It's all about smoke & sweat.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Huru X Hara @ One Cafe, Jln. TAR

Looking smart to interview the band... HAHAHA tipu lah.

The day kick-started with an uprising atmosphere as the hardcore kids gathered around One Cafe for the typical Malaysian wait for the gig to start. Moe and I met up with Moshi and Kuduk. Met Moe's friends, Pali came along, and I kacau'd Wira from This Sunday for a while. Hehe. It was all pretty chilled out, and we hung out with Kiki who arrived but wasn't going for the gig... pointless, kan? LOL.

A few hours delayed, we finally crowded around the ticket desks to get hold of a ticket and headed into the room, where Or The Golden Handshakes were already playing. Solid stuff, they sounded a lot better than my expectations thought they would, based from the stuff I heard about their performance in Ipoh earlier this month. I enjoyed the vocals, but yes, indeed, compared to a lot of the bands on the similar line-up, they still had a long way to go.

The crowds must've been shit sick of waiting because regardless of what tune was exploding out at them from the stage, the kids just plunged straight into the moshpit. Up next was a band I was looking forward to... This Sunday! Okay, pretty biased, they were my friends, but still, what's not to like about This Sunday. Their tunes were well hyped and energetic, but I was still pretty dead from waiting to get into the moshpit, so all I did was wave at Wira and headbanged. HAHAHA.

Next up, was Dichii Michii, but I.... went outside to chill. Kurang ajar, kan? But Pali had my camera with him, so I do have some pics of them...

I think I must've been having too much fun chatting with the friends, I missed out Caladrius and only went back in when Singaporean band Her Silent Wish played. They were kickass, full of energy, full of ferocity, and so much power in the music they splayed out at us. Wonderful.

Had a rest, fell asleep for a bit, and the impatience for Daarchlea to perform started to swell. I finally managed to do the interview with This Sunday and headed back into the room. Everyone was either mumbling about The Padangs or Daarchlea. So we laid down and huddled around each other lying on everyone's laps or stomachs whilst Hello, Is This The Band? played some upbeat, girly wirly songs (kan female vocalist...) Got up for Daarchlea, (if there was a band before them, I must've poorly misplaced them from my memory...) who sadly, could only play three songs due to the shortage of time left. But hell, they were good. And hell, I have no idea why I don't have their pictures. :( Headbanged a lot, didn't mosh that much, but I DID mosh a bit. Enough to get slugged on my shoulder and shitted my foot. -_-

Anep making a stupid face, and me sleeping on a guy's lap (don't even know his name)

Next up, For Better Endings! One of the bands I was looking forward to seeing from Singapore. And they were real good, got a lot of circle pits and moshing going on, purely because the vocalist's energy got us boosting around. Malaysian fans love it when bands say they're "fucking awesome"... Lol...

After the scrumptious, earblasting performance, who else better than The Padangs to keep the energy levels equally high? And so they marched up on stage and made it their home, screaming "What's Wrong With You!" at our faces (or shall we say, us to them). And it's awesome, Moe caught pics of me moshing with the lads! Muahahah kelakar kot, gambar tu...

And finally, we have it... Black Territory! A dejavu of their album launch flashed back to me as I saw BT get up on stage for a blasting last act. Even more of a dejavu when I saw their same fan excitedly moshing in the crowd, looking like he was about to have an orgasm... BAHAHAHAHA. :P

But unlike their album launch, perhaps the sound system was better this time, the energy level was a lot higher (it was earlier too, so we weren't dreaming of being on beds) so everybody was excitedly singing along. Moshed along, had a lot of fun, until the song "It's So Hard". And that's when things screwed up.

We're all just having fun, having a good time, when two skinheads decide to walk in, and spread everybody out, disallowing anyone to enter the moshpit, like as if they fucking owned it. Yerrr. Geram, I was waiting to kick the "otai" in his balls, but he never came close enough. So anyway, BT starts playing the last song, and some dudes just got pissed off at the skinheads (skinheads, my ass, they're just posers. Hear me, guys? You're posersssss) and started to have fun themselves, and entered the moshpit. One guy turns and accidentally hits his foot slightly on one 'botak''s chin. Then Ohhhh nak jadi budak kecil... "Ahhhh sakitlahhhhh"... my ass lah.
So what do those assholes do when they get touched justtt a little? Start a fight la, kan?

