Monday, 4th August '08

One Hundred F*cking Percent

Friends of Singfesta.k.a. Day One of Singfest 08. If you're more interested in what happened on Day Two, please click here.

43 years is not a long time for nationhood. 24 years is not a long time to have existed. About 3 years is not a long time to have concert-going experience.

But right now I'm finding it hard to believe that this country has ever seen a better music festival, or a more heartfelt spirit of... well... I don't have a name for it, but when you do cramp thousands of people together in a mid-sized field, throw in a mix of musical performers who each do nothing less than "give one hundred f*cking percent" (more on that quote later), whatever it is that is given life to in that place is beautiful and so very much fun.

So for a full twenty giddy hours over 2 & 3 August 2008, the good people of Midas Promotions showed the world that Singaporeans do indeed know how to party.

I no longer have to do a lot of writing, since the new media speaks for itself. I take a certain amount of pride in my concert pictures and recordings (Gerri does them better, though). But when you're there as a paying customer trying to mosh along with everyone else, with a tiny little digicam and no high-speed shutters or fancy tripods or long lenses, and you stand at the kind of height that I do... there's a lot to be thankful for if I can even get something without someone else's head in pit. But well, enjoy. Tell me if you think anything can be sold to Getty Images. Haha.




Quick Links

For your navigation convenience, as I think this may be a long one.

Chapter 1.1: Dearest
Chapter 1.2: Crowned King
Chapter 1.3: Melanie Subono
Chapter 1.4: New Found Glory
Chapter 1.5: Melee
Chapter 1.6: Levi's Fashion Show
Chapter 1.7: Lost Prophets
Chapter 1.8: Simple Plan
Chapter 1.9: Travis




Chapter 1.1: Dearest

It's hard being the first act in a huge series of concerts. Goodness knows I've ended up in enough opening items to know what it feels like to be the first one fielding the hostility of a crowd that's been waiting too long for something to happen and wants instant gratification, now, now, now! But they made a great show of it, and while punk music isn't quite my cup of tea, their energy and passion was just what the doctor ordered.











Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.2: Crowned King

This one takes the cake for being Limin's discovery of the day, for any number of reasons. Whatever the case, this Vancouver outfit looks set to take Much Music by storm (if they haven't already). The emo rock ballad "War" sticks irresistibly in your head and Shaun Frank's delivery hits all the right sensitive points while still being entirely enjoyable and sing-along-able. My one criticism, listening to their sophomore "Break the Silence" album (which Limin and I effortlessly wrangled, free of charge, out of the hands of Shaun Frank and Jonny Biggs themselves), is that it suffers from the same lapse into monotony that plagues fellow Canadian rockers Nickelback. But once seen live, it does not leave you wanting.

Sorry, no videos for this one.













Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.3: Melanie Subono

Urgh, no thank you. I stayed for this, but tried to pretend my ears didn't exist. It was this close to painful, and slightly embarassing that this formed the one Asian representative of the festival.

Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.4: New Found Glory

Large tattooed angmoh men in leather jackets banging some seriously loud music. Could have been good stuff, but I couldn't afford to stick around to fined out. Needed to catch some dinner before Melee.

Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.5: Melee

An awesome set from a group from the real O.C.. Fortunately for you, I have the videos to prove it. What isn't reflected here is the powerful ballad "She's Gonna Find Me Here", the performance of which alone might well have justified the price it took to bring this band here. It's great on the CD, it's utterly amazing live. Short, simple, and in a set of fast-paced happy numbers, this stands out with the same power that an Elton John performance would. The ordinarily goofy Chris Cron turned around and catapulted himself and his band into the big leagues with a stunning vocal delivery. Watch for it, this is what art looks like.

But in the meanwhile...


Ending of "Frequently Baby (She's a Teenage Maniac)".


On-stage patter, and Rick Sans' take on the new Singapore National Anthem, "Sing It Somemore Singapore".


"She's Gonna Find Me Here". Thank you meepi for the video.


