May
16

Rockestra

Posted by kenchill. Categories Event Coverage, Events, Music

Where bands are coupled with an orchestra.

Or so was it.

Obviously, the headlining band for this event is Butterfingers. Gigging all month long to promote their new album, Kembali, Butterfingers is here to stay, and as the t-shirts states, ‘Takkan grunge hilang di dunia‘. Besides Butterfingers, the other bands which will be accompanied by an orchestra are Hujan, MUCK and Couple. There were also around 8 other bands playing, half of which are acoustic sets.

The event was ‘supposed’ (as per most Malaysian events, especially Chinese Wedding dinners, supposed is the word to use, not will) to start at 2pm and so, as good law-abiding citizens of Malaysia, we promptly arrived at 2pm. Parking was easy to find (just by the roadside) and tickets, selling for RM25 each, were available for purchase just outside the entrance to the grand hall. As expected, the guy told us that we can enter after the sound check (the infamous sound checks! Sound checks can last the whole day here in Malaysia, and please I don’t want to remind you of the ROTTW sound check delays).

After a drink at the nearby mamak stall, we were allowed to enter the hall at around 3pm. T-shirt and merchandise booths were setup at both sides of the hall and the air-condition was turned on at full blast (good good). Hey, I managed to cop myself a Butterfingers tee! The first band started to rock it out after a short welcome by the emcee and people started gathering in front of the stage. When the acoustic sessions started, the crowd started to sit down but will alternate between standing and sitting, depending on the type of bands performing.

*photos by ah_mei

Local T-shirt Design Booths

The first band

The second band

The sixth band

The seventh band

The eighth band

The tenth band

—fast forward—
Actually, as the bands were playing, we were walking around and some points, hanging around outside the building, so I can’t really write a blow-by-blow on the bands (well, I’m not a professional journalist/blogger yet).

Speech

After the acoustic sessions, there was a short speech by this older dude (around 40~50s I guess). He was very energetic and gave a very awesome speech which garnered a lot of support and cheers from the crowd. He told us to rock’n’roll while we are still young, to act young while we are still young, and that the world is ours, the world is in our hands (he alternated between BM and English, but touched on the same things). He was proud that a Chinese Assembly Hall allowed rock concerts to be held at the Grand Hall and soon, he says that it is possible to have a rock concert at Batu Caves! When he was younger, he said that he was rocking it out and still rock’n’rolls now and added that older people (previous generation) who don’t like rock’n’roll akan kita tinggalkan di belakang. Luckily he did not preach about good manners, what we should or shouldn’t do, or tell us some old folk’s story.

Speech

Play

Just before the main highlight started, there was a short play (I’m not sure by which organization), which opened with a butt of a girl staring right at the audience (or vice versa, the crowd staring at the butt of a girl). The background music started courtesy of a guitarist and a bassist and as the curtains opened up, there were two other butts to be seen, but both belonged to guys.

It started with the Malay girl, who was clad baju kurung and a tudung turning towards the crowd while standing upright. Sadly, the microphone was either broken, the volume turned too low, or the cables not connected properly and we couldn’t hear what she was saying. This lasted for about 2 minutes (the background music kept on going) and after a few microphone switches, the first scene thus began.

What came out from the speakers wasn’t very clear and I could only catch about 60% of what she was saying, so I could only get the main idea of what she was trying to convey. The first scene was about the Malay girl telling a story (in Bahasa Malaysia) about prejudice and the public’s perception about a (Malay) girl who wears a baju kurung AND tudung. It was about coming from the kampung to the city to work (cari rezeki) and facing a lot of negativity from the people around her just because of her attire.

The second scene (this time, the microphone was much clearer) was about the experience of a Chinese boy who was raised by typical Chinese parents going to school. His parents advised him not to mix with Indians because they were dirty and called them keling. ‘What was a keling?’, the boy wondered.

Disclaimer: The next line that I will be typing is about what he said in the play, not created by ME, I’m NOT a racist or whatever. If I was a racist, Supaa_dry and kumbang wouldn’t even be my friends.

His parents also advised him not to mix with Malays because they were BODOH (he really stressed on that word) and … he couldn’t continue! Super loud boos came from the crowd and lasted for quite a while. He was trying to say ‘Mak yang cakap punya, bukan saya’ (That was what my mum said, not me) but the crowd drowned him out. Finally, after the commotion cleared, he continue saying that (his mom said) Malays were also lazy (getting some boos as well).

So, he went to school and what else can he do but mix around with everyone no matter what race/color/religion they were. He soon met a friend called Aminah (if I was not mistaken) and found out that Malays were actually baik. ‘Melayu itu kan bagus.’ he said, getting huge cheers and applause from the crowd. Indian people were not dirty after all, they were nice and friendly, just like everyone, just like humans. So, as a conclusion, what his mum told him wasn’t true.

The third and final scene was about an Indian guy who had a bad experience and tough time growing up. He started talking in English. Why? Because he is a CEO. Because he is ‘high class’. Because he earns more than most of us do.

Well, the story is that (he continued in Bahasa Malaysia though), as an Indian, he faced a lot of insults and prejudice at school when he was young. Even the teachers mocked him. He was always looked upon as useless and stupid. When he entered university, he thought things could change as there were more matured minds there, but he was wrong, it was all the same. People told him to give up as they though he couldn’t make it through university. All the anger and frustration vented inside him, churning and becoming motivation and determination for him to succeed in life, to prevail and rise above those who treated him as dirt.

