Zandari Festa 2016 Day 1
On the very 1st day of the Zandari Festa 2016, I opened the booklet that has the full 3 days schedule. Looking at the schedule, there were so many bands to check out at different gig venues with so little time to spare for each of them. Still, it’s the very first time for me to go gig hopping from one place to another and I’m up for that. Walking boots are ready and I head down to Hongdae. Here’s how it starts on the first day.
Having to seen Billy Carter’s live performances a couple of times during my last year’s spring trip in Korea, I certainly cannot miss them out whilst attending the Zandari Festa 2016. When I checked the schedule, they were also going to do an acoustic live performance at Kangol Acoustic. So, I decided to watch that and their later performance at SangSangMadang Live Hall.
During their live acoustic performance, they off to a good start by having beer before Jina started strumming the guitar. Jiwon put on steady and emotional tunes. Towards the climax of each song, there are bits of wildness as they constantly move about on their seat. Also, the chemistry between Jina and drummer Hyun Joon can be seen through keeping up the momentum and flow in many different ways. Jiwon’s and Jina’s are harmoniously done well in each verse. My favourite acoustic performance and I am happy to see them perform live is “I Don’t Care”. Let’s just say that I tapped my foot and did a little dance to the song. The kazoo, played by Jiwon after the last verse, continues to let audience to enjoy more before the song end.
Later, I went down to SangSangMadang Live Hall to watch their next performance. It is a must to see their crazy live performance. Jiwon’s vocals and melodica, Jina’s guitar and Hyun Joon’s drums are played that lead the audiences in transition of dancing and chanting a few verses like ‘Love me, love me. Hate me. Hate me’ in ‘Love & Hatred’. They started to dance crazily on stage for ‘You Ate My Brain’ and ‘The Dog’ including by one of the climax verses when Jiwon lied down on the floor while Jina went down on the floor and played wildly with her guitar. Also, the emotional shouting vocals can be heard when belting out the lyrics. I was about to leave to watch the next act elsewhere. However, when they started to play ‘Time Machine’, I couldn’t help but decided to stay longer because that’s one of my favourite songs in their earlier album ‘Red’. The overall music and repetitive verse ‘If I got a time machine,’ hits my heart with pain while there’s a bit of tears in my eyes. I stood there with the audience and listened to the song, including the lyrics, intensely. This is probably one of their live performances that I will never forget.
It was sad to hear that bassist Nils Germain’s performance with Wasted Johnny’s is his last one. Despite that, Wasted Johnny’s put on a great show as the audiences give full support to the band. They started off with ‘Get Wasted’ that made Angie’s and new member Seon Hyeok’s fiery guitar skills stand out. For ‘Come to My Room’ and ‘Run Away’, each member’s skills are focused in detail. Angie’s soulful vocals belted out with her intense eyes while the bass sounds from Nil can be hear from note to note followed by Seon Hyeok’s guitar and Young Jin’s drums. Then, before the next verse, in comes roaring sounds from Seon Hyeok’s guitar. The audiences called out for an encore which led them to play ‘Loud and Headache Girl’. Wasted Johnny’s presents their unique combined individual sounds. These sounds cried out with sentimental emotions are intact to my mind.
By the time I reached Club Freebird, I managed to listen to a couple of psychedelic rock + techno songs from DTSQ. ‘Ding-Dong-Ditch’, ‘Bitch’ and ‘D-Punk’ are upbeat followed by DTSQ taking it slow but steady momentum with ‘The Brain Song’. All of the lyrics are fun and straightforward. Soon Pyung’s drumming is on point in fast speed that make my mind race madly and trying to keep up with the song. Although Joon Sub plays simple and addictive bass tunes, he skilfully input the synth sounds in between each verse of songs within seconds. Su Hyun can’t seem to stop moving around as he went up the stairs and into the audience while playing the guitar. His carefree vocals and raw sounds of his guitar added in together with drums, bass and techno synths are taken with so much in-depth enthusiasm. I would play this on repeat whenever I am doing some work. Their songs are ‘Don’t care. Just have fun and go crazy.’
I came earlier at the Club Steel Face and was looking forward to watching 57. Wow, 57 sounds made my blood rushes through my veins. I feel hot and cold. The chills make my whole body tensed up. I was headbanging along with ‘Get Away’ and ‘U&I’. Jun Hong’s fervent vocals and powerful guitar chords are played well from start to finish. Along with Seol’s delicate vocals, her powerful drumming skills blow my mind away with amazement. The songs that I enjoyed listening to the most are the sentimental ones. At first, I thought most of their songs would have similar tunes like ‘U&I’. However, ‘Then’, ‘Pray for the Dead’ and ‘June’ are experimental, intense and mesmerizing. The lyrics of these songs speak for itself through their compelling & delicate vocals, powerful guitar chords and strong drum beats. I enjoyed their live performance and I definitely want to see them again next time.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio
I head down to MUV Hall to catch Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio live performance. By the time I was upstairs, they played ‘Shut Up and Dance’ which made me cheer loudly. Jin Kyu went from headbanging to dancing with his guitar to sliding down to the floor while playing his guitar. He did the same for ‘You & I’. ‘Shut Up & Dance’ and ‘You & I’ have the vintage pop rock tunes. Nae Hyun and Jin Kyu hypnotizing vocals and guitar chords put the audiences, including myself, into dancing mood. Min Woo and Min Kyu provide support with their bass and drums. The fast momentum of bass and the slow & steady vocals and guitar are harmoniously fit together throughout the shifting beats in each verse. They took it slow with ‘One Week’, ‘Feel Me’ and ‘Nightmare’ which is mellower than the dance tunes. They were asked to do an encore. They performed an encore song and the audiences asked for another encore.
