Big Day Out Hits The Road

Bjork tore the shirt of a photographer who snapped her when she arrived at New Zealand airport and Rage Against The Machine, doing their first shows outside the U.S. since re-forming last year, walked on to a deafening roar of welcome and turned 45,000 people into giant jumpin’ jack flashes.

This was Auckland, as the 16th Big Day Out six-city traveling circus got under way January 18.

Big Day Out’s second stop, at the Gold Coast January 20, was also action-filled. Silverchair unveiled its 12-piece format, with three backing singers, two keyboard players and a four-piece brass section.

Some detractors held up a huge sheet with a hand-painted message telling new quirky teen band Operator Please to get off the stage, leading the act to explode into a barrage of four-letter words and directing other members of the 53,000-strong crowd to take revenge.

A woman driving to the show died when the SUV she was in collided with a truck, sending her two friends to hospital. A man who allegedly punched a security officer was tasered when he refused police orders to get into a divisional van.

This year’s Big Day Out has been the most successful to date, with 275,000 tickets shifted and all dates declared sold out.