The very first edition of Singapore Rock Festival finally ended last night with a bang, with Alice in Chains bringing the festival to a close. It has been a tiring two-day event for fans of rock music, but this was not without its ups and downs.
Day 1 saw Black Veil Brides, Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie and Korn taking the stage. Being there at about 5.30, an hour before gates open, there was already a long queue forming, with the majority of those in the queue being teenage girls, probably waiting to catch cuties Black Veil Brides open the festival. And it wasn’t a bad choice to have Black Veil Brides as the opening act either, as these kids (as mentioned by a friend) probably had a curfew imposed on them, and the organisers are not gonna risk having kids grounded just to catch their favourite band. Jokes aside though, these kids really are dedicated, with some even putting on black camo paint on their faces in the shape of wounds and all that.
Oh my cuties! Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions
Anyway, I missed most of Black Veil Brides‘ set, with a growling stomach protesting against the price of food (and beer), and the ruckus on stage. Can’t say much other than the band managing to keep the kids happy.
Five Finger Doub – I mean – Death Punch. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions
Then came Five Finger Death Punch. Apparently they have an identity crisis, not knowing what style of music they wanna play. Cynthia even wondered why they can’t make up their minds about wanting to play ballads or just hardcore music. Why must they sing a ballad then insert some emo-ish screaming in the middle? Oh well. Gods of metalcore they may be, but I just couldn’t find it in myself to understand or enjoy their stuff.
Most of the kids cleared out after the first two bands, so it was just the older crowd left for the highlights of the night - Rob Zombie and Korn.
Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions.
Rob Zombie may be a name that anyone who knows rock would have heard of, but it wasn’t until two weeks before the festival that I heard my very first Rob Zombie song through furious YouTubing, and I definitely liked what I heard. Right from the start of his set, he shows the crowd (and the bands before him) how a performance should be done. Kids who thought BvB were awesome should have stayed to know what a show really means. Anyway, the theatrics of Rob Zombie and his band quickly engaged the crowd, and the amount of jumping around by Rob made me worry about him falling, but he proved to be athletic enough to prevent injuries of any sort. Each of the members were also charismatic in their own rights, with even airtime given to Ginger Fish and John 5 for their respective solos. The best part of the set was when Rob ran to the sound tent at the back in the middle of J5′s solo, setting people at the back into a frenzy to grab a quick photo of the man. Oh and not forgetting the covers of Diamond Head‘s Am I Evil? and Alice Cooper‘s School’s Out.
Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions
Korn concluded the first night of the festival. Never really a fan of nu-metal, and never heard any Korn material before, so this was the first time hearing the band and I have to say I was left pretty impressed. While Rob Zombie‘s set was the best in terms of theatrics, Korn certainly takes the cake when it came to heaviness for the night. Every note of Munky, and every hit on the drums of Ray Luzier sent trembles (literally!) through my body, and on songs like Get Up, it almost felt like being in a club, no thanks to the dubstep that was on the song. The electronic sound of Luzier on the track left me rather fascinated, and was probably one of the most interesting things for me for their set. Jon Davis still maintained to charm the crowd, and despite the time of the day, the energy of the crowd was the highest with lots of headbanging, moshing, fist-pumping.
Myles and Mark, my men. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions
The day I was really looking forward to was day two, for Alter Bridge. This was the day for proper music and technicality, and Alter Bridge started their set with Addicted to Pain. The loudness of the music at Fort Canning was certainly painful by this day, but man, with the music of Alter Bridge there is no way that one doesn’t get addicted to the pain. Myles Kennedy was stellar as usual, but it was an extremely different experience watching him perform live, belting out all his song with such perfection. To be honest, I was almost waiting for him to go out of tune, but not once, not a single time did it happen and he left me even more impressed than ever. I mean, not surprising, really, for someone who can hit the painfully high notes of Nightrain like it was nothing. And of course, there were also Mark Tremonti’s perfect solos.
New man on the block, William Duvall. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions
To end the entire festival, Alice in Chains had their very first performance in Singapore. Yet another band that I have not listened to before, and after the high energy performance of Alter Bridge, it was nice to have Alice in Chains headline and conclude the festival. With a nice mix of heavy songs and slower, more melodic numbers, fans of the band alternated between furious headbanging and (some) slow dancing. While DuVall had big shoes to fill after the demise of Layne Staley, he managed to keep the crowd engaged with his stage antics and of course, his voice. This may be the first time that I listen to Alice in Chains, but with the live experience, it will definitely not be the last time either.
Sure, Newsted may have pulled out of the lineup just a few weeks prior to the festival, and I honestly did not enjoy myself at Black Veil Brides and Five Finger Death Punch. But the rest of the lineup made this festival experience more than satisfactory, and despite the exhaustion and dehydration, Singapore Rock Festival was one hell of an experience. Kudos to LAMC Productions once again for such a memorable and awesome live music production.
Oh and of course, we gotta end off this post with one last photo:
Mr. Zombie and us.