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Tuesday August 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday August 20, 2013 MYT 8:19:11 AM
by chester chin
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan appeared moody as usual.
Local music acts showed their mettle against international stars at Good Vibes Festival.
DESPITE the fact that Good Vibes Festival was touted as an “all-ages” event, it was obvious that it was the hip young crowd who dominated the inaugural music event last Saturday, as evident in the abundant display of psychedelic fashion among festivalgoers.
Spotted roaming around the remote grounds of the Go-Kart Circuit at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor was a female festivalgoer wearing a headband with shuttlecocks (yes, the badminton kind) and a young man with side-swept hipster hair sporting a neon message tee that said “Party Tonight, Live Tomorrow”.
But if anything, the assorted display of sartorial inclinations served as a gentle reminder of the equally eclectic music acts that were roped in to play at the festival.
In an event headlined by massive international acts, due credit must be given to the local music outfits for rousing a lively mood throughout the day.
OJ Law and Pesawat did a great job warming up the crowd with their 30-minute sets at the Red Stage, the focal point of the festival. The former started the event with some soul and electronica flair while the latter injected some rocking pulse.
Meanwhile, over at the Blue Stage, one couldn’t help but note the juxtaposition of contrasts between the two platforms. Where the Red Stage kicked things off with indie rock credibility, it was a more relaxed atmosphere at the sky-coloured venue.
Eff Hakim and Mohd Faliq who make up the duo Pastel Lite commenced the languid pace of the Blue Stage with their soothing vocals and minimalist electronic melodies. The Impatient Sisters were up next, delighting the crowd with it’s brand of quirky folk-pop with some allusive romantic tunes.
After the trio’s performance, mellifluous melodies continued over at the Red Stage with acoustic darling Liyana Fizi charming the crowd with her stripped back jazzy accents and folksy tunes.
During Liyana’s set, the crowd at the Blue Stage was entertained by local rock avant-garde band Pitahati.
Just as the sun was about to set, Kyoto Protocol pumped up the volume at the main stage with a livewire performance that got the crowd up front jumping around. The band even had Liyana up on stage to perform Jelita with them.
A special mention must be given to Tenderfist, who managed to hold its own at the Blue Stage amid the rock riot that was going on at the main venue provided the perfect setting for festivalgoers to lounge on the grass with some downright dreamy pop tunes as the evening sun began to set.
“The sun is going down, there’s nothing left to lose!” screamed Kyoto Protocol frontman Fuad Alhabshi towards the end of the five-piece band’s set at the other side.
And just as dusk descended, the party atmosphere intensified with more crowd filling up the carnival-like grounds.
Local act MonoLoque kicked off the second half of the festival with a rocking show at the Red Stage, while Irish rockers Ash started playing at the Blue Stage. Known for being the poster child of the gritty sound of the 1990s, Ash’s performance was plagued by a technical glitch when the sound system suddenly went off two minutes into the band’s performance.
“We waited 18 years to perform in Malaysia for two minutes,” frontman Tim Wheeler jokingly said when the band returned 10 minutes later to continue the rest of its energetic set.
More setbacks ensued as Modest Mouse’s performance was also delayed for a good 20 minutes, but all was forgiven when the band came on stage to deliver one of the night’s most notable performances.
“It’s definitely different playing at festivals compared to our own concerts. There’s a shorter amount of time for us to play and I don’t get to banter as much as I would like to,” said lead singer Isaac Brock during a brief interview at the festival.
Immensely down-to-earth and greatly modest (pardon the pun), it’s easy to see why fans place so much adulation on the 38-year-old singer and his bandmates. The Washington-based band’s one-hour set saw the group performing fan favourites such as Satin In A Coffin, Dashboard and Float On.
While Modest Mouse was performing, Canadian rock duo Japandroids rocked the audience at the Blue Stage. Its performance was followed by an exhilarating set by They Will Kill Us All.
Loud club music emanated from Starclub, the two-storey porous pavilion opposite the main stage. Arguably one of the most happening scenes at the festival, the Starclub served one club banger after another from regional and homegrown acts such as Dipha, Dudesweet, Poptart, Deer Society, Twilight Actiongirl and Goldfish.
The evening culminated with the much-anticipated performance from Smashing Pumpkins which started with Tonite Reprise, garnering the loudest cheer of the night.
Frontman Billy Corgan got the crowd moving and singing along with tracks such as Tonight, Tonight, Disarm and Ava Adore. That said, the night’s biggest disappointment came when the band chose not to perform the group’s popular hit 1979.
Taking into account the slight power outage and some fans’ dejection, the first instalment of the Good Vibes Festival was far from perfect. But at least the event lived up to its promise of providing good fun and good music.
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