I could see Man Black Territory's face. He was so disappointed. Not at the skinheads, and I can agree. He was disappointed at all the giggers there, who left the show to go outside just to watch the fight. Sumpah bodoh. Kalau nak gaduh pergi la Chow Kit, jangan kacau our music man. Fuckers. One thing for you stupid skinhead wannabes lah: REAL skinheads don't pick fights over small shit, they don't go to places where they don't fit in, just to look cool. So all you guys, learn your subculture's history properly. Fuckfaces. YERRRRR so damn geram.

Deep breath... aside from that, the gig was damnnn goood. One of the best I've been to in a while.

Celine wants more gigs like this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ARA Fest KLIBR09 @ Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club

Love Ride Not War

Okay, let's go by day yeah, paling senang.

Day 1:

Rainy, grey, and empty. If you arrive at a gig late and realize there's still nobody, it's not good news. Perhaps it was due to the rain, but the failure to promote the festival to it's best potential was probbaly the reason for the lack of humans. Went with Haziq, and spent the day just sitting by the stands, ordering Pasta from BigBoys (seriously best doh) and Otai burgers....

Left to Shah Alam when the stage started playing extremely cringeworthy tunes (come on, they covered Matta's "Ketahuan"... WHO COVERS THAT!?). Haziq had to pick his dad up for a meeting, walked to his house and realized his dad was gone, so took a car and drove back to Ara, hoping we didn't miss Republic of Brickfields.

We didn't! Well... sort of. Went back in time to catch their last three songs, including the favourite 'Emansipasi'. By this time, there were actually a satisfactory amount of crowd, and as always, Republic pulled off a spectacularly chilled out performance that sent fans fantasizing their cigarettes as ganja.... Shhh...

Next up: Purevibracion.

It's amazing when you have reggae bands one after the other, and nothing beats putting both RoB and PV together. Playing songs like "Ms. Kinky" and "Love", they really got the crowd skanking to ultimate orgasm. Okay, that's an exaggeration. :P
All in all, despite the not-so-awesome start to the fest, the night ended with an upturn, except for the cancellation of Job 2 Do's performance.

Walked towards the car and were stopped by the trancing music from the buskers playing near the entrance. I've seen them in Bukit Bintang before, it was like a percussionist group. Played extremely awesome tunes, almost starting joget-ing to it. LOL.

Day 2:

Day 2, and it's Ara Fest with MOE! Waiting tanpa kesabaran for him to come with The Bum (more commonly known as a MyVi), which he JUST GOT!!! :D - we went early to Ara Fest and searched for Moe's dad to lepak with. Best gila, his advices. Anyway, walked back to the field where all the bikes were already parked, MORE than there were the day before and got some food to eat, while awaiting the start of the band performances. Awal2 pun dah dapat a call from Ein Second Combat saying he's lost, LOL. Walked around and looked at all the booths of all the bikers, and of course, oggling at the bikes. Sumpah sexy, the wheels, the engines, the handles. WAARGH.

Kolep made a surprise arrival with his friend, and we grabbed a drink just as the bands started to play. The first band up was a reggae band - continuation from the yesternight, perhaps - of whom I forgot the name... All I remember were the awesome tunes they played :)

Tapi. Tetiba, Tuhan nak berseronokkan situasi kot, nak bagi sikit hujan. Aduhhhh.

Rushed under the tents, couldn't meet Second Combat when they arrived because of the rain... yerr. But luckily, as Kolep predicted, the rain stopped soon and we headed to SxC's merchandise booth. Met Ein alone, tak tahu where the rest of the band was, stole a CD hehehe. No lah, courtesy of Ein. :)

Went back to check out the bands, and we were given the surprise of having The Times performing with us. After the reggae band, Bottlecap were introduced to us. All-girl band, rock n roll, and a typical cliche of having "I hate myself for loving you" as part of the set list. Next up was Second Combattttt. Whoooo. They had to cut out a lot of songs due to the small time span allowed, but despite the dead crowd, they still managed to play with enough energy and got some people singing along (bikers standing next to me were singing along LOL). I think a night slot for them would've benefitted a lot more, because the heavier sounds got louder and louder towards the night, featuring Silkhanaz and whatnot.

