Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Monday, November 28, 2005

So Let's Try That Again!

OK, so no one in any kind of band is within my proximity....

The show in and of itself was really good. There were 6 bands in the competition: The Ocean band from Singapore, Sunflower Day Camp from The Philippines, Qiu Hong from Hong Kong, Something to Burn from the States, The Twitch from New Zealand, and Town Hall Steps from Australia.

I had heard that Sunflower Day Camp was a ska outfit and that The Ocean Band were this mix of Pearl Jam and Tori Amos, so I was really intrigued to hear them, especially.

They were really good, but hardly anything related to Tori Amos. Way more Pearl Jam than anything else. The band was really good and even though they were first, I figured they'd finish the competition sttrongly.

Sunflower Day Camp opened their set with Sesame Street's theme. That was really cool. And they had such a good spirit and energy to them. Ska music is just great to dance to. And I thought they might be just enough to win the competition as well. Personally I like listening to ska in very small doses; after a while it all starts to sound the same to me.

The third band The Twitch were pretty basic rock and roll and not much in the way of anything really original. Though the guitarist looked like (and was called) Jesus and the drummer was a pretty cool guy to talk to. (That was another great quality of this night: All the bands mingled around the crowd before and after their sets, and were really warm, open people to chat with. The New Zealnd band's drummer kept sayign hello and chatting with me, the Aussie guitar player invited us back to their room to drink after the show. It was nice.)

The fourth band was from Hong Kong and the crowd, which had essentially been dead and sitting down all night long up until this point, stormed forward to the stage and a "mosh pit" broke out and it was really disheartening to see that these people had really only come to see one band. They had paid close to $200 Hong Kong to only see one band. My friend got into the fray of the "mosh pit" at one point just to see what it was like. I was even thinking of going into the "mosh pit" at one point. It was that tame. I've seen and heard about much worse. It was just a bunch of people half-heartedly pushing each other, though some lucky guy managed to crowd surf without being dropped or having the crowd clear on him.

Anyways, back to my friend. I'm not sure if it's going to be anything he'll contnue with in the near future, but at least this time he did not injure his foot like the last time when he drunkenly tried to jump over his own leg. (Had to be said. Again.)

The fifth band was from Los Angeles, and really looked like they had studied up on Blink 182 and Green Day for their image. (They were also the ones who later on would surround me at the computers in the coffee shop.) The singer had dyed black hair and a bit of eyeliner and lilac colored eyeshadow on. There were two blonde brothers in the band who were also metrosexually rocking the makeup. They were really good, had a good sound, and I really appreciated that they really tried to connect with the audience emotionally. I was being a bit obnoxious through the night by repeating that one line from the Team America song "America! Fuck Yeah!" but I was really excited for "my" band and hoped they did really well, and I was really proud to hear what they played. They were really good.

And then finally, the sixth band seemingly brought along their own cheering section from Sydney and that was a lot of fun. While the New Zealand band was really metallic and the L.A. band was kind of new-punk, this band was really power-poppish and I think honestly out of all of them, they were the one band I would have either bought a CD from if I could only have chosen one to buy, and also the one band I'd really like to pay more attention to, as they were really quite good, but also quite young.

And the whole thing then went downhill from there. After they had touted this night as one where music enthusiasts could meet and celebrate together the unifying power of music from around the world, the judges decide that one of the more mediocre bands should win. A friend of mine said that she heard that the hometown band "had" to win the festival, so it made me feel like I essentially wasted $200 to see a fixed fight. The other bands were really cool about not being chosen though (Such well-behaved rockers! I'd have liked to have heard about a few TVs taking the brunt of their frustration in a one way trip out the window!) and I guess that put things in perspective.

I still feel like something went amiss during the night though, to say the least, and I wonder if it'd even be worth it to point out my friend's claim, that her friend's band was told they needed to give the Hong Kong band the berth into the finals, even when they admitted her friend's Japanese band was much better than them. I just wouldn't want to look like I was suffering from the taste of sour grapes, when all I really want is for this music celebration to not end with the ghost of a sham haunting it.