Singapore Rock Festival | Review
The Singapore Rock Festival was lauched early this March at Fort Canning Park to the delight of hardcore rock fans in Singapore. Taking place over the course of two days, the festival featured some of the best international acts in the genre including Korn, Rob Zombie, and Five Finger Death Punch.
Alter Bridge and genre-pioneers Alice in Chains took the stage on the 6th of March.
Taking place in the great outdoors, the Singapore Rock Festival provided an experience far-removed from that in the cramped, claustrophobic spaces of concert halls. Cigarette smoke and the faint smell of beer pervaded the air while audiences packed themselves towards the front of the stage, craning their necks to see their idols in close proximity. Others were simply content with relaxing on the grass slightly further away, taking in the atmosphere while listening to live music.
Fans had waited long enough before Alter Bridge finally took their places as the opening act for the night. Though late by a good thirty-minutes or so, the band made up for its tardiness with a slew of melodies and brilliant vocals. Alter Bridge, which has always considered itself as more of a live act than a studio band, showed that its members were truly made for the stage. Unfortunately, the sound system failed repeatedly during their set. Whether it was due to the powerful four-octave vocal range of frontman and Slash-collaborator, Myles Kennedy, it cannot be confirmed.
Alice in Chains, one of the crown jewels of the Seattle grunge-craze back in the 1990s, took the stage and brought the entire house together in a massive sea of voices. One of the first to incorporate elements of heavy metal into punk music, they were at the forefront of an entirely new genre – Grunge Rock. The band’s music is instantly recognisable from the heavy guitar riffs, dark lyrics, and dramatic vocals which are almost operatic in nature. As the performance went on, one could not help but to notice that the band members seemed to build a world with their music. They subtly to draw the audience in. Such is the strength of their stage prescence.
Though the acts themselves were phenomenal as promised, perhaps what stood out the most in this festival was the atmosphere. The Singapore Rock Festival gives fans an authentic taste of large-scale festivals such as the Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos tour. The collective voices of the headbanging audience are peppered with several drunken chaints. A water bottle was, at one point, thrown into the audience by a fan. Behind me, an older gentleman shoved a young man in front of him and gave the poor guy a loud reprimanding when the latter complained about not being able to see the stage due to people blocking his line of sight. This is no place for the faint-of-heart. Yet, the old and the young are welcome here.
Children stand watching, holding hands with their parents. Men who once used to cruise down the street on motorbikes now sit in the one band t-shirt that they’d saved from their younger days. Lines on their face from being a family man are stretched when they open their mouths to cheer for the performers on stage. The beginnings of arthritis are clear on the fingers that they’ll lift to form the sign of the devil horns, showing that unlike many other demons, the inner-metalhead is one that can never be exorcised.
Rest assured, everyone made it out of here alive.
Text by: Nishanthini Ganesan
*Images courtesy of LAMC Productions
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