It's all about smoke & sweat.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rockaway '09 @ Capsquare Mall, Jln. Dang Wangi

It’s not everyday you get to see a show inclusive of big homegrown bands like One Buck Short, Pop Shuvit and Estranged... for free. But this was indeed the delicious taste sponsored by Jack’nJill Roller Coaster that was greedily indulged by the crowds of Rockaway ’09. An event in courtesy of punk-rock band One Buck Short held at the easily accessible Capsquare Mall, which is one of the blooming gig-houses to date; the rumors that crowds would’ve flocked to the Pesta Malam Indonesia concert was stamped out, when the gates were (finally) opened for the attendees and a stampede of blurred skinny jeans and band t-shirts rushed through towards the stage. The place was filled in just a matter of seconds. Havoc was everywhere, potato chip packets popped and contents scattered, fire crackers randomly bursting and the smell of cigarette burning up the open area. I arrived about two hours before the show actually began, sitting around finding the place to get my media pass and meeting up with my friend One. Arul was there to with his group of friends.

The stage came alive to an impatient crowd therefore opening act Car Crash Hearts was eagerly accepted with wide open arms. CCH was a kick starter and it’s only fair to say they did a pretty kickass job in bringing up the hype to a higher level. They performed 4 songs, all equally power packed, and perhaps it would’ve been a nice round-up to their performance if they’d switch around their last song with the second last; ending with a slow song kind of pumped down the energy of the crowd. Their second last song had a funky dancerock end to it, which would've coalesced with the crowd's energy.

Medusa roared through the next set, with rather confusing arrangements of instruments and vocals. They seemed to already have a solid fan base, like any other hardcore ban, really, but they stuck out as being new to composing songs that work. The drums were tight enough to bring on the headbanging and moshing up to a slight craze, but there was no need of comparison if you put them besides the other two hardcore Malaysian bands who were there at the event, too. Cassandra was officially announced as “the best hardcore band in Malaysia”, and they proved themselves worthy of the title, indeed. Everybody joined together to witness Cassandra give a full-on performance, and no doubt to venture within the circle pit; including girls who wore shorts and tight-fit t-shirts. 

Similarly to this was Restraint, an ever-growing band with an ever-growing fan base enough to storm the place down. The mosh pits kept splitting and joining up, and the signature “Wall of Death” pit was enacted by the fans, leaving people bruised and even some to the point of almost fighting with each other; one group of men kept trying to fight throughout the whole event – pointless. They played two encores for the yearning crowd - the peak point of the event. I almost got suckerpunched by those fighter cocks; I had yelled "Ey, korang datang sini gaduh ke nak dengar musik, kalau nak gaduh pegi dekat Chow Kit ke ape la!". Yes, my mood was extremely utterly bad that time.

By that time, I was with Moshi, Chaom, Ayen, Alif, Azam, Kolep, Sher, Din... etc etc. It was not a very usual hangout group that I would mix together, but it was pretty nice. Moshi was like "Relax, relax..." Bahaha, weird hearing that come from a guy who's always ready to bite someone's head off.

Love Me Butch was, as usual, a great set to watch and gifted us with three new songs from their upcoming album. Unfortunately, the majority of the crowds were exhausted from the aftermath of Restraint and Pesawat, and it was more on the headbanging and less on the moshing. Love Me Butch deserved much more than that, though. But I did my part in singing along whole-heartedly to Barricade and Reconcile. Estranged was luckier on that point, having their set midway through the list, drawing the crowds in with tracks from their old album, like ‘Velocity’.

Pesawat’s also one band we watched grow up throughout these years, having recently done a video shoot at KLIA airport for their hit single ‘Mirage’. Playing a solid set of 4 songs, they rocked the house down the best they could, despite the several faults with the sound system; the speakers were a little problematic, a fault we could depict clearly as well through the performances by The Times and Sevencollar T-shirt. However, mere system errors are not enough to pull back The Times from getting their fans to rock out and shout along to the songs with full force, this time playing a new song “Spektakular”, which they dedicated to their fans. I watched Pesawat on the screen in the VIP tent, and heard Sevencollar from afar. The technical problems were depictable, but their performances still sounded and looked 'wow'.

Indie favourites like Couple, Bittersweet and Bunkface pulled it all off easy, being the ones in most demand (A lot of people came just for Bittersweet’s set, leaving straight after), and they did their share in adding catalyst to the event. The crowds were fanatical throughout their performances. I could see the fans from beside the stage through Bunkface's performance. I curse Ayen for getting all lost around the area! I missed Bittersweet because of him, doofy! Grr. Me and Chaom walked back into the venue to witness the fans leaving. Sucks. And for the first time in my life, I had to say "fuck Couple!"... not because they were bad, hey, I LOVE Couple, but after the fall out with my boyfriend (personal infos whoops), I ventured back into the crowd only to have Couple sing "Pergi, jangan kembali, sampai sini saja, kita berdua". Oh GOSH!
For the non-Malay speakers: "Go, don't come back, this is where the both of us finish"... Ouch, right?

Pop Shuvit were the ultimate entertainers of the night before One Buck Short’s performances; they’d been busying away from the scene for a while now, therefore everybody had to admit Pop Shuvit was greatly missed – the crowd was crazy and every song was sung along with whatever was left in the audience to split their throats for. One Buck Short finally came out and launched onto a big thanksgiving speech to the audience and sponsors – we’ve heard it all before, now bring on the music!

