It's all about smoke & sweat.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Deftones Live in KL @ KL Live Center

It was a humid, rainy day, the sky clogged with intensity, and nothing can paint a day for Deftones more than grey skies and looming clouds. Held at a half torn down KL Live Center, Deftones' arrival to Malaysia drew in a huge, LARGE, amount of crowd, from Thailand, Philipines, Indonesia, Sarawak, etc. It's a no wonder Chino Moreno was apparently quite worried backstage about the size of the venue.

We waited outside, and I waited for Moe to bring my magic ticket to enter the concert - media passss, betch! :) If only I could write for Junk, then at least the pass would've been quite worthwhile. I stood outside with Rhid, Anton, Nin, Moshi and other friends and shared drinks, cigs and waited for the night to approach.

But the unbelievably small size of the venue made the concert even more of an explosion, when the bodies of black shirts were cramped and sucked into the warp of audience space, and stood shoulder to shoulder at the VIP balcony zones as we waited with extreme excitement for our favourite American band to make their first ever appearance on Malaysian lands, before our eyes.

Love Me Butch brought the stage to life, playing a total of five songs - 3 new tracks inclusive of "Come on, Come out" and two old favourites; "Stumble upon a glass" and "Reconcile". The crowd were supportive and cheered after every song, however the hype and the buzz were obviously growing for Deftones and Deftones alone. All in all, Love Me Butch played a great, tight set. As they ended, we found our spot quite far in the back, and me, Nin and Rhid (managed to get her in!) were standing and jumping on our toes with anticipation as we waved at familiar faces around us, and waited for Ezzart and Moe to find their ways to us.

Then it began. With a dazzle of lights and ear-splitting cheers from the crowd, Deftones, the gods, the deities of music, stepped on stage and tore the stage to life with one of my personal favourites: "Birthmark".... Gosh.... I think I almost passed out singing along to this. "Drinks won't stain this birthhhhh!"... NGEEE!!!! Moe found us as the song ended and "Engine Number 9" kicked in.

"Lyrical! Wipe! Lyrical! Did!". The entire space of KL Live was filled with the sounds of guitars, drums, screams and sing-alongs. The crowd was never silent, not even for a split minuscule fraction of a second. It was amazing. Despite being squished here and there, and not capturing ONE decent photo (but lots of awesome videos!) because of the packed body slamming here and there, I felt completely up in the air and completely in a comfort zone. Us and Deftones. Deftones and us.

Chi, the bassist, who's been in coma for three years, was replaced on the Diamond Eyes Tour by a Hispanic guy called Sergio. There were people who went into the crowd holding "One Love For Chi" banners, and the atmosphere was just so positive and so full of life. Other songs on my favourites which they performed in the first half of their set was "Hexagram", "Minerva" - It's a strangeeee numbbbbbbb, and it brings back peaceee to the earthhhhh (!!!!), "Around the Fur", "Knife Party", "My Own Summer"... well, heck, ALL! Except a few unfamiliar ones like Lhabia and Bloody Cape, etc. But hell, "Minerva" made me cry.

They played a total of 26 to 27 songs (if you include a Sade cover), and most of the songs were songs I were really hoping they'd play. But one can't have all. Even though Deftones pierced through my heart with "Hole In the Earth", "Kimdracula" (YES THEY PLAYED THAT!!!) and "Sextape", I was gutted that they did not play "Cherry Waves", which is one of my personal favourites. But all in all, the fact that "Beauty School" and "Rocket Skates" from their new album were performed as well, it definitely was a concert worthwhile, without a doubt. When the intro to Kimdracula was played by Steve and Abe, I think I actually felt my knees buckle and my lungs tear. :)

They ended their set with three encores, after amazingly rare performances of "Back to School", "Passenger" and "Change". The entire show left me breathless, the atmosphere is constantly heavy and constantly pulling our attention to the stage and to the music surrounding ever corner of the venue. And the fact that I was spending this moment, watching my favourite band, with a favourite person... it was magical. After a Sade cover to begin the encore streak, it was swiftly followed by "Root" and finally ending with another of my absolute favourite - the frantic, hectic, intensified live performance of "7 Words". Left with bruises and a slightly chipped camera, but wattaheck, it's bloody Deftones. \m/

After the concert, there were mini fireworks above KL Live to celebrate the show and we left to eat and spend the night dreaming with Deftones' melodies in our minds.

