It's all about smoke & sweat.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Steven & The Coconut Treez LIVE in Malaysia

Okay, first thing's first. I did not get to watch Steven & The CocoTreez... KILL ME, yes I know, it's another Sunburst altogether (I paid for Incubus but didn't really see them). But in a way, it didn't really kill me for missing the Indonesian reggae boys, as the day turned out to be disappointing as a whole anyway.

In terms of performances, everything was tight. Minus a few bands (*ahem*), all the performances were solid, tight and well loved. However, there were occasional technical hitches with the sound and stupid speakers... But that, I'm afraid, has to be blamed on the organizers -MOSIC WORKS- and nothing else.

I arrived at 3pm with Jarrod (the event was meant to start at 2pm), and bought our tickets, joining the mini-line of people sat against plants and walls, waiting for the doors to open. We waited. And we waited. We bought Red Bull. And we waited. Jarrod jumped when a leaf pricked the back of his neck. And we waited. We talked about  manginas and wet butts. And we waited. Frustrated that the soundcheck was taking so long, I messaged Nas of Plague.o.Happiness, asking him whether he'd checked, only to have him telling me the soundcheck was meant to be the day before. That made me go "WHAT!?" Then why were they keeping us waiting for about 3-4 hours!? Nas was pretty annoyed when he heard that sounds were being checked at that moment too, as they missed the soundcheck, having travelled down from JB only on the morning of the gig itself. 

When the doors finally let us in, another thing pricked my nerves. The position of the stage. It was... a nice stage, I have to admit, but the area where the crowd was supposed to be was so... full of obstacles! There were three oval shaped rock objects, and a tree, and a fire hydrant. How on earth was the crowd supposed to feel safe in moving about!? Alongside with that, the ground was uneven, and anyone could lose their footing on the curb. Very unsatisfying results in terms of planning and organizing. Really.

So. At around 6.30pm, the stage resurrected and the first band, Maddame, opened the night. The only comment I can give on their performance?

There is a reason why they were first, I suppose. They have not yet grasped the technics of putting together a song, a lot of their stuff were disjointed and very confusing. Their parts in the songs didn't flow into one another, every sounded very jagged. But there were moments when a lot of good grunge could be detected within their music, but right now, if they don't step it up, they wouldn't be called anything more than a Nirvana-wannabe. Sorry. But the last song was pretty headbangable. Another tip for Maddame: Keep your vocalist as a guitarist, but get a new vocalist. Really.

Next up, Dead Mushrooms. The crowd was still pretty dead here, which was kind of a pity as the Mushrooms had pretty tight stuff. Very tight, in fact. The speakers were seriously annoying me, suddenly the sounds would magnify and suddenly just go a lot quieter and muffled. So unbalanced. Nas and the rest of Plague.o.Happiness arrived in the middle of Dead Mushrooms' performances. LOL I kept having blur moments in recognizing faces that day. Nas was like "Celine..." and I looked up, and frowned a bit... focused my recognition, and went "OH HEY!"
Bahaha... gosh...

There was a pause after D.Mushrooms' performance, when everyone left for dinner and prayers. Jarrod and I headed to dinner, walking up some steps only to end up above the exit facing a wall... Heard a big "CELINE" followed by a call from Faiz (FortyWinks), realizing he was seated on the pavement with others across from us. I walked towards them, looked at Jarrod to talk, and turned back to realize I was walking to a random group of people who were not Faiz's group. LOL!
Faiz: *from further right* Dude, where are you going...?
Hahaha, and to make it even stupider, I didn't recognize Bijan when I saw him.
Me: ... Hi....?
Faiz: This is Bijan lah!
Me: OH! WTH! *shakes Bijan's hand* SOryyyY!!
Faiz: MAN, you're bad with faces.

Had a good laugh with Faiz and Jarrod, talking about a guy being a dick.
Me: Urgh he's such a.... dick!
Faiz: What, of course he has a dick
Me: NO, he IS a dick, not he HAS a dick!
Faiz: Wait... so he doesn't have a dick?
Me: NO!
Faiz: .... I'm confused.
Jarrod: *chuckles
hahaha, we were getting weird stares. Faiz was there as part of Bittersweet's crew, in charge of their sound arrangements. After chilling a bit, we went to grab some food (Jar and I) at some mamak. The boss pissed us off, took about ten minutes to get our order. The only nice guy serving us was amusingly forgetful, I found that really cute, hahaha he kept coming back to our table to confirm our order xD I finished my whole plate of Nasi Pattaya (which I regretted slightly later), and of course my never-to-be-missed Milo Ais. WHOOO! The milo ais tasted really nice actually, they must have used really good milk for it.

Headed back to Capsquare Mall, had a sinking feeling in my heart when I heard Love Me Butch already playing. We missed their opening!
Me: This always happen!!! (reference to Sunburst festival)
Jarrod: Garrr I know!!

Managed to catch the last bit of Stumble (Just like Sunburst!), followed by Dream of My Own, Reconcile, and Hollywood Holiday. Not bad, not bad. The crowd was stupid though, they deserved a more livelier crowd. Ngeee. Next up was the first taste of reggae for the night; Pure Vibracion. Considering that everybody was waiting with impatience for reggae to emerge, they received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. Performing about 3 songs, including all time favourite "Me Gal", Pure Vibracion was tight and well-loved, not to mention, extremely skankable. :) Joe (the vox) held out a PV flag for his last song, and was spinning round and round whoo, that was really cool!