Second Combat

The Times were next and as always, they played "Tunjuk Perasaan". The usual la for them, not much I can describe, this blog post kan isn't a copy-paste from my reviews I write for magazines so tak yah rajin sangat... :P HAHAHA.

Then followed by them, were some band called The Radius, covered songs from other groups, and we decided to walk back to SxC's booth singing along to Creedence Clearwater's Have You Ever Seen The Rain... haha.
Vocalist: "Lagu ni lagu hujan..."
Us: ....Huh???

Cheh... Moe left to go back to Selayang to do some recording for a band, and I chilled with Ein and watched the sky go dark. Had a nice conversation about SxC's tour in France, and their lifestyle... We got bored, decided to walk around and found his group of friends and band members, as Ohchentaku was performing. Lepak'd, chilled with Ein and got introduced to Pali (malu jugak, tak ingat nama dia time jumpa xD). Sat down, and watched Khottal come on. Sumpah best gila. From where I sat, I could see a group of bikers from KapChai watching the performance and totally enjoying it. Ala, bangga :) Singing along to the 'Woo Song' was fun, sang along and made Pali & Ein think I was probably retarded. xD

After Khottal was a band called Bau, tak best sangat, the vocalist tried to pull a Faizal Tahir by stripping to his jeans, showing off his body, and getting people like me going 'ergh'. LOL. No pictures, sorry, my battery was dying, had to save. After them was a break followed by a fashion show selling off Harley Davidson merchandise, followed by Silkhanaz. One of the otais in the oldschool metal scene in Malaysia, they rocked the tyre off bikes and got some crowds moving. Following up was Silent Scenery, possibly one of my favourite performances of the night. Like the vocalist had said, while Silkhanaz played music for the bikers to ride to, Silent Scenery played tunes for the bikers to rest to. Ambient, instrumental post-rock. What else do you think can make me love music more? :)


Following them was the arrival of Moe and a presentation for all the bikers to come on stage and receive their KLIBR09 participation certificate/logo thing... I dunno, probably something to stick on their bikes. After a loooooong monotonous shake of hands and muttering of thanks, the performances were back on.

Lan and the Typewriter. The comeback of Meet Uncle Hussain's ex-vocalist, a well loved voice amongst the local indie scene. Looking forward to this performance since this afternoon, I was not disappointed by the sounds I heard. With even more opportunities for him to show of his voice, Lan showed us new songs like "Lipstik Plastik Cosmetik". Good on you, man, I'm glad you've not been lost completely.

Then the time arrives, and the stage lights are dimmed, for the one and only... Search. Hell yeah, we were plunged into the atmosphere with an entre of a drum solo, followed by an instrumental from the guitarists when the lights came on. Topped with a beret, Amy Search wins the heart of the audience by acknowledging them with the trophy of the mic stand in his hands. Playing only 4 songs, they still managed to rock up the night to an awesome end, by giving us the two ultimate favs "Isabella" and "Fantasia Bulan Madu"... Kickass stuff yo... Oh not to mention the cute moments when his kids came running on stage. Haha.

Went to BB after this but left early because a few kids pissed me off. Ngeh.

Celine loves good endings.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Black Territory Album Launch @ One Cafe, Jln. TAR

There's no better start to a gig than listening to the sound-check over a cup of 'milo ais'. Though the event had been running a liiittle late for the past couple of hours, when you're in Malaysia, there's only so much you can expect of punctuality, kan? But that aside, what's there to get frustrated about at a gig sprinkled with crazy bands celebrating a crazy release?

