Monday, 28 May 2007

"Acoustic Jams", what went down...

Last evening I headed down to Sugar (the new bar above H2O) for the acoustic gig organised by Yes FM. It was a gig that was different in ways, yet plainly stereotypical in others.
It was great to see Yes FM get in on the act in a market usually dominated by TNL, gig hosting wise. Entrance was by invite only, which was great cause there was no cost involved, and the show was scheduled to kick off at the sundown hour of 6; a nice change from what we've come to expect of such gigs which generally start late. Early start meant early finish; perfect for when monday blues are what's left to expect.
The show actually got going at 6pm Sri Lanka Standard Time (note to reader: generally when this is used expect a delayed start. This time please add 30 minutes to the given time) which wasn't that bad. The crowd was trickling in at that time and there was plenty of space to walk around. USB (Usually Sounds Better) played a few great covers to start things off. Ben Harper's version of Sexual Healing was nicely pulled off. This was followed by a mediocre Cynosure. The band has potential, but a lack of creativity amongst their ranks has ensnared upon them the curse of predictability. They pick obviously hacked songs that have been played over and over again and play em as close to the original as possible. I'm sorry but I don't have much respect for such musicians.
Next up was Ranga accompanied by Shafi. Seemed like they hadn't practiced much, which resulted in a so-so performance. Soul Skinner were good, the first band to actually play an original on the night. They are lucky to have amongst their ranks too amazing guitarists who suddenly spring out into dazzling solos.
Azlan took the stage next with his 12 string accompanied by Joel on bass and a bloody amazing lead guitarist. I haven't the foggiest what his name is but I wish I knew. He's the guy who played lead for the soloists at TNL Onstage, as well as at Simplicity. Now you know who he is don't you?:) So anyway, wow this band was nothing short of entertainment! They got the crowd going really well. Again it was all covers, which was slightly disappointing, but done differently so Yay. The highlights of their performance for me were their cover of "What goes around comes around" (JT), when the whole crowd started singing "Time of your life" together, and finally the scintillating and mezmerising leads! This guy has the most humble look on his face when he plays the most riveting lead parts, as if to say that he is too shy to handle everyone's awe inspired appreciation. Top marks.
It was plainly too obvious that everyone was waiting to catch a glimpse of the ever elusive Hollow Point Halo. Ranil, Marsh and Roshan took the stage carrying the burden of everyone's expectations. They started strong with a track that I hadn't heard from them before. This was followed by "Lost Vegas Star", which was nothing short of amazing. Having heard them play the same song at Simplicity, I think they've improved on greatness and achieved what they played yesterday. Next up was "Sacred Ordinary", one of my favourite HPH songs. I can't understand why they've taken it off their website. Finally, and to meet the anticipation of the masses, they belted out their rendition of TOOL's "the pot". Special mention must be made of the pint-sized bassist who matched Ranil's brilliance, off-beat for off-beat.
Having stood for 3 and a half hours straight for lack of seating, my knees couldn't handle another copycat cover and walked out while Jada performed. However, I heard from a reliable source that Shaun (formerly from Jacob's Ladder) had rocked the house towards the end.
All in all, great show. However, I was disappointed with the choice of venue. Sugar is no doubt a great bar. But that's just it, it's a bar, not a live music venue. The stage is set in an awkward angle, most of it is blocked by the imposing bar which looms a few feet away and directly infront of it. Add to that the looming speakers being placed right infront of stage covering half the band, and 80% of the crowd could not see who was playing. Luckily I went and stood my frame right infront, making sure that the remaining 20% had to crane over my shoulders to get a peak. Selfish? damn straight!
Now, what i'd like to see is a great gig, but this time with music the way it's meant to be. Enough of the acoustics, bring on the big guns!

10 musings:

Theena said...

Ranil showed me a video of them performing "The Pot" with Marsh accompanied solely by Ranil's acoustic guitar.

I was stunned.

Boris The Bullet Dodger said...

