Malaysia’s Own Woodstock?
At first, I thought the inaugural Sunburst Festival at Polo Pavilion, Bukit Kiara Equestrian last Saturday would repeat the same history of the fiasco Rentak Asia few years back. But I was totally wrong!!
Two half domed stage a-la Woodstock. Photo: SEIR
In fact, the melting pot carnival of various music types has managed to draw about 12,000 people to throng the venue. Despite the heavy rain started an hour after the fest began, it absolutely did not damper the constant inflow of music enthusiasts until the mid night. I missed watching the Gigi’s show including its semi-god guitarist Dewa Budjana because I was late to reach there. Coincidentally, the rained started when a Malay indie rock outfit Hujan was playing on the main stage. I was told by Seir that what the main anxiety of the concert organizers is the rain and normally, they will hire a “bomoh hujan” before a concert begins, no pun intended here.
Both 28 international and local bands were amazingly awesome, presumably. I truly enjoyed watching Tempered Mental, One Buck Short, the funked George Clinton, the Roots etc and the entire festival ran smoothly without any hanky-panky or unwanted incidents along the 12-hours non-stop event. All I saw was a sea of humans rocking to the craziest bands. The mass crowd too was thrilled by difference music genres ranging from hip-hop, punk rock, ska, R&B, funk, pop, rock etc. I wish I was John Legend –the centre of women’s attraction. I did not expect he would make all women regardless of age and
race went totally gaga over him. If my girl did that, I would become a green-eyed monster. Next time, I will try to compose songs like he does and try to be an astonishing piano player like he is!!! Period!!
The most successful crowd puller should go to the modern rock outfit Incubus. They really stole the show. Its performance was met by energetic enthusiasm shown by both the band vigorously and the lively listeners. By the time Search took over the baton to
rock the crowd, the size of the crowd shrunk drastically to half. Maybe Incubus had driven the frenzied crowd to exhaustion?
Search played after Incubus. Photo: Ellary Petrucci
I was too burnt out waiting Incubus to end the show (Incubus is great but not my cup of tea) and let Search kicked off. In spite of a minor technical glitch and audience fatigue,
Search successfully overcome to keep the spirit carried on entirely although they played about 6 songs only. After the small hiccup has been ironed out, hatchet has been buried, finally Din rejoin-ed his old buddies and this time, his showmanship was really much
aggressive compared to the last gig I saw at Backroom in December 2005. But the diehard fans did not have enough fun due to the time was almost approaching towards the allowable curfew fixed by the local authorities. The organizer (Nanas) was supposed to
remind the artistes/bands to not exceed the allotted time. International bands especially, had overreacted until they went beyond one hour from the allocated time. If I am not mistaken, each band was permitted to play abut 45 minutes only. Perhaps they had to react excessively in order to mesmerize the Malaysian fans once in a blue moon? By the way, Estranged continued the event as the last band (impromptu changes) unfortunately, I had to leave. Friends can’t stand my manana attitude. Eh, I noticed there was not a single Indonesian there?
Despite the variety of music choice, the heavy metal genre had been sidelined. I was informed that the legendary Malaysian heavy metal band – Cromok – would make a special appearance with the resurgence of its original guitarist – Karl after a long hiatus. Yet, I truly had no idea why Cromok was not selected even though they were on the preliminary bands list. If they had the chance the play the gig, I believe it would attract an unlimited number of heavy metal fans to turn out and annihilate Bukit Kiara Equestrian as what happened on Rock the World V in 2004 – and they would outnumber Incubus. Would you agree with me on this?
The Roots on stage. Photo: SEIR
I strongly believe that this successful event has really put our country on the world music map and really hope there are a lot of concert festivals to be organized here at a cheaper price, or maybe free. For a low income and meager salary earner like me – RM 200 is really cost my arm and my leg. (Actually, at very last minute, Seir called me up informing that he had an extra complimentary ticket, thanks bro). The good thing that I am really proud of is this event relies heavily on the home-grown talent besides Rock the
World. I presume the local bands should take the golden opportunity to learn from the international bands on rigs, set-up, gadgets and the professionalism manner in playing instruments, entertaining fans etc.
I met my old friend who is the singer cum guitar of a local punk rock band. His band did a gig in London last year December and they had a chance playing in front of a member of Sex Pistol, which I forgot his name. It seems that he was dissatisfied with the quality of sound system provided. “If possible, I would try to get Rahmad (Kamikaze) to be the sound engineer. I know we are a rubbish band,” he said matter of factly. I also heard that one of amps was blown out when Love Me Butch ran amok on the stage. Was it true?
In the end, it was humid and exhausting yet overall show was great and much fun with craziest bunch of music lovers… It was definitely a day to be remembered and everybody went home with something to talk about. I finally got dazed and confused with the constant “rojak” music flew into my brain that day