A big, blistering day out for music fans
Searingly good ... Music lovers endure the heat at Sydney's Big Day Out. Photo: Rachel Murdolo
Mexican-style masked wrestling with exotic dancing girls for an opening act. A guitar-drums-bass trio comprising only robots - and playing, obviously, heavy metal. A fancy new row of food stalls featuring famous gourmet names such as Porteno and Longrain.
There were a whole lot of bands featuring humans, too, but still the inescapable story of this year's Big Day Out was the weather.
At one point it looked like the Mayans might just have been only a month or so out with their apocalyptic predictions, so overwhelming was the heat, but the Big Day Out had come as prepared as it could.
Big Day Out 2013 in Sydney
The crowd tries to cool off during the Big Day Out in Sydney. Photo: Edwina Pickles
There was sunscreen available at first-aid tents, plenty of misting areas, volunteers in certain areas filling up your water bottle for you while others roamed the site with spray bottles - all free - but still an alarming number of punters wandering around without hats and shirts. What is it they say? You can lead a youth to water but you can't make him drink (or cover his tatts)?
Miraculously, however, there were few casualties, according to the first-aid representative Fairfax spoke to, with no major injuries sustained at the time of writing. The first aid areas were mainly peopled with punters having an understandable lie-down by cooling fans and attempting to rehydrate.
Mercifully, too, the Sydney Big Day Out didn't fall on Australia Day (Melbourne has that honour this year), meaning there was little of the aggression associated with some of the flag-waving hordes. Being too hot to do anything too taxing, most seemed happy to head for the shade as often as possible between whatever outdoor acts they dared see.
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Photo: AP
Anyway, by mid-afternoon the clouds briefly enveloped the sun and even sent down some rain, making Gary Clark's steely, bluesy guitar playing and gritty singing even more enjoyable, especially after the heat had pushed us away from some earlier acts in the interests of, y'know, survival.
Still, the likes of Avalanche City (clearly Boy & Bear fans, even if they'd probably object to the comparison) and tropical popsters Griswolds did likeable jobs in difficult circumstances, before Urthboy laid his claim for Australian act of the day with his smart and smooth rhymes and crowd-pleasing performance - what other MC would throw in a karaoke cover of Blur's (woo-hoo!) Song 2?
The "lucha libre" wrestling was also an emphatic hit, with hilarious commentary from a ringside announcer accompanying masked fighters with names such as Dirty Sanchez and Choco-latte as they engaged in their acrobatic theatrics.
Over in the main arena, the Red Hot Chili Peppers largely lived up to their none-more-apt moniker, getting the packed main arena chanting as one (to soulful rock ballad Under the Bridge), bouncing as one (to an exhilarating By the Way) and grooving as one (to the elastic funk of Give It Away).
Before that, Vampire Weekend were typically perky and the Killers offered a better, streamlined version of Wednesday's Metro show but both found themselves somewhat upstaged by those metal men of brain-fryingly adept robot trio Compressorhead, who played a song between most performers. ''Oil is thicker than blood,'' claimed their T-shirts. That may be so, but on this unforgettably hot day, it's safe to say no liquid reigned more supremely than water.