances for everyone who saw her the whole week. What a talent!

2. The Philly Jays “reunite”…

In one of the most talked about sets of the week, legendary Sydney trio Philadelphia Grand Jury, affectionately known as The Philly Jays, reunited for a one off showcase to celebrate the birthday of the owner of Brisbane’s Alhambra Lounge. The set, which kicked off after midnight, ran through an hour or so of the band’s now classic material, which for a period of time could be found just about everywhere, from triple j through to skate DVDs. Though as the trio have been performing as “Feelings” for a few weeks now (with Joel “MC Bad Genius” replacing Dave Rennick while overseas), it was a joy to see the original trio officially back together. Even if just for one night only…

1. Billy Bragg performs 1983 debut Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs Spy in full.

Bragg’s intimate set – which started early to ensure he could fit in as much as possible – ended with a celebration of the 30th anniversary of his 7 track, 16 minute 1983 debut album Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs Spy. Only knowing one or two tracks from the release personally, what really made this special was the fans up the front, whose heads quite literally exploded when he announced he’d be attempting to perform the album in full. A moment I won’t soon forget.

A special mention has to go to Regurgitator (pictured below) performing a brief set at the VIP opening night party at the Spiegeltent, which included the track “I Will Lick Your Arsehole” in front of all the VIPs. Take with that what you will. Classy as always… and of course to Nick Cave for delivering an awesome and often hilarious interview with Julia Zemiro.

Stay tuned for a look back at my top 10 performances at this year’s event!

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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