Celine has found heaven

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Destroy Shred Destroy @ MAPKL, Solaris Dutamas

SO. Another gig. FINALLY. It feels like ages since I've been to a proper gig. The gig ambiance is dying. Hardly any gigs to look forward to or be excited about anymore. But this was pretty much a gig many were looking forward to... and it clashed with Laneway Festival in Singapore.

Arrived with Azam and Moe at around 5.30pm and it still hadn't started yet. Surprise, surprise. The real surprise however, was the immense turnout. Looked like the kids were really passionate enough to support Incarnation and Cassandra to travel all the way to MAP KL @ Solaris Dutamas... a venue out of the way from any public transport access. Was a good sight to see.

The gig finally started with Symbiotic In Theory, the one band that I myself was looking forward to catch more than the two headlining bands, to be honest. I saw them once live when Moe had introduced me to them and I was excited to catch them again! Indeed, an undisappointing set, Arep's guitar skills as always blew our brains off, the drum rhythms and guitar melodies almost whispering of Animals as Leaders. However, despite the huge number of crowd at the event, the crowd was prettyyyy dead throughout the majority of the event. I mean I understand the whole "waiting for the favourite act" thing, but again, it doesn't really show enough passion to the music scene in general does it.... I mean... yeah, sure, wait for the headliners, but why not enjoy the amazing tunes from the opening bands as well? Symbiotic in Theory definitely deserved a stronger crowd response.

Next up, Oh Chentaku! A frantic, explosive set by the young hearts as they surge through a short but loud set. Their tunes are catchy and keeps the crowd interested. I was more intrigued at the singer/2nd vox by the way he was jumping all over his space on stage. Half expecting him to hit the keyboard. But their tunes were cool, the graphics projected on the projector screen behind them as a backdrop was awesome.
A good set.

And things just get better, as Massacre Conspiracy stepped up onto the stage to take the kids away. The only opening band that received most movement and sing-along from the crowd, it once again shows just how far and MC16 has come since their starting point. I particularly enjoyed this set, despite missing Mio's face from the band, but did not particularly enjoy the crowd. To be frank, I'm getting bored of the Malaysian crowd. Their moshing is not constant, it's only at the breakdowns only at the parts where two-stepping can be done, or sometimes when the two stepping is done at parts where it doesn't even it, either. Other than that, they're stood like zombies. A few headbangers here and there but there is no movement. No movement yet a big space in the middle. There's no flow in the crowd. *sigh* Anyway, a strong solid set for MC16.

We had a small pause before Incarnation conquered the stage, and Ijam (as emcee) did the whole lucky draw thing and after three rounds, the guitar sponsored by Guitar Store was given out to a guy, who I hoped actually played guitar.

The final band I watched was Incarnation, I had some stuff to do and couldn't stay back for Cassandra. So Incarnation it was. And hell yeah, they were extremely tight, but to be honest, after a while their songs seem to start blending into one another and sound slightly the same. I loved the drummer though!

I particularly enjoyed the part where the wall of death happened. It was small, but it was solid and didn't just break apart within seconds. As in, people actually ran into each other from both sides without trying to avoid any bodily damage. Hahaha. Gosh I miss coming out of gigs with bruises. Didn't happen today though. Hasn't happened since the festival in Budapest -_-

All in all, one good show from Incarnation, powerpacked and adrenaline-filled. Sent energy soaring through the crowd and back to the band on stage. A definite thumbs up for them!

Celine had a short and sweet time at the event

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not My Cup of Tea: Beatburns/BeforeAfters EP Launching @ MAPKL Solaris Dutamas

So finally, after a month of preparation, we arrived at MAP with nervous hearts and eyebags from lack of sleep and fatigue from the days leading up to our EP Launching, split between Beforeafters and Beatburns.

Me, being the one arriving the latest - my mom refused to wake me up because I slept only at 6am - I had to rush in to help out with lighting with Nindy and led the guys settle the heavy loadings of the amps onto the stage.

Spent some time chilling and talking with friends, before the real work began.

It was an amazing touch as we sat for hours waiting for crowd to turn up when Xes Xes Loveseat and George Wielgus along with their poet-slamming friend came along and opened up a busking area for their vinyls. They were going to do a poetry busking. Epic. Rad. Anything goes with these guys. Really enjoyed myself watching them speak out their minds as the bands rolled in and out for soundcheck. Friends started coming around and we were busy preparing the last minute DIY cuttings for our EP as Hello Is This The Band prepared to open the show.

