To begin. The first of February, the day I had the most amazing experience of my life. It was the day of the 2009 Perth Big Day Out. My lady and I begun our journey in the morning hours with energy making an appearance from a foreign place- neither of us had the opportunity for a heavy rest. After a quick stop at a candy store for a good dose of sugary goodness, we were on our way. We did, however, also stop at a H.J's on the way towards to city. Yes, we did have a dance to the jukebox. And, yes, we did have to put on Queen- we had just discovered the extent to which it annoyed those who work there. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our pit stop (ice cream cones & apple juice for me, and immense laughter as my lady choked down her wrong order, of processed cow) and once again, made a move.
Skip a few steps and a good half hour of driving around the show grounds looking for an entrance, and we were there. 12 hours of dancing our arses off ahead of us, and boy did we! From the Grates to the Prodigy, we were moving like a dodgy massaging chair set to maximum, minus the chair. Jumping in circles to the Grates, dancing in mass squashed crowds at the Ting Tings, dirty dancing through back pain to Pendulum with a topless fellow (whilst my lady was on a dreaded character's shoulders), leading in a jive and waving our now communal fluorescent light saber above our heads at Little Red (see pic), raising our voices at the TLE boys, and at Neil Young... Dancing, screaming, and standing still in awe and wonder.
Here is when the experience occurred. I managed to get my lady to come with me to the D just under an hour before Neil was scheduled to come on stage, and it was worth every minute (even the pain of the Arctic Monkey's that we had to endure, ha). We met a couple who were just as excited as us, and spent a fair bit of our time chatting away to our new lady friend (sparing names) about how her partner had been over to Sydney in the same week to see Neil at the BDO over that way, as well as a sideshow... As he later told us, "history was going to be made" that night- and he was right. Finally, he appeared.
Fuck, I can't even explain it. To be there, watching the grand-mac-daddy of grunge in the flesh, it was just... Mind blowing. Magical. Out of this world. All an understatement to say the least. To see this 63 year old guitar GOD running around and running amok; causing such an intimate setting when there were thousands of fans responding to his every strum and utterance was inexplainable. It, in a very cliché way, took my breath away, made my jaw drop open, and eventually made me cry.
(Side note: The first stream begun when I heard the opening note for "Old man*". I consider this song to be papa's and mine (even if he doesn't realise it); I wish he was there to share that with me. Every nerve of my body felt as though Mr Young was singing it in my direction. Perhaps, however, this was as my lady and I had made our way up to the second row, to the right, by this point... Oh yes, jealousy ensured when I was to tell others. My pa's response in particular was beyond belief.)
By the end, we were experiencing feelings we didn't know we had. Brought to surface throughout piano ballads, love songs, an assortment of instruments, actions, & voice. We knew there would be an encore, that of which caused a mind-gasm (to say the least). Neil came casually strolling back onto stage, and as he beckoned the crowd- we caused an eruption of sound that could not be reproduced. It begun. The chords to the Beatles classic "A day in the life". By the end, Neil was ripping the strings off of his guitar, and playing it with them dangling from the neck. To imagine this will not do it justice, it had to be experienced. That night, my life changed.
* Here's a Set list:
1. Love And Only Love
2. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
3. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
4. Spirit Road
5. Cortez The Killer
6. Cinnamon Girl
7. Mother Earth
8. The Needle And The Damage Done
9. Heart Of Gold
10. Old Man
11. Cowgirl In The Sand
12. Just Singing A Song
13. Rockin' In The Free World
14. A Day In The Life