After Pure Vibracion was reggae no.2, Redemption! However, Kolep arrived after I called him to drop by so I missed the skank session and walked out with Jarrod to meet him. WHEE Kolep. :) My teddy bear. Irrelevant.. sorry. ANYWAY, I laughed my butt off when Kolep told me Durjana Design's designer Rezza was here, because I had no idea! Kolep managed to get Rezza's crew pass and walked in without having to pay. LUCKY BASTARD WHOARGH!!! Stupid meanies, Jarrod and Kolep were both insulting my sanity :( HAHA love you both.

Went back to the crowd for Skudap Skudip! YEAH! I was so hyped when I saw Doddi (I know it's Dodd, but I like the 'i' behind!) walk onto the stage. They started off with their usual soundcheck (the one-song-long one) and bounced back right in with Mari BerdanSKA. LOVE LOVE LOVE that song. Along with it, they sang Gadis Dreadlock and Gadis Jadian. YEAY. Happy band :) Skanked like crazy, was so out of  breath by the first song. Haha! 

After them was a short break, and Jarrod and I went to buy some more water (ours finished). Sat down a bit, saw Bittersweet and crew outside the doors near us. Wanted to say hi to Pijie but I didn't want to look like those groupie girls either, so I just hung back and told Jarrod of how I felt sick. Too much food and too much skanking = wanting to throw up. Remember that. Aha! Hesitated on crossing over to the mamak to buy food again because we didn't want to miss another good band. But we did anyway, and the bands hadn't even started when we walked back. 
Me: *referring to the bottle* it smells like cockroach!
Jarrod: *sniffs* Yeah it does!
Me:..... I feel even worse now! *puts bottle aside*

We agreed in the end it was only the plastic that must have some funny smell. xD Bittersweet were still hanging around the steps and I nodded at their new bassist, who I seem to notice first but never really spoke with haha! Finally Herri turned from his conversing with friends and saw me sitting with Jarrod. Said hi to him, spoke a bit, with me reminding him to turn on his mic this time (hahaha, those of you at Youngsters Rock&Roll, you'd know why!). Asked him when they'd be performing, and he said "3rd last after OAG", which made me think, no can't be, because Plague said they were 4th last. This made Herri annoyed, and he started complaining about the lack of organization MOSICWorks had shown. Mentioned how their soundcheck only happened around 3.30am the previous night (something Faiz had mentioned earlier). Finally he excused himself as the whole band went into the doors to get ready. 

Went back in shortly after (I saw a girl younger than a teenager that was growing dreadlocks!), and headed to the crowd for Plague of Happiness. Met Faiz again, and snapped some pictures -duh!-
Haha! Loved the story behind this picture:

Me: Sorry, I blocked you!
Faiz: Sorry I'm so short!

Loved Plague of Happiness! Skanked to Lepaskan, Viva la Punk, Malam, Kawan... All great songs! :) WHEE! I was really happy to see a performance by them with good sound system, considering KAMI wasn't amazing in terms of the technical side, as most people knew. LOL Jarrod and another skank buddy in the crowd were making weird skanking movements which we all were hooking on to haha! Hilarious. There was that Egyptian like one... and then the magic fingers. HAHA. 

After Plague was Bittersweet, whoohoo! They performed all-time favs like Capital E, Kucing Hitam, Burn Berlin Down, along with 2 new songs which were so danceable! Me and Jarrod were getting reluctant people to dance a bit, as we were making such fools (in a good way!) out of ourselves haha! We did the twists, and 80's dancing... everything! LOL

After Bittersweet was Dance to the Radio, which the crowd practically showed no interest in whatsoever, which was so sad, because they were great! Tight sounds, energetic and definitely danceable to. I enjoyed Disco Robot, by them, but had to leave after two songs because Jarrod wanted to head over to a club with Ija and gang. Bummer! 

Called for a taxi and walked out once last time (sob). Heard a faint "Celine", turned around and saw Nas, who once again took a while to register in my mind. HAHA, I don't know what's wrong with me. Sat with him and got introduced to Moe, the photographer for ROTTW Magazine. Coolio. Nas is so.. NICE! He's like one of those people who would be friends with everybody haha... Something Jarrod and I discussed on the way home.

Said our byes to Nas and Moe, before heading further down the path to bump into Bittersweet, where this time Pijie was actually free enough to see me as I said Hi haha. Okay this part was hilarious. Last time, Herri was the blur one. This time, Pijie was. HAHA.
Pijie: Celine... hi...!
Me: Hello! *Pijie shakes hand with me, turns to Jarrod and shakes his hand*
Me: Yeah... Celine... not Jasmine!
Pijie: *remembers Ipoh and laughs* Yeah, your friend was in Ipoh and told me you said hello...
Jarrod: *points to himself* That friend is ME!
Pijie: *looks mildly confused*... OH! Sorry!... Can't recognize... *sheepish smile*

HAHAHA, oh man, that was funny. Hafiez seem to know me / not know me, so he just waved LOL, and Emai too. xD This band I tell you, is blur. SO very blur. xD So we rushed away from Pijie and gang (I still feel bad for cutting Pijie short from his questions about Singapore!) and headed to a cab that we couldn't even find LMAO. We just took a cab from across the road, who charged us only RM30 for after midnight.. very nice of the guy. Thanks Jarrod, for belanja-ing me the whole day, even though it was your birthday!

So there it was, a gig with the ups (bands) and downs (organizers, mostly). 

After going home:
Nas told me DBKL came and tried to put a stop to the gig as it had exceeded the time limit (this is what you get when you start the gig 4hours late). So right after OAG, who had played as we were leaving, they had to cut out the remaining bands to put Steven & The Coconut Treez on. This meant Republic of Brickfields were not able to perform. Bloody bummer! And according to Moe, CocoTreez only played 2 songs. They must really be pissed off at us Malaysians now... but it's not us! Blame the organizers! :P Hahahaha, I'm so mean.

Written from the heart,

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