Performing favourites like “That Day” and “10:04”, OBS knew how to pull the crowd up out of the exhaustion clouds to plunge straight back into the fresh wave of energy that wrapped the crowd up tightly with the music. The crowd finally dispersed with the background music of OBS playing a final song to send the crowds back home.

This day was the day we Malaysian rockers went all out in front of a surprisingly large number of foreigners who had attended and found an equally surprising amount of fierce energy in the crowds, proving that our love for music is a die-hard factor. Anyone who walked out of the gates that night un-bruised or un-sweaty just did not rockaway hard enough. As for me, I headed to Bukit Bintang for a night chill with friends that matter when the stage lights turned off.

Celine hated and loved this day altogether.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

From Heart to Crowd UNITY Gig @ MCPA Hall

Just like any other gig held at MCPA so far, the queue grew before the instruments were set up. From Heart to Crowd brought to us a triple mix of Metal, Screamo, Punk Rock unity. Hence the name being "UNITY". After a hot trip from home to KL Central to Maharajalela by monorail, I found myself sitting in the familiar mamak stall outside MCPA Hall with Moe and Nas P.O.H.

Headed in to the hall with the only two P.O.H members of the day and sat outside while they practiced. Bangga la Moe, dapat pegang guitar Nas! HAHA. Nas was evidently breaking into a sweat from the nerves; it was their first time ever putting on an acoustic show, and Plague of Happiness usually known to be a fun ska-punk band, one could not help but fret how changing ska-punk to acoustic might sound. Arul came down to meet us for a while - he was busy being part of the crew for the day - and Chaom arrived to MCPA as well. The group was growing.

It was a pity that I missed The Padangs, but my mood was not particular lifted enough to plunge myself into a heavycore gig yet. I headed in during the second performance (WHY PUT THE PADANGS FIRST, GEEZ) and met Kak Miela, friend and organizer of the gig. Also, I would like to say thanks to the guy who recognized me as KL.Mosher (a.k.a owner of these gig blogs). That's a first. :) Made me feel all warm inside. LOL.

Sat with Chaom, Moe and Arul for the first part of the gig, and checked out some T-shirts and CDs that were piled out on tables at the back of the hall, as usual. Headed to the front of the stage to check out some bands. I particularly enjoyed the third band, though I didn't quite catch their name. Gosh. Pathetic.

But this band was well equipped to become something good. Solid, and I mean solid drumming from the drummer, and there were snitches of Joe Green Day caught in the vocalist every now and then; maybe it was the mic, or maybe truly his voice. There was not a moment when I took my eyes off the drummer; even if I did, it was to look at Chaom, who had the same stunned expression as I did. Great, great job guys.

The rest of the bands went by in a tizz, I was mostly zooming in and out of the crowd, up and down the stairs, in and out of the hall. As I headed to the toilet in the middle of the performance before P.O.H's, I saw Jarrod walking into the hall. What a frikin' coincidence that was! Haha! Went to wash my hands and headed back to join him to head upstairs. Took him to where Arul, Moe and Chaom were all standing.

Next up. P.O.H!!! :) They played altogether 6 songs. Right? If I remember clearly. Five or six. But enough to send me dreamy. It was definitely a real honour to have been able to witness this actually, because I doubt there's going to be a POH Acoustic style in a very long time. Of course, I knew from the start that "Malam Ini" was going to work extremely well acoustic, which it did, and so did "Hasrat", Nas's song to his wife. :) He was always emphasizing on the apologies on boring the crowd with the acoustic set, but somehow he got the crowd hooked. Everybody was sitting about, or standing around, listening to the performance of just vocals, one guitar and one saxophone. I loved it.

After the performance, Moe complained again for the umpteenth time that he was hungry, so what to do? We headed back to the mamak, all 5 of us, and chilled around for close to an hour. It was fun. But Moe had to leave, sadly, to head to N9.

Went back to the hall and saw that the crowd was finally growing more. Moshi was on his way to MCPA, and I was amusing myself greatly with watching Jarrod fall asleep. Yes, indeed, he was falling asleep through a hardcore gig. Priceless.

Then the craziness started getting worse and Kids on the Move went up to the stage to perform. My gosh, I doubt I will ever get used to the "hardcore moshing"... ew, I can't even bring myself to say it. What they do is NOT moshing. If you want to know why, or argue against my point, tune in to my other blog (klmosher.blogspot.com) for a new post which I can hopefully get done by tomorrow regarding what mosh is all about. Hmph.
But frankly speaking, KOTM wowed me with their performance. It was obvious the majority of the guys were there for them, and I was absolutely thrilled to see the crowd participation and the way KOTM allowed everybody to just rampage the stage. It was cool. Great performance and stage presence.

But simply put; moshing isn't about synchronization, choreography and purposefully whacking and kicking other people, looking like you've got a cramp up your ass on on your shoulder. Moshing is freedom.

Moshi came after Kids on the Move while we sat down waiting for Dewata, the next band, from JB to set up their instruments. My mosh partner dah sampai. Haha. Dewata started playing and damn was I impressed. They were absolutely headbangable! And if the crowd was larger and I was in better health, I would've been moshing my bloody ass off. Moshi had me in the mood to start headbanging like crazy, and only when we started moshing did I tell him I had to pull out because I wasn't feeling well.

After Dewata, which pretty much was one of the best bands, we decided to end the gigging and headed downstairs. Said goodbye to Jarrod, Moshi and Chaom, who decided to leave, and went to chill with Arul by the fountain before he sent me home. All in all, one good show. A few more good hardcore bands would've boosted the crowd number though; say, Second Combat, Eleven and/or Restraint.

Celine wishes she can turn back time.