Black Territory purges out their debut album, "This is Black Territory" with hardcore style, allowing us to relish within the throngs of metal (except for the slightly disorientating disco ball spinning on the ceiling), and we are introduced, finally, to the opening act, This Sunday. Line-up including BT's manager, Wong (thanks for everything, bro :]), as guitarist, a suddenly flash of Avenged Sevenfold pounds into the crowd's ears as they hit the first song, but the combination of the two vocalists brings us back to the former sounds of The Used. When you've been sitting around to a long and exhausting wait for an event to commence, an energy booster is what you need. Both hands up, This Sunday were definitely that boost we needed, both performance-wise and of stage presence. Their music was well arranged, and performance solid. The only mishap, again a repeated fault throughout, was the sound level of the microphones, which were overshadowed by the eruption of instruments that were shooting at the crowd's adrenaline.

The next three bands roared through the hour; Dying For Autopsy, Ana Four Craig and Asthalin did the honours of warming up the fans for The Padangs, the final performance before prayer break. DFA were a large division from This Sunday, bringing us Lamb of God-like vocals, along with some mental metal riffs. However... the melodies didn't quite blend tight enough and the vocals were disjointed from the rhythm. AFC were a step up, they got the crowds moving a little more, but they themselves perhaps needed the warm up. What is with the stand ups? No metal band should be seen still for even a second, dudes, take this to the road. Asthalin gave us a full on blow to the heart, with firm vocals and music that tainted a bit with Love Me Butch. But more work on the timing of the drum rhythm would touch up flaws.

The Padangs. They peaked to as loud as the sound system could allow them. Despite the abruptly minimized sound exerting from the speakers, their performance was ace and they definitely did their reputation well to bringing the house down. A tight four-tracked set, embracing the every aspect of metal, before the crowds were given the chance to recollect breaths after the break. Moshi left me, and I was left alone (Azam was busy being a good photographe :D). But hey whatever, made new friends, which is the best part about gigs, in my opinion.

We re-enter the scene with Massacre Conspiracy who entertained us with a neatly covered tune from Cradle of Filth. Their double vocals strong, driving their solid fanbase to hysteria, they were followed swiftly by Arsonist and Daarchlea. Whilst Arsonist gave us a raw - perhaps a TOO raw - performance that lacked in the dirty, dinghy qualities of a metal band, Daarchlea smashed through with ecstatic energy and drew together a string of songs that were well arranged and moshable to the max. I left the crowd with a screwed up finger.

We are left breathless as we welcome Kids on The Move to the stage. They are derived from perhaps a much more punk sound, the vocalist even admitting that they trail away from the metal trend of the day, but they still captivated the crowd nonetheless, being one of the uprising bands in KL. However, it came up to the point when all the kids needed a real energizer, and KOTM sounded a bit monotonous towards the final song.

With ants in their pants, the crowd waited for the band prior to BT. One of Malaysia's best since 2003, Cassandra were welcomed with a quick spark of enthusiasm and they plunged down a flawless set, disallowing the slowly fading and exhausted crowd to dishearten their spirits. It's always the one risky thing of being the band before the last; people want to get their energy recharged and stay out on your performance, which was the case with Cassandra that night, unfortunately for them.

Haziq arrives in time for me to sneak him in, and the hour strikes for the hugely anticipated band of the night and Black Territory jumps onto the stage, enduring cries of impatience as they set up their instruments. And there we have it, a pitfall down to the dark sounds of metal. They played their parts in crushing grace and bringing out the roughness, but they dwelled too, on the metal clich├ęs, giving us predictable acoustics - which sadly, the we-want-mosh crowd did not appreciate - as well as a slideshow of their journey through the music scene. Everybody give an 'aww'...

BT gifted us with amazing guitar solos, as well as the first song they'd ever written, riffs symmetrical to Avenged Sevenfold's Chapter Four. BT's vocalist did a good job in communicating with the crowd, but again, the microphones are to blame for the minimal and flawed sounds. There were points when people began dragging their feet and the minutes seemed endless... we were crusading our way towards midnight, and one could tell the knackered everybody were already thinking of home.

But the atmosphere picked up and the final song ended in a crescendo, leaving us with the breathless air of climax and swirls of Search flashbacks and Dragonforce tunes lingering in our heads. There was a feeling of satisfaction and success that leaked from One Cafe as the gig-goers poured out of the area and what had begun as a poorly delayed gig ended with the reputation of a gig to remember.

Celine needs to brush up on her mosh-stamina.