The crowd-pleaser climax item, "Built to Last".











Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.6: Levi's Fashion Show

Some decent b-boying going on at the intro, but the models were disgustingly vacuous. After a day of prancing around shirtless and raising expectations of all around, their pathetic attempts at a catwalk / dancing / faux fighting were just sad.

Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.7: Lost Prophets

I'm not sure what to make of this part of the performance. There's no doubting Lost Prophets knows their guitar-smashing brand of metalish-sounding punk music. I don't like noisy music personally, but it doesn't stop me from recognising well-performed noisy music when I hear it. Still, I'm not so much a part of that movement that I can comment on it with any authority (if indeed I comment on anything with any authority at all). All I know is that frontman Ian Watkins may have forgotten his meds (or taken too many, go figure), and that segment of the audience who knew what that was all about lapped it up. For our part, Limin and I just pumped our fists on the air on cue, because Ian was so very very psychotically concerned that we give it our "one hundred f*cking percent!!!!!" (with greasy black hair and a throaty, blood-curdling scream Chester Bennington would have been proud of, eyes screwed tight with the agony of our non-compliance so pretty please with a cherry on top scream with me kind of feeling), we were somewhat worried he might blow a gasket if we didn't at least say "OI! OI!" loud enough to be heard back in Bedok.


This is "Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja". I quite liked the album recording version of this one. Maybe I grow too old to take this live. In any event, it sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of a Spiderman movie. Oh wait, they already are on the Spiderman 2 soundtrack. Haha. Yes, I checked it, of course.







Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.8: Simple Plan

The only band I've ever seen live TWICE, and the second time is as great as the first. These guys know how to make you have a good time, and whilst Pierre Bouvier and David Derosiers didn't quite demonstrate the witty banter I fell in love with in Halifax, their rapport with the audience was impeccable as usual.

Did I mention I got one of Jeff Stinco's picks from the show? Trivia bits for the rabid fans - the picks are green, Tortex, heavy gauge, one side says "SIMPLE PLAN" and the other side reads "JEFF STINCO" in that iconic Def Leppard font over a picture of a grinning frog with devil horns.

Emma, if you see this, this chapter is for you. For old times' sake, and the high-spirited jumping in the snow heaps by the road that we did all the walk back to the Y from the Metro Centre. wink I thought of you with every picture of Pierre I snapped.


Angsty teenage anthem. It's hard to believe I was actually a teenager when I first heard this.


She had them apple-bottom jeans, boots with the fur... honestly, this rendition of "Low" pretty much makes Flo Rida obsolete. This one isn't my recording, so props to HeartsRain for this one.


A little patter.















Back to Quick Links





Chapter 1.9: Travis

I've heard Travis was a fantastic act live, but after a shakey start (involving a hopeless wubbie, drunken crowd hecklers and wonky tuning on Fran Healey's guitar) the headlining band gave a magical performance. In part, I'm sure the magic was due to the Travis fans in the audience who sang every lyric with such gusto that the band looked positively stunned to have this many people know them and love their work.

I won't say a lot about this act because I have so many videos and pictures it'll take you a while to make your way through them. If nothing else, watch "Flowers in the Window".


"Selfish Jean".


"Beautiful Occupation".


"Turn".


"Flowers in the Window" & "Slide Show".



















Back to Quick Links



en ying snapped a shot of life @ 07:29 pm
[3 photographs developed.]


3 photographs developed.

limz:

i realy liked She's Gonna find me here.. one of those songs that leave u stunned. i do agree with u about crowned king..although i love 'War' i was bobbing along to it at work today! more more more more more!

limz:

think pic 1 & 2 of Travis u can sell to getty images and istockphoto smile

qiong:

thanks for the review =) did you manage to get travis vids??? dammit, i wish i could go... T_T





name:
smilies:
smile shocked sad
big grin razz *wink wink* hey baby
angry, grr blush confused
cool crazy cry
sleepy hehe LOL
plain jane rolls eyes satisfied