NEVEREVERLAND @ Sidney Myer Music Bowl

So last night was the event that Sarah and I have been waiting 10 years for; Daft Punk live. Here! In Australia! IN OUR VERY OWN CITY! I got so excited waiting for Sarah to arrive at my house that at about 2pm that I took two Valium so I’d stop getting the jitters.
We rocked up at about 5.15 and were surprised that the grass area of Sidney Myer Music Bowl was virtually empty (save for some freaks pinned against the barricade) so we had ample time to scope out where the loos were, where we could get beers, and most importantly, where the merch stand was. Sarah and I have bad merchandise luck; we always leave it til last and end up with either ugly designs or
oversized/undersized wardrobe disasters. Not so this time! The line was virtually non-existent and we scored matching black and pink tour t-shirts (rather fetching).
Muscles did his set at around 5.45, and it was pretty awesome, save for the fact that only about three people danced, it wasn’t dark enough yet, he didn’t play “My Friend Richard” and Sarah and I were too lazy to stand so we got some Jagermeisters and sat on the lawn using our free robot masks as fans to ward off the hideous heat. Wescoped out weirdos while the Modular DJs did their set; there was someone dressed as a skeleton from the Around The World video, a crowd of people wearing tin-foil hats, some nuts dressed as the blue Power Ranger (complete with lycra suit and mask) and a whole hoard of women that seemed to think you could wear 1980’s fluro swimsuits as singlets with high waisted shorts to top the look off. No, ladies. No.
Cut Copy played a sweet set, a little too much new album stuff, but generally good. The frontman was giving his keyboard a nice manic hammering; its always good to have something to giggle about when you’re excitable as hell, full of Red Bull and uncomfortable and stuffy from impending melanomas. It says on my set list that Bang Gang DJs performed, and I have no recollection of this. Perhaps it was when we went to pee? God knows. I do remember loudly complaining and muttering “PRESETS” under my lungs while some filler music was playing, so perhaps that was it. If so, it was highly forgettable (apologies, I have some of your CDs!) and long-winded. At around 7…something, The Presets rocked the shit and threw in some new stuff, much to my excitement. We had gotten a pretty awesome spot by then, about three people back from the barricade, and up the incline a little so we could see the stage. The crowd had started to pack in tighter, and this was the time that Kiku decided to ring me.

Allow me to explain.

I got an email about 3 days before the concert from the Modular record label (who manages The Presets, Muscles, Cut Copy, New Young Pony Club, Klaxons etc) asking for a round-up of any fans who’d be going to any of the Australian Daft Punk shows. They only wanted the crazies, the ones who dress as robots (or Power Rangers, as it seems) the life-long fans and the ones that were gonna completely lose their shit when the gig started. They wanted to make a film about Daft Punk’s fans, and wanted you to write a nice little paragraph about why you should be involved and why you were a massive fan. I skipped all that and sent a JPG of my Daft Punk tattoo with a “here you go”. The next day I got an email asking for my contact number; I was in! They asked if they could maybe meet up earlier to film my room if it was interesting; I said it sucked arse, gave them my mobile number and that I’d just meet them at the Thursday gig.
When Kiku rang I could hear only the sweet beat of “Are You The One?” blasting down my receiver. I told him I couldn’t hear him about 4 times, and managed to hear the words “text you”, so I hung up and waited for his text. He said he’d meet and film me at the Jager tent after the Presets; at 8:30. I agreed. Near the end of the Presets’ set, we started to make our way out of the crowd in case it was going to take a while. Sarah was a little bummed that we were losing our prime viewing spot, and I said I’d ask Kiku if we could possibly get some VIP passes to a better location. As we emerged from the crowd, the Presets did their closer; “I Go Hard, I Go Home”, my favourite track! I was a little bummed – I could still see it, just not dance in the crowd like a mad cunt.