And I am proud to say HITTB made a good opening for the crowd. A good set by a talented young band, friends of ours, and we were glad we had them be part of our show. We were starting to panic because I had received calls of bands coming a bit later, and Moms on Strike were lost in Solaris, whilst Zip Zieller had met with an accident. But luck turned upwards as Moms on Strike entered the venue, and were immediately ushered up on stage after Hello's set. And sure enough, Mom's On Strike were a blast, probably one of my favourite sets of the night. Jasmine really knows how to manipulate her screams into her songs and the whole set was filled with a brilliant energy that brought in almost everybody who attended to stand and watch their performance. Loved it!

Was dashing in and out meeting people, sorting out bands, helping Nin with the lighting, getting water from Gas's car, making sure other bands were on the way, etc etc, and still managed to find time to sneak out for a smoke and spend some time chatting with my friends who had come to support us.

Next up was Pesawat, a band I greatly appreciate for being able to find time to perform for our show. And a good set it was indeed, with a lot of fans cheering for them, though I had to cut through their extremely long intro to state Jipi was having a toilet moment, HAHA. A good, steady set from them, got the crowd moving, including Nindy's father (her whole family had attended to watch her performance). Great stuff! And a happy birthday to their keyboardist, Danial! :)

Following swiftly was Zip Zieller, who had managed to arrive on time and requested to play only three songs - they were fatigued, poor them - but a show's a show, and they sure as hell pulled on a great one! Was tampering with the lighting board upstairs whilst bobbing my head and tapping my feet to their pure blues and rock n roll music. A great set, really proving the twist and blend of different genres we had for the audience that day. They then cleared the stage and made way for the first band of the day - Beforeafters! :)

Beforeafters: I couldn't stand staying in the lighting board the entire time, so I had to go down and join my clan of friends to support Nindy and sing along to all her songs (well roughly all!). All in all, it was a good set and probably one of their best shows I've seen so far aside from the one in Laundry. Rashid pulled a good job covering for Afiq's untimely and unfortunate absence and I had a great deal of fun watching them perform. Couldn't stay to catch Intimidation, sadly, because by then my mom had arrived and I had to go and fetch her from the carpark!

Introduced my mother to all my friends and then went in just in time for Stonebay's commencing of their set! A great acoustic set (they do had to do without Afiq) by the Stoners :) really, truly enjoyed their performance and their presence in our event, they've been supporting us a lot the few months since they found out about us, and we're really glad to have been able to share the stage with them for the second time!

Next up, Auburn. A band I rarely see live, but love their tunes and their lyrics. Izuan being a deep poet - like me, but much more dreamier - I respected their presence on stage and enjoyed their dark and vivid set. A good show, I was panicking because no one was at the lightbox whilst I was with my mother, meaning they had been playing one song in the dim lights. Didn't really matter though because their music was suiting :) Really happy they too were part of the show, and thank you so much Izuan for your kind words and ultimate support for us! :)

Then it was finally our turn. Honestly speaking, this was definitely one of our best shows ever played. We played a set of 7 songs (6 songs + 1 encore) and were blessed to have a quintet of strings to accompany during our slow number "Horizons". Had a lovely moment with Nindy as she came up to me and sang one line of the song. I am truly proud of Beatburns, we played a great show and we put all our remaining strength into the set. Literally. We were dead after. HAHA.

Then it was time to send my mom back to her car and then accompany Nindy to send Alice back home. This resulted into us missing Couple and Tilu's performances but thank god my friends caught Couple for me and snapped a few pictures! THANK YOU BOTH BANDS FOR BEING ABLE TO PLAY WITH US, we appreciate it with all our hearts.

When everyone left, we cleared out the place and dragged ourselved into our jampacked cars, drove around and did some last minute errands before finally sitting down for a meal and going back home and collapsing into bed. I couldn't sleep til later, but when I did sleep, it was a sleep black and dense. Too exhausted even for dreams! All in all, one heck of a show!

Celine felt overwhelmed by the support from everyone.

Big hugs to all involved: Aron, Moe, Gas, Nik, Nindy and Ezzart.
Bigger hugs to everybody who helped along the way and attended the event! :)