March 2, 2007
NO SLEEP 'TILL BEASTIE
By Tania Safuan
WHILE half of Singapore remained closed for the second day of the Lunar New Year, Fort Canning Park was 'vibrating' with activity.
It was the venue for the Good Vibrations festival (originally from Australia), which was taking place in Asia for the first time.
With a line-up comprising Cut Copy, Jurassic Five and main headliner Beastie Boys, it was hard not to leave the small talk of Chinese New Year at home with the relatives.
Regional acts conquered the first half of the festival; a rather turbulent route of genres, there was reggae by Bushmen one minute, and broody drum and bass by Guerrilla Collective the next.
There was no moshpit, but beach balls were tossed about the crowd, hitting heads and hairdos.
Two thumbs up to percussive band Wicked Aura Batucada for making people dance in the drizzle; Electrico for their impressive cover of Soft Cell's Tainted Love; and Indonesia's Agrikulture, whose sexy beats could have made 'discotheque' a cool word again.
By the second half of the evening (around 9pm), the crowd was getting restless.
Alternative remixers Cicada emerged on stage with sheer-dressed front-woman Heidun Bjornsdottir flirting with the crowd.
But things quickly perked up as the Australian electronic-punk pop trio Cut Copy launched into Saturday, a hit from their Bright Like Neon Love album.
The lengthy intervals might have been the night's rash, no thanks to the long queue that extended from the only two drink booths available at the park.
Here was another mystery - our own Too Phat was scheduled to perform before Cut Copy, but they were nowhere to be seen.
When Californian hip hop crew Jurassic Five came out, it was the general consensus that the hip hop group had saved the night's wear and tear of energy.
Their old school, no-frills approach and inventive social commentaries perked up the heads of thousands present, and everyone was awake again.
At last, when three men in suits - the Beastie Boys - took the stage looking like greying fathers of blues, there was an avalanche of cheers throughout the entire park.
This was hip hop, Beastie Boys' style.
Performing tracks like Brass Monkey, No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn and Ch-Check It Out (some verses were rapped to the beats of Erick Sermon's React, Nina Sky's Move Your Body, and Missy Elliot's Pass That Dutch), the Boys proved that they were musical geniuses.
Their encore was Sabotage - which was dedicated to a certain politician named Bush - which later mixed into the long-awaited rendition of Intergalactic.
Although the boys left out party anthem Fight for Your Right from their playlist, everyone walked out of Fort Canning Park with one checklist box ticked - they'd watched Beastie Boys 'live', and it was undoubtedly awesome.
As for the night's controversy, it was a tie between the group's song dedication to US president Bush and the missing trash bins around the park.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Better late than never, The Malay Mail has published its review of the Good Vibrations Festival in Singapore.