After a few minutes of crowd settling, Kiku rocked up with a camera and a tripod, approaching me with a nod at my tattoo, smiling and saying “There could only be one, right?”
He set up the camera and decided to film my ink before asking me some questions. People were staring and gathering around, wondering why the fuck a guy was filming my arm. “Oh, hey, that’s awesome!” was the general response, or “Can I be in the film?” with a gesture to some rub-on Jagermeister tattoos from inside the tent. Then two Italian stallion types put their arms around me, and started hosting what appeared to be some sort of Jager induced game show segment, in which I was apparently called Rachel, and then they demanded that Melbourne “get off their arses” and “jump through the camera” to come see Daft Punk. I said I was most offended that I had been given a shite name like Rachel and they pushed off. Kiku asked me a string of questions which I can’t really remember, I do remember answering “So what is Nevereverland?” with “It’s a concert,”(oh God) and “What do you think they really look like under the helmets?” with “Probably fat, balding and unattractive,” (I’m sorry, robots) and “SO are you an obsessive fan?” with “Well, I’m not one of those freakos who dresses up…” (You have a PERMANENT tattoo, get a grip lady…)
All in all I’m pretty sure I humiliated myself, and you’ll all be able to see it @ in about 2 weeks time. Sigh.
After I had asked Kiku for some passes and he said he’d see what he could do, thanked me for my time and said he’d catch up with me after Daft Punk’s set to see what I thought, we made our way back into the mayhem to catch the last half of Kavinsky and Sebastian’s set. He played “Ross Ross Ross” to which I giggled because how often does someone name a song and an album after your boyfriend (times three even, and I briefly considered buying Ross a t-shirt because of this) and counted down the minutes on the clock.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, the people packed in hard, and a loud distortion pedal-esque sound emitted the air, and Sarah screamed so loudly in my ear that I thought I was going to explode. Then everything went dark. Then there was lights. Then the pyramid lit up. Then you could see the robots, waving. Clapping. Then I screamed the loudest I ever have in my entire life. Sarah squeezed my hand and I left nail-marks in hers. The air filled with the sound of robot voices chanting “HUMAN. ROBOT. HUMAN. ROBOT.” I swear I nearly pissed my pants. I probably did and just assumed it was sweat later on. They broke into “Robot Rock” and the crowd went fucking INSANE. It turned into a mosh-pit and some girl singed me with her cigarette from dancing insanely. Everyone lost all inhibition and danced like 1980’s raving losers. It was fantastic. I snatched some photos from Flickr and stuck them at the end of this post for reference, because I could only film video on my mobile phone, my stills were coming out completely white from the LEDs.
The Tron-esque grid on either side of the pyramid flashed rainbow and swirled and nearly gave me epilepsy. It was incredible. So much time and effort and design must have gone into the show, and let me tell you, it was worth the 130 bucks for Daft’s set alone. It was the best damn show of my life! The finale was incredible (see the last photo) Thomas and Guy had red LEDs attached to the outside of their suits so you could see their silhouettes, it was fantastic. They mashed “One More Time”, “Human After All” Thomas Bangalter’s “Together” and “Music Sounds Better With You”. The crowd went completely bonkers for the “Music Sounds Better” riff, and everybody was chanting the words to “One More Time”. I nearly got crushed and I loved it.
After the finale, Sarah and I went back to the Jager tent to meet Kiku for the final consensus. He rocked up and fiddled about with his camera, then muttered something about having to get lights or change batteries and scuttled off without really explaining very much to Sarah and I. We lay on the grass and tried to breathe, and some French guy asked us if we wanted free sex. We said no, thanks, we couldn’t walk properly, and how could we possibly have sex? He was like, “Joke…reality…” as if we didn’t get it. Sarah took some photos of him and his drunken friends for him, and then we started walking down to the orchestra pit to find Kiku after I insisted he’d probably gone to snort some coke. Security got all up in our grills, and I said it was okay, we were waiting for the Modular guy to come film us. The security guard scoffed. I declared drunkenly and loudly “You’ll see when he gets here!” and rang Kiku, telling him that security was making everyone leave. He sounded a little confused or dazed (its all that coke!) and asked if we were going to the after party. I said I couldn’t walk and needed to go home and die. He said thanks and told me he’d email me some details. Sarah and I stumbled to 7-Eleven and got slurpees. I don’t remember anything else except a guy on the train had a Beethoven t-shirt and I nearly ruined my free masks with slurpee goodness. Now, observe the Flickr viewing spree and be jealous;

I’m tired, I have to go to bed now. The end.