An event review: 'Rockaway 2011'; an in-depth, personal review.

Oleh / By: Iki.Ali

I guess y'all know how to read, right? :P
This is my second big-time paid event of the year (AND of my life for that matter; the first one being Urbanscapes 2011) called Rockaway 2011; a Rock music festival that bands together a handful of independent Malaysian acts as well as three big-time American acts which was held last Saturday (8th of  October) from 12.00 pm to 12.30 am (initially, it was scheduled to end at 12.00 am, but was extended 30 minutes longer; I'll tell y'all why later on) at Carpark A, Bukit Jalil Stadium, KL.

Because of this, Rockaway is no longer a free festival unlike the very first one back in 2009 (never knew about this until my sister and my junior told me about it). This event was put together by organisers LIVESCAPE and One Buck Short, a Malaysian band who also performed and launched their first Malay album there.

Out of the 19 bands, I only managed to catch 8 of them; I missed the first two bands because I came in late, while the others... well... I'm just not a fan. Anyways, here are some pics of proof that I've actually been there.

My ticket. Weehoo!
The quite messed up programme booklet, which contained the performance schedule
as well as brief descriptions of all the featured performers.
My own copy of Pop Shuvit's latest offering, Cherry Blossom Love Affair.
I think I might do a review on the album later... or not.
I bought this for my sister; an EP called In Search Of by Busco,
one of the bands that performed that day, AND this is the LAST copy,
AND I got that single R U Ready for free! Woohoo!
For starters, let's talk about the worst parts.

When I just arrived at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, it was starting to rain. I was thinking of entering the premise first, but then I remembered something; I HAD to wait for my ticket buyer, because at first I thought that once you go inside, you can never go out; but boy was I wrong! As long as I have the wrist pass, I can go in and out as I please! I found out about that MUCH later on. So, because of my ignorance, as I said earlier, I had to wait for my ticket buyer (I have two tickets with me; the second one was supposedly meant for my sister, and then my classmate, and then my blog mate; two of which could not come with me while the latter just found out that she got two free tickets on Friday morning) whom I contacted through Facebook on Friday night. And that have made me missed out the first two bands that performed, namely Hujan (awkward, ain't it?) and Tres Empre; AND made my Crocs wet, AND made me bought a measly, yet almost practical poncho for RM10 (that's fucking pricey for a cheap ass raincoat; I could get it like for RM2 at 7-Eleven, man!) for a quite heavy rain! And because of that heavy rain, which happened exactly after Tres Empre's performance, the festival had to take a break for half an hour in order to let the rain settle down; and that explains why it ends at 12.30 am instead of the scheduled 12.00 am.

And the kids there? Well, it's quite normal to see the so called "indies", "cool" kids, the "hipsters" and the "punks" who thought that they were to cool for that shit. But, I guess that can't be helped; since it's ONLY in these kinds of festivals that they could get, umm... attention of sorts. Honestly speaking dudes, no one actually gives a fuck; because, let's just face it... WE DON'T WANNA LOOK AT YOU, WE WANNA BANG OUR HEADS TO THE BEATS OF ROCK, MAN! The foods? Well, you can't bring outside food, since they already have Food Factory set up around the festival's compound; and only those were allowed, and they were damn pricey. UGH.

The good parts? Well... THE PERFORMANCES (I'll cover that later, so bare with me)! AND... these!

Me and Jason FUCKING Lo! Well, he did give a finger, right? Oh yeah, sorry
for missing out on your performance too, dude.
Moots and DJ Uno of Pop Shuvit alongside Dandee and the vocalist of
Filipino band Slapshock together with
me and my copy of Cherry Blossom Love Affair!
Enough of that camwhoring, dude. Let's talk performance wise now. Apart from the line-ups, this awesome performance thing were also involving the theatrics made by the emcees of the show themselves; and they are Jinn, Ryan, JJ, and Ean of Hitz.FM and Rina Omar of 8TV. They were quite entertaining and funny when it comes to calming down the roaring concert goers! Good job, guys!

Okay now, let's REALLY get to the ACTUAL performances; by THE ACTS! Here are pictures of the bands that I managed to catch, performing, together with my take on their performances.

Dichi Michi

Nothing much could be said about this band, since this was my first time hearing about their existence as well as their sound. But I have to say, they are not bad at all! Oh yeah, they were also premiering this one song called Sempurna, their brand new single which was suppose to feature Noh Salleh, the vocalist of the very first band that performed on that day, but he had to leave early due to some personal matters. So they had no choice but to speak out his lines in the song. Poor boys! But they did quite well on their set, so, all is forgiven!


I heard quite a lot of deal on this band, especially on Hitz.FM (their hit song R U Ready as well as promos which received multiple airplays) and mamak stalls (you know... on fancy mamak stalls that have their own TV network and shit?). They also performed earlier this year on Urbanscapes, but I had to hit home early during their number. I thought this band was all show and hyped out by the media that supports them, but boy was I wrong! They are actually quite good and energetic on live stage! Sorry for ever doubting on you guys!

Kyoto Protocol 

One of the most quirky local bands to ever hit the stage; both in showmanship and music delivery! Oh, they also performed on Urbanscapes 2011 before, but I was totally unaware of their awesomeness. I think it's true what they say about Kyoto Protocol; they are indeed unique! The members were totally wacky on stage; dancing around like monkeys and shit, and at one point, the lead vocals even performed while he was lying down! Their guitar sound and music arrangements are also quite unorthodox; it has that kind of Alice in Wonderland vibe to it if you ask me. Heck, they even sneakily covered David Guetta's Love is Gone right after the lead vocalist asked the audiences "What are you supposed to do right now?", an obvious reference to a line of the song. Definitely a band to look out for! But too bad I didn't manage to buy their album, since it was out of stock... and I was out of cash.


