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Rock-It 2005

Lets do this in reverse, headliners first. I’ve gotta say first up, I’m not a massive Green Day fan. Last time I saw them (at the first Rock-It Festival in 2001) I thought they were good, but I wasn’t blown away. On Sunday though, they really impressed – played for a solid two hours, covering new material and old. Mid-way through the show, they made themselves some life-long die-hard fans by getting three audience members up on stage to play drums, bass and guitar. The chosen kids did an awesome job and one got to keep the guitar. Billy Joe’s prediction (“you’re gonna have sex tonight”) probably was a safe bet too.

Jumping back, before Green Day was Grinspoon. I’m not a fan of that band either. There’s something about their singer that really annoys me, not that I can explain why. Unfortunately for me they were really very good. I’ll even admit to singing along at one point.

Before Grinspoon was Simple Plan. We didn’t watch ’em but we did have some yummy nachos. Top stuff. Queue wasn’t too bad either.

My Rock-It highlight was the first band we saw, early in the afternoon& Shihad, the band formerly known as Pacifier, formerly known as Shihad. They were in fine form, John Toogood sporting long hair (ok, I haven’t seen them live for a while), diving into the crowd a couple of times and totally winning everyone over. They rocked, as they have done every time I’ve seen them. I only wish they’d got to play later on in the evening when the audience was actually paying attention.

Which brings me to the audience. I’m starting to feel old. Very old. We played a game where we spotted people older than us. I reckon that people who were obviously parents accompanying very young punters didn’t count. My mate Goss (who, incidentally, is one year older than me) insisted they did. Either way, I reckon we saw no more than 20 or 30 people over the 30yr mark (although we didn’t go into the licensed area).

The two big LED screens were another highlight – we could see the action onstage even when stuck behind stupid little girls sitting on their boyfriends’ shoulders (no, I’m not bitter). It was a nice touch anyway.

So, in summary: lots of good fun, well organised, but made me feel ancient. I suppose I should get used to it. The fact that it sold out, less than a month after the Big Day Out did the same, is an swesome indicator as to the state of live music in this country. Bring it on!

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