Hi wazzap... the first song was "Annihilation" by A Perfect Circle.

confab said...

theena - yeah, with bass they were even better.
boris - thanks. i randomly came accross it while listening to some "a perfect circle" the other night. super!

Dilini said...

hi... i really thought cynosure did a good job with their set. i guess jason mraz's remedy was a bit bad but still they were young and fresh. and mind you they are very original... and come on...who would ever do a cover of outkast in sri lanka... and plus they did it their way...i call that CREATIVITY! and their original definitely got more airplay than any other local tune... and we love it! Heard "Rain comes" - it's alright but that's what i call lack of creativity/no originality! sorry mate i am a big fan of local music and i love hollowpoint halo and now power cut circus more than anything but don't disrespect what u don't know, like that... oh and ranga was unrehearsed...i totally agree with you on that.

confab said...

my my dilini. thanks for that beautiful comment which i get to see first thing in the morning.Let me begin by asking you, how old are u? 13?
my post was a review on the show.it is based on what i thought of the show.to be honest, my blog is where i write what i feel.
since u allege that i don't know much, why don't u teach me oh great one?
cynosure is a bunch of nice lads.it was too bad that they had that lil bust up when they did.but everytime i've seen them perform they've failed to impress me.i'm not sure abt u dilini, but i keep my standards high in all aspects of life.if someone is mediocre, they're just that.yeah on that night, they're "hey ya" was alright, it was the best of the lot.but it didn't wow the crowd.maybe it did u, but u arent the crowd (unless...nvm).i'm not the crowd either, but this is my blog.comprehendo?
thanks for ur constructive criticism abt the 10 second rule song.u obviously know a lot more than others.so do u play in a band? or are u a groupie? cynosure is young and fresh, and i'm sure they'll figure out their groove eventually. u on the other hand, i'm not so sure.but pls, reply! i want to hear more from the dalai lama of the local music scene.

Anonymous said...

hehe... dali lama of music..good one...

Really wired…. negative or positive I find many people talking about this band.. At least they have got there marketing shit right

I do agree with the confab dude Cynosure’s music does get predictable.. they deffa should cover more stuff which im sure they can

But i was there that night too and if I am not mistaken I think they were the youngest band to be invited to play. so kudos to cynosure for that..

But I am going to be biased a bit cos I think when it comes to originals they are in league of their own …a league from which even you, the person who has “such high standards ” can learn from

Anyway, anyone who puts out originals are ok in my books. good luck to both bands

Dilini said...

whatever... u ppl are losers...my clique loves em' cos they are so cute... when they sing big songs.. toodle-loo i aint gonna stick in this blog no more...

shanaka said...

i dont know abt them being unoriginal ..seriously man i think any band who plays 'Panic! at the disco' in the sri lankan scene, definitely has my props

confab said...

dilini! "my clique loves em' cos they are so cute... when they sing big songs.." ...enough said...

anon - yeah i agree with u. they make great originals and i think they should showcase that more. the thing with sri lankan music is, the bands prefer playing more covers than originals. but the sri lankan audiences are to blame for that coz most crowds are not open minded enough to hear new music. i prefer if they'd play more originals than covers.

shanaka - yeah i agree with u.in my original post i did say that they have tremendous potential. they can do wonders with it if they play less to the crowd, and more of what they love!

silver said...

Take it from someone who still hasn't been to any rock gig (due to unavoidable circumstances, i.e. strict parents) except for a gospel rock performance by Ezra (which was pretty cool by the way) most Sri Lankan rock bands are over-rated because of such groupies, as mentioned above. If some guy is in a rock band - he's tagged cute and the rest as they say is history.

As far as the quality of the music goes - props to HPH. They really do rock. As far as live performances go, I still have to witness one before I comment. And I'm waaaaaaaay over my teeeny-bop phase to fall for mere 'cuteness'. Too bad that many 'fans' give top priority to looks rather than what it really is - a rock gig.

Nice report confab.