August 19, 2008

MTV Freebie a Hit With Thousands


MTV Snowjam 2008 at Terrace Downs, Saturday, August 16. Reviewed by Vicki Anderson.


Is it cold? Let me hear you say yeeaaah!

But icy winds whipping straight from the snow-covered mountains providing the spectacular stage backdrop did not deter thousands of music-loving punters from donning their poly-props and travelling from around New Zealand and over the ditch to the free MTV Snow Jam music festival at Terrace Downs.

Much love to MTV for offering up such a stellar line-up for free. Names on the bill including Lil Jon, The Vines, Donavon Frankenreiter, The Grates, The Potbelleez, Cut Off Your Hands, P- Money, PNC, David Dallas, Opshop, Trouble Andrew and Phinesse.

If you were lucky enough to have a VIP pass you got to sit by a roaring fire watching the action on the big screen, and jostle for elbow room at the well-stocked bar at the Terrace Downs club house with wall-to-wall celebrities including the bloke I accidentally tripped up, Home and Away's Mark Furze (apparently he plays Rick and is about to open his own bait shop, if that enlightens you).

After tearing myself away from the fire and VIP toilets (the ones on site were simply the most feral I have ever seen) I caught Auckland group Cut Off Your Hands' excellent set. I've been following them for years and through many name changes (Nova Echo/ Shaky Hands) and they were on fire in the snow.

They've been clocking up frequent flyer miles around Britain and their hard work has obviously paid off: they sounded as sharp as something from Furze's fictional bait shop.

Local boys Opshop opened with their new single Big Energy In Little Spaces and in such a big space, with a spectacular mountain backdrop and the sun about to depart for the day, it was nothing short of magical.

Watching Opshop, in such beautiful scenery I felt a sense of pride that this event was going to be televised to 27 countries.

Everyone has 15 minutes of glory and Californian crooner Donavon Frankenreiter certainly had his, although it seemed a bit odd to me to have such a huge star play only three songs. Still, it was a nicely mellow set.

Energetic Aussie bouncers The Grates and (via Ireland) The Potbelleez leapt around like crazy on the big screen with their signature tune Don't Hold Back.

P Money, David Dallas (aka Con Psy) and PNC were superb, a fun set and one of the highlights of the day.

To the accompaniment of blasting fireworks, rollicking rockers The Vines went mental, frontman Craig Nicholls thrashing his gear and rolling around on stage.

As well as hits like He's A Rocker from their new album Melodia, and old favourites Ride and Get Free, they covered Outkast's Miss Jackson rather well.

More fireworks heralded the arrival of the King of Crunk, Lil Jon sans excessive bling. I was hoping to hear the track Lollipop but, judging by the crowd's reaction to I Don't Give a F... and the like, they found it a sweet offering.

Most I talked to were warmed by the generosity of MTV who reportedly sank $200,000 plus into this event yet, refreshingly, didn't have their logo or merchandise stalls plastered everywhere.

There's no business like snow business and there is no doubt that overall Snow Jam is a winner for our tourism industry.

Let me hear you say yeeeaah!


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