They recently released their new single, Take Me Out. Have a teaser listen here.
Former Gate Flowers vocalist Keun Hong formed a five member rock band, Attraction Between Two Bodies (ABTB) in 2014. For the past two years, they have been keeping the raw and classic rock with influenced from Led Zeppelin including 70s and 80s hard rock metal band, 90s Seattle grunge rock bands and British modern rock bands in 2000s. There were a lot of audiences, even those who loved Keun Hong’s music, came to SangSangMadang Live Hall to witness and support ABTB. The main highlights that I couldn’t take my eyes and ears off are Geun Hong’s heavy vocals and Hwang Rin’s crazy guitar skills. The audiences were jumping and clapping along especially to ‘Matador’, ‘Zeppelin’ and ‘Artificial’. ‘Zeppelin’ and ‘Artificial’ have so much heavier hardcore tunes that pierce through my mind. I was literally headbanging to these songs. I hope that ABTB continues to maintain its root of classic rock that older and younger audiences would headbang to, chant along together and clapping to their songs.
It was great to see Ung and Na-un to be on stage at SangSangMadang Hall. The last time I saw them performed live was back in 2013 when they had their first UK tour. Goonam continues to maintain the folk and psychedelic tunes in their music. Ung’s voice and notes from his guitar pulled me in. Na-un’s positive energy can be seen through her smile and dancing while playing with her keyboard. Her vocals are added onto the melodies. Their songs have become more dynamic than the previous ones that I heard a few years back. ‘젊은이’ is very melodic that transcend through every single verse including the climax. Besides Uh’s speaking-like vocals, his upbeat guitar chords in ‘아침의 빛’ is spread to the audiences in making them dance. Their groundbreaking music certainly left me with great impression. I am looking forward to listening to more music.
Harry Big Button
Harry Big Button’s music caused the audiences to rock out at MUV Live Hall. Sung Soo’s strong and husky voice remains to be loved and admired by the audiences as they cheered for him. Despite being sweaty, his raw energy shines throughout the whole performance. New bassist Yo Seop showcases his skills while maintaining the chemistry with Sung Soo and Tae Gi. Yo Seop’s bass skills is way beyond my expectations, including strumming fast on his bass and putting so much powerful impact through his bass. My favourite songs ‘Coffee, Cigarettes and Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and ‘Everything is Fine Except Money’ played out amazingly well as Sung Soo’s roaring guitars and hardcore vocals are belted out together with powerful bass and drums from Yo Seop and Tae Gi. I could hear the audiences chanting along to the audiences.
…Whatever That Means
I ran over to Club Steel Face to listen to a couple of songs from …Whatever That Means. The songs are from their latest album Blowing Minds & Melting Faces – ‘I Can’t Take It’, ‘This Betrayal’ and ‘Just Another Day’. Trash’s vocals in ‘I Can’t Take It’ are energetic as she sings the straightforward lyrics. The punk and melodic tunes in both ‘This Betrayal’ and ‘Just Another Day’ is shown through the harmonic vocals together with upbeat guitars, bass and drums. They were so energetic on each and every song while engaging with the audience to have fun with them. The only thing is that the sounds couldn’t project properly might be because of the wall’s space which left some echoes. Despite that, the fun and energetic vibe from …Whatever That Means show the roots of old school punk rock.
I end my night on the first day of Zandari Festa 2016 by watching The Monotones at MUV Live Hall. ‘Into the Night’ is loved by many audiences. The whole place was full house and majority of them were dancing along with The Monotones’ music. Hun Joe’s crystal-clear modern voice, Cha Cha’s in-depth melodic guitar chords and Wook No’s precise drum beats are combined in their dynamic creations. The sounds are aggressively strong but they control with delicate touches with some hints of romance. I believe they can progress even further in their music while maintaining the mix of classic punk rockabilly style with modern edge to them. ‘Glourious Day’ has its upbeats tune throughout the song that I wouldn’t mind listening to it repeatedly. Plenty of romance and taking me down the memory lane in their latest song ‘End of Summer’. Hearing their melodic and harmonic voices together made my heart melt. Not to forget about Hun Joe’s sentimental emotions in singing the lyrics in detail, Cha Cha’s playing the bits of classic ‘royal’ tune with his guitar after the climax followed by repetitive singing ‘I know this summer will never be the same’. Between each song, they interacted with the audiences. The audiences shouted for an encore twice. What a way to end the night.
By the time I got back to the guesthouse around 2am, I was dead tired. I was frantically walking a lot from one venue to another after watching them perform a few songs and head to the next one. It was more tiring than how I used to cover a film festival where I ran between the cinemas in London a few years ago. The first night is like an appetizer to get the feeling of listening to as many bands as possible in one night. All the bands gave their unique ‘WOW’ and ‘Bang’ impact welcome to the audiences. The audiences, including myself, had a lot of fun rocking out and singing and dancing along with the music. Even though I was tired, that never stopped me from discovering more music.
View my next article, Zandari Festa 2016 Day 2, where things started to heat up while making decisions on which band should I watch within the same time frame.