For those whose a hardcore fan of Butterfingers, you should know who they are. Two members of the said band are in this new band, lead by LoQue. Music wise, their attempt of infusing classical Malay music elements together with modern rock worked quiet well, as demonstrated by the mastery of the multi-talented lead vocalist, as their sound does have that relaxed feel of old Malay songs are known for. Musicianship wise, they are one hell of a synced up band! I mean, if a member messes up, you could barely hear the music got messed up too! At one point, LoQue's top guitar string literally snapped all of a sudden. Even so, for a brief moment, he still jammed to the rhythm even with a snapped guitar string before a stage crew took away the guitar, and it still sounded good! In fact, none of the band members were startled by that incident, AND the music is still in sync! Nice, eh?

Love Me Butch

The last time I saw this band was at YOUTH'09, a free youth event back in 2009, and then the lead vocals' side project band, Lab The Rat earlier this year at Urbanscapes 2011. And on Saturday at Rockaway, they were back; with vengeance! Their entire set that day consists of entirely new songs that are to be possibly squeezed onto their newest album. I think they sounded much heavier than before, in fact, they sounded almost Metal-like; it was complete with heavy riffs, complicated solos, raging drums, good old double paddle and the more aggressive jumping-arounds and moshes they have triggered. Quite awesome, but they had to cut their performance short in order to give room for the later acts. That didn't bug me at all, in fact, I respect them for that. But something else does bug me; as All-Time Low came out from their 'nest' on their way to the Media booth, the crowd gradually moves away to check out on those guys instead. Poor LMB! While you guys were busy kicking ass, the crowd ignored you guys slowly. BOO!

Story Of The Year

No disrespect for all the local bands out there, but THIS was the very reason why I decided to show up at Rockaway 2011! Since the initial American bands that were set to appear (Sum 41 and Dashboard Confessional) could not make it, the organisers made it up by including these guys as well as All-Time Low and The Used as replacements. I was actually hoping to see Sum 41, but meh, I love this band too! I felt in love with these guys for the first time since I heard of And The Hero Will Drown which was a featured track on Need For Speed Underground video game, and then Until The Day I Die in which the video received considerable plays on a local music channel. Their sound are quite energetic, with a mix of angst and serious emotions going on in their songs. As I keep listening to their music, I was imagining that they would do a killer live show, and boy was my imagination right! Everyone was off their feet, jumping to the sounds of their most popular songs and songs that only few know of (and that few includes me!)! Their showmanship was also awesome; EVERYONE of the audiences obeyed to whatever it is they told them to do! Most of us also happened to know most of the songs they have played, which made them quiet pleased with us and that in turn made them wanting to interact with all of us! Also, in almost the same vein as monoloQue, they are also a very tight and synchronised band! During their And The Hero Will Drown number, there was this one point where they secretly traded two members of the band with two members from All-Time Low on guitars and drums; and the music was still in sync! Oh, they were also the trigger for making everyone swear that day. Heh, Americans. Oh yeah; did you know that these guys were the first ever international act that I saw in action? All in all, these guys, to me, were one of the highlights of Rockaway 2011.

All-Time Low

Although not a fan of these guys, they caught my attention on that day when they had unintentionally 'interfered' with Love Me Butch's set, and then during one of their in-between performance breaks. I remembered their name being mentioned by my sister awhile back I think, so I decided to occasionally check them out. Sound wise, their music kinda makes you wanna dance, since their music sounded kinda poppy and stuff. Performance wise, other than the quite energetic movements and a quite solid play, they were also quiet good at delivering American stereotypical rockstar jokes to Malaysian audiences; you know... things about alcohol, sex, and girls. Oh yeah, they were even going as far as doing this! Watch!

Crazy, huh? So, my say on their performance... although quite catchy (especially the American jokes), they were nothing compared to Story Of The Year and those other local bands in terms of energy and music delivery. No offense, All Time Believers. I'm just putting it out there.

Pop Shuvit feat. Project E.A.R.

Pop Shuvit and Man Bai
Pop Shuvit, the pioneers of Rap Rock of our homeland, together with the music collective Project E.A.R. (E.A.R. = East Asian Revolution) and Man Bai, a renown Malaysian music icon were also the other highlights of Rockaway 2011. Their set consists of entirely new songs off their Cherry Blossom Love Affair album, with the exception of the previously released remixed edition of Marabahaya and the inclusion of Project E.A.R.'s debut of a new single called No Sleep For The Wicked which was premiered exclusively, in which they were also recording an accompaniment footage of sorts to the song. They surely took their time pretty well in preparing their set, but it was worth it. Definitely worth it! Pretty energetic and crazy! Oh yeah, DJ Uno even pulled a stunt that night; by literally crowd surfing on a boat! Check it out!

See? Not kidding!
I guess this wraps up my personal take on the awesomeness of Rockaway 2011! Hope to see more unexpected line up for next year's edition, guys! Fix a few bells and whistles, and this festival is definitely going to be a killer one! Oh yeah, can you guys convince LINKIN PARK to perform on next year's Rockaway, pretty please?

Till then.

P/S: Some of the pictures are not mine, and that also goes to the video of Alex of All-Time Low; they are only here for illustration purposes.

2 ulasan:

Aimi Rosli berkata...

wah, laporan penuh ni.

busco tu sebenarnya ada perform juga dekat Urbanscapes.

sangat akward slot translation all time low tu.

The Iki.Ali berkata...

haha. kan?

oh, a'ah. Busco ada gak time Urbanscapes. aku malas nak tengok. :p

memang bongok pun si Alex All-Time Low tu. benda tu pun dia nak bagitau yang dia baru belajar. XDD

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