Soon, he became a CEO of a company (didn’t explain in detail about the business nature or whether he started his own company) at 21 years old. It was a total change of environment to him, a culture shock. Now, who would want to insult him? He is still an Indian, same skin color, same name, just that now he has a title. What should he do? Hire people and make them clean the toilets as an act of revenge on society?

The play closed with all three of the fighting amongst each other but ultimately become friends with each other.

Hujan

Well, it was time for Hujan, the first band to play with the orchestra. As usual, there was a strong Rainger regiment presence (me and ah_mei included) and the front of the stage was filled up almost immediately. The orchestra opened up the introduction for Bila Aku Sudah Tiada and Noh had no need to fill in for the vocals as the crowd was much louder than him, and to acknowledge that, he turned the microphone to face the audience. Word for word, the crowd sang.

Hujan

Up next was Hiba, heck, how rare is that? I think it was the 2nd time I heard Hujan playing Hiba in their set. If I am not wrong, they followed up with Ku Mahu Kau Tahu, which was the second time I heard them playing it live (ha, I don’t follow ALL their KL gigs so, yeah).

The energy started to build up (mosh time!!) when Ahmoi Chantek was played next. And there it went, Pagi Yang Gelap, Aku Skandal and ending with Empayarmu, with the usual gap in between. Dukegong (dugong, lol) look really awesome head banging and swinging his long dreadlocks around. Speaking of which, the first time I saw him with dreadlocks was when they were opening for Peterpan just last month. So, when did Dukegong get his dreadlocks (and extensions, I presume)?

MUCK

Can’t really say much here as I didn’t pay much attention at that time.

Couple

For their first song, Now That I Can See, Couple was kind enough (and smart) to let the orchestra to be in the spotlight instead of the band (just the bass guitar from the band). This was a really good gesture and the crowd appreciated that by singing along with them. The band joined in during the second song and it was full gear there onwards. They even played the full rock version of Now That I Can See again, this time without the orchestra.

Couple

Song by song (Rock N Roll, Tentang Kita, Gotta be My Gurl), Couple delivered, and the crowd sang along. There was even an encore as the crowd just wanted more and more from Couple. Aidil did not disappoint us and played 2 songs for the encore! At one point, Noh came out from behind the band and stage-dived into the crowd.

Butterfingers

Right after Couple performed, everyone was standing up and waiting for Butterfingers. Chants of Butter, Butter were up in the air which was then joined by chants of fingers, fingers from another section of the crowd. They took quite a while to setup and the crowd’s anticipation was really building up as Emmet managed to tease the crowd a couple of times by popping his face out of the stage curtains a couple of times.

So, after a couple of false guitar starts and even a Vio-Pipe drum beat teaser, the curtains split and there, the orchestra, the band and Emmet with a violin. He started of by playing Negaraku on his violin and then continued to play Vio-Pipe (to ah_mei’s delight) which was then joined by the orchestra and the band. And to my delight, Kabus Ribut was next.

Loque got the crowd excited by strumming the first chord of Tentang Tentang but the song that night was titled Tentang Cinta. Heck! Anyway, the song was very well received by the crowd and the whole hall sang along with Loque and Emmet.

Butterfingers

Where is my GRUNGE!?!? I wanna mosh!!!

The very reason they are gigging this time is to promote their new album, Kembali, and they managed to lash out 2 of their new songs, Terus Terang and 1000 Tahun. Seems like not many people knew the lyrics to Terus Terang (well, I don’t). 1000 Tahun was better received. The only slack part was that during the ending of the song, Loque’s guitar effects didn’t go as planned and we could only visually see what he was doing to his guitar but couldn’t hear anything from his guitar at all. He was even detuning his guitar strings and switching on/off some effects pedal but there was just no sound! I am not sure whether he noticed it or not.

‘Terima kasih and good night’, Emmet said. What the heck? Seriously, we needed more. If it ended there like that, it would be such a disappointment. So, Emmet took Loque’s (who was already preparing to exit the stage) and strummed to the tune of Niccotyne (heck, he had to retune the guitar as Loque has previously detuned the guitar to create his effects). Not full on grunge style, but more ‘acoustic’ version of it, not hard enough to command a mosh pit. Loque even came back and said ‘Dia guna guitar aku!’ and didn’t had a guitar to play (he didn’t want to use Emmet’s guitar).

Right on, we were expecting more, and thought that Butterfingers are ready to grunge it out. So, they played Faculties of the Mind (This is gonna be a filthy, filthy treatment!), still not hard enough to command a mosh pit. After the song ended, he said ‘Good night’ and IT REALLY ENDED. What the hell? The crowd was dispersing and I was standing there for about a minute in disbelief. Shit… this sucks.

So, feeling disappointed, we had dinner/supper at Steven’s Corner and went home.

Btw, this post is really long. If you manage to read this far, I would like to thank you!

 


2 Responses to “Rockestra”

  1. nohhujan - May 20, 2008 / 9:45 pm

    thnks for the reviews . . atleast aku tau ada orang still ambil berat pasal bands, especially seorang yg berbangsa cina. kau memang magic!! terima kasih bro!

     
  2. supaa_dry - May 23, 2008 / 10:41 pm

    ahhh!! aku sebenarnya nak pergi gak, tapi dammit I fell sick. grr

     

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