The first Big Day Out I ever attended – tickets were just $69.50 (an absolute bargain, by today’s standard). I went to the concert with my friend David Rummery – we decided to get dressed up for the occasion, so I was wearing black shorts, a black X Files t-shirt (which I loved), and my beloved Converse skate shoes (even though I can’t skate). As well as all that, I had half my hair dyed bright red. I looked like an idiot. But I can remember seeing the following bands:

You Am I: The first major band I had ever seen – these guys are Australians, and had a couple of great songs back in the day (one was called ‘Cathy’s Clown’). I dunno what’s happened to them lately. I also got their autograph a little later in the day – they signed the front of my program.

Supergrass: Ah! Britpop back when it was in its gay-est stages! These guys were still riding the success of their debut album ‘I Should Coco’, featuring tracks like ‘Its Alright’ and ‘Going Out’. They sucked live though.

(Useless trivia time: Supergrass would eventually release a video for their song ‘Pumping Out Your Stereo’, which was directed by British duo Hammer and Tongs. Currently, Hammer and Tongs are directing the major motion picture version of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, based on the book by Douglas Adams)

Fear Factory: Many people dog these guys, which is sad, because they were pretty awesome – their drummer, Raymond Herrera, is one of the fastest drummers alive, and their bass player, Christian Olde Wolbers, uses a standup-bass for all their recordings. Not exactly my style of music, but still pretty cool.

(They also lost points at this gig because they were a late fill-in for the heavy metal band Sepultura – who, admittedly, I was disappointed to be not seeing. It should be noted that Sepultura broke up about this time as well, because their singer, Max Cavalera, was too tightly wrapped around his wife’s little finger).

Shihad: So what if Shihad have played every single Big Day Out since about 1995! They’re good!! (I also got these guys autographs later in the day on the front of my program)

The Prodigy: Not many people remember, but at the start of 1997, Prodigy were still high from releasing 2 of the biggest tracks of 1996 (‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’) and were about to drop the best techno album of the 1990’s on the world (‘The Fat of the Land’). Just a great act in their prime (see 2002 to find out how far they’ve fallen)

(The only thing Prodigy did wrong: the video for ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ – it’s a great song, and they ruined it by making the weirdest video ever for it … seriously dodgy and pointless)

The Offspring: A lot of you probably know my feelings about the Offspring by now. In late 1994 they released one of the best punk albums of all time (‘Smash’), and things have just gone downhill from there. They would have actually been pretty good at the Big Day Out, but they blatantly promoted their album ‘Ixnay on the Hombre’, and played only 3 songs from ‘Smash’, and officially none from ‘Ignition’ (their first album). Although, they did play a few mint songs, like ‘Come Out and Play’, ‘Bad Habit’, ‘Gotta Get Away’ and ‘Self Esteem’. Horribly disappointing overall though.

Soundgarden: For about 5 years of school, Soundgarden were my favourite band, and seeing them live was one of the highlights of my teenage years. They played all their best songs (including Chris Cornell, their singer, doing an acoustic solo version of ‘Black Hole Sun’, and their best heavy song (‘Jesus Christ Pose’) as an encore). In the history of my excursions to the Big Day Out, this is one of the best bands to have ever played, easily cracking the Top Five Best Bands Ever at BDO.

(Hence, I was gutted 2 months later when the band announced that they were splitting up – although, I can’t say I wasn’t expecting it – they just hadn’t been the same crew, in some weird way – like each new album just got a little bit stranger and different, and Ben Shepherd, their bass player, was too much of a wildcard, demanding that his songs get included on the albums. Still, at least Chris Cornell is still with us – fronting Audioslave)