Monday, May 3, 2010
Tokio Hotel Live in Malaysia
Somehow by fate misguided..... I ended up the proud owner of a pass to Tokio Hotel Live in Malaysia outdoor concert on Saturday evening. I never knew Tokio Hotel before I heard they were coming, and had never attended a rock concert before. However, the idea of going for one which didn't cost me a bomb was somewhat appealing. The fact that the usually prim-and-proper people I'd be going with wanted to go with eyes painted like Bill Kaulitz's added to the appeal. So there I was.
And there we were, with overdone eyes like ghosts in horror films, "queuing" up with a huge (and I mean really huge) crowd of over-eager teens at the gates to the square which I suppose is Central Park Avenue. It was drizzling, people were pushing or being pushed onto me from all sides, and I was worried about how terrifying it would be when the gate opened. My friend warning me about how we'd have to run like we're running for our lives towards the stage to get as near as possible to the front, and to not lose sight of each other in the madness only added to my anxiety. On top of that, being in a crowd that dense meant it was very hot and stuffy, so like everyone else, I was sweating - and worried that my make-up might simply melt away in all that rain and sweat. As if that wasn't enough, I had to put up with random chants from groups of impatient fans - "Open the gate, open the gate!", and "Let us in, let us in!". Some of the more creative ones went "Break the gate, break the gate!", "Kill the guard, kill the guard!" and "TM sucks, TM sucks!". A group standing directly behind us was so loud so often, shouting stuff so stupid they irritated me to no end. It was no use telling them off, my friend said, so I could only roll my eyes.
The concert was scheduled to start at 6pm, but they only started letting the then-extremely impatient concert-goers in at about 6.30pm (or even later - since I wasn't wearing a watch, I couldn't note the exact time). The moment there was movement at the front of the "queue", people started pushing, and those being squished in the middle started screaming. Apparently, the guards were checking each person's pass at the gate, so it was very slow. The slower we moved, the more impatient the people got, and the harder they pushed - and then, the gate gave way. I couldn't see what happened - all I knew was, one moment I was being squished, and the next, I was running as fast as I could, following my friend, along with the mad crowd, all the way towards the stage. It was probably the craziest 50m dash I'd ever made in my life. We got to the edge of the group around the stage, and still people were pushing from the back; some were elbowing others around them, trying to wriggle their way to the front. It was terrible - people being pushed shouting at those pushing not to push, and those being shouted at shouting back that they were being pushed by those behind them.
It was still drizzling and still hot and stuffy, being amongst so many people, and everyone was practically wet from rain and sweat. The air was stifled with awfully bad odours and everywhere I touched or was touched, I felt wet skin and/or damp clothing. Worst was, it was shoulders-to-shoulders AND backs-to-fronts for EVERYONE. So terribly disgusting! I never want to be like that, ever again, if I could help it. These thoughts were running in my head when a girl next to me started talking to me. She said her bra had come undone in all that being pushed around and all, and she would like me to help her hook it back. It was a very odd and awkward request, but in a place that packed, with her arms pinned to her front, unable to move much, I didn't think she had much choice. I told her I had to reach my hands under her blouse to do that, and she said OK. And so I did - and man, I found out doing up someone else's bra wasn't as easy as it should be for a woman! How odd!
It was so stuffy and cramped that before the concert even began, someone had fainted (no, it wasn't a girl). Throughout the night, several more did. It was way past 7pm before the show started, and it started with this DJ fella from Hitz FM talking rubbish and another DJ fella playing a bunch of songs he remixed. Then, it was one of the two local bands set to "open" the show - Bunkface or Pop Shuvit - I don't know which. They played 4 or 5 songs, which some of those in the crowd really enjoyed. There was a guy behind me, dripping wet with sweat, who was so high he was jumping and screaming and singing along. I wondered if he took Ecstasy. At one point, when the band's lead vocalist asked the crowd to jump and everyone around us except me did, he actually asked me to jump... "Come on! Jump!" Fine, fine, I'll hop a few times - now, you've seen a Chinese vampire - satisfied?
After the band was done, there were more talking, more remixes-playing, and then came the other local band. The crowd was cheering less by then. Someone actually held up a sign which says "SLOW". Till now, I have no idea how that person knew it was going to be slow-moving and managed to prepare that sign in advance. But slow-moving it was. The second band played several songs too, and in the midst of one of them, the PA system went down. It was so bad. The good thing though, was that I could tell they were absolutely playing live, for being so near to the stage, I could hear the non-amplified voice of the vocalist, drowning in all that rock accompaniment.
Eventually, they were done too, and then there were more talking and more music. The crowd was growing so impatient there were audible groans and boos. We could see the (presumably) Tokio Hotel touring crew setting up their equipment on stage and all, but all we had were more waiting. We had to suffer through around 20 minutes' nothingness. My feet were almost numb, my back was aching, and I'm so irritated by the people next to me, behind me, in front of me, I wondered if I should not have been there at all.
Then, they came on! The crowd went so wild and screamed so loudly I had to cover my ears. Tokio Hotel deserved every shriek they got, though, for they were brilliant. Vocally, Bill sounded good - though I can't tell just how good, because I couldn't really hear him so well, amidst all that noise the crowd was generating. Their showmanship, however, was simply excellent. The guitarist and bassist were so cool, the vocalist so pretty and passionate in his singing, and the drummer... well, unfortunately I only caught a glimpse or two of him. Perhaps they were really that impressively entertaining, or perhaps I got caught up in the excitement and enthusiasm of the probably thousands around me - when Tokio Hotel was playing, I no longer felt the sweaty, smelly grossness of all those around me, including myself, nor the fatigue, nor the pains and aches from having stood for so long and constantly having to tip-toe and strain my neck upwards to get some view of the stage. I was actually enjoying myself quite a bit! Amazing! I wasn't counting, but my friend later told me they played a total of 8 songs, including 2 encores. The poor fans let out a very loud sigh of great disappointment when it was evident the show was over. I don't think they could have enough even if the band played through the night.
So, did I enjoy my first rock concert? Yes. Will I go again? Well, chances are, no. I don't think there will ever be a rock band I'd like so much that I'd pay a full concert ticket price for, and definitely not if I have to take up the "free-standing" ones. I think, reader, if you know just how "tall" I am, you would understand why. I strained and stretched my neck up so much it might just have grown a little longer. But it was my first, free-standing rock concert, and the first time I'd ever been in such close proximity with the performers! How very grand. Oh, and though my ears were ringing the whole night after I got home, I still thought it grand! What an evening it was :)
*all photos courtesy of Miss M*