Tuesday, May 1, 2018

HELLOWEEN (Ger) : PUMPKINS UNITED WORLD TOUR 2018 - LIVE IN MALAYSIA : MEGA STAR ARENA - KUALA LUMPUR : 28/04/2018


 
HELLOWEEN - Pumpkins United
 
Michael Kiske (vocal)
Andi Deris (vocal)
Kai Hansen (guitar/vocal)
Michael Weikath (guitar)
Markus Grosskopt (bass)
Sascha Gerstner (guitar)
Dani Loble (drum)
 
When HELLOWEEN chose to take a different path in 'Chameleon' (1993), the band eventually fell abrupt with Kiske (vocal) and the late Ingo (drum) kicked out from the band. Thus, we considered our time with HELLOWEEN has also ended.

But frankly, 'Chameleon' stood out. We believed that they needed the break, they needed the fresh air. Yet, at that time, who the hell knows what was happening in their camp ...

With Hansen (guitar) gone to found GAMMA RAY after 'Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II' (1988), the band was left with only Weikath (guitar) and Grosskopt (bass) to move the band forward. Grapow (guitar) remained after been recruited on 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape' (1991), but would later made his way out as well.

Growing up with the old pumpkins thru the thick and thin of life, made it hard for us to accept the new pumpkin recruits. Those early years were nostalgic and the sense of attachment were too great to allow us to accept change. Though occasionally, we did revisited and played back those old tapes in remembrance of the old pumpkins, but that was just it. Being a hard-headed young man back then, we chose to ignore 'Master Of The Rings' (1994) which for the first time, featured Deris (vocal). Frankly, and sadly to say, that would continued for the next 24 years until the band hit the stage on the night of 28th April 2018 in Malaysia, and proved us wrong. So, these are the story ...
  
When the Pumpkin United World Tour was first announced in late 2016, we had that small hope, maybe there would be one crazy Singapore's promoter that will bring them over to Singapore. That seemed to be the only option to see the original and expanded HELLOWEEN line-ups  live  on stage after more than 30 years of waiting. While, to be there in Japan was out of picture. But SoundValley Festival surprised us all and brought them to Malaysia instead. Unbelievable !

The change in  venue to  Mega Star Arena - Kuala Lumpur (from Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang - MAEPS) was just perfect to house the turnouts. So were the sound and lighting system that night.

We took our spot at Weikath's side, at the right, facing the island / stage. There was a transparent stage curtain with the HELLOWEEN logo hangin' and covering the stage. While, the lighting inside the venue was dim in pumpkin orange.

 
As soon as the ticking intro of "Halloween" began, that stage curtain immediately dropped and the ground at Mega Star Arena trembled. A loud roaring of "masquerade, masquerade, grab your mask and don't be late" echoed through out the arena, welcoming and celebrating HELLOWEEN on stage. It was madness ! Those little ghosts (as well as old ones) were really makin' lots of noise ! All were seen jumping, screaming and singing. Exactly, just like the lyric described - there is magic in the air ! Ahhh ... its HELLOWEEN !

HELLOWEEN kept its reputation as the master of Speed / Power Metal. The band was musically bigger on stage than from the album. That's the big reason to witness them live. The set continued with "Dr. Stein", which made the crowds stayed insane. Kiske and Deris shared vocal duties, and so did the crowds.



"Good to be here ladies and gentlemen. The first time for us in Malaysia ...", that was the opening speech as the band began to address the crowds.

As the current singer, Deris took charge next with 4 tracks from 4 different albums. He showcased great vocal and persona on stage. While in between, Kiske did "I'm Alive" and "March Of Time", and we grinned in utmost satisfaction. His voice still remained powerful.
 
When Hansen (guitar) took centre stage and asked - "are you ready for some classic German Heavy Metal ?", the background montage aired the "Happy Helloween" sing along, and some of the crowds heeded the call, in reminiscent of 'Live In The UK' (1989). Hansen then burst into action. He belted out a medley of old time classics in its grandeur and glory - "Starlight / "Ride The Sky" / "Judas" / "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)". At such an age, he got power, he was (literally) divine !
 
 
The stage background display was grand and colourful, and the pumpkins cartoon character of 'Seth' and 'Doc' in action during every break was creative.
 
 
The two HELLOWEEN big ballads came next with Deris and Kiske sharing vocal on "Forever and One (Neverland)", accompanied with only Gerstner on guitar. The rest would later joined in towards the end. The track felt elevated with Kiske's big deep voice on it. It will be interesting if somehow the track is given a re-recording treatment in studio (with dual vocal) for a special Pumpkins United compilation album perhaps. 
 
Once Kiske requested everybody to light up the flashlight (handphone) and announced that the song "A Tale That Wasn't Right" was next, that nostalgic feeling started to creep in as the track was monumental and had survived for more than 3 decades. The famous Weikath's mesmerising intro and the mid-part solo really cut our heart like a knife.


It was indeed a special night when we were also treated with two encores, all from the Keeper era where Kiske dominated.

"Eagle Fly Free" triumphed with Grosskopt's pounding bass works and Loble's drum solo. Grosskopt was lively on stage and impressed us with his stage antics which we could relate him to Janick Gers (IRON MAIDEN).
 
All hands and fists were held high when the epic "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" made its live Malaysian debut with massive sing along on the chorus. Deris came in later and turned the arena on fire. The song ended dramatically where each of the band members were introduced and made their exit bid, one by one, with the crowds continued to sing 'oh...oh...oh...oh' in orgasm harmony. While Gerstner remained on guitar as the last one standing before finally making his own exit.

The band returned on stage for the final encore that led everybody into total frenzy. Kiske claimed "Future World" and shared vocal with Deris for "I Want Out". Big orange pumpkin balloon-like balls were thrown towards the crowds, floating and bouncing with great joy. While, from both of the front corners of the arena burst colourful glitters that rained onto the stage areas, turned it into a fascinating sight. It was one historical moment ! 

To most of us who were there that night, it was the 30 years celebration of the Keeper albums (Part I & II). Those two albums have been part of us since our younger days, and it was damn emotional that we finally got to experience old time favourites like "A Tale That Wasn't Right", "Eagle Fly Free", "Future World", and of course "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" live with Kiske on vocal. They gave us a total of 10 tracks and we are thankful for that.
 
Yet, as at that night, and approximately 24 years later after 'Master of the Ring' (1994), we finally found peace with Deris. The band was right to have him as the voice of HELLOWEEN after Kiske. He definitely earned his place as a pumpkin. The selection of songs from the Deris' era was also brilliant like "If I Could Fly" and "Why?". While, the song "Power" was the best, raising the atmosphere higher with the sing along.

So were Gerstner and Loble who have done well since joining the band. Thumbs up !
 
Albeit "Forever and One (Neverland)" had stamped its mark as most fans' favourite ballad, but to us, none could beat our all time personal favourite - "A Tale That Wasn't Right".

What a night ! Shout it out ! Let them know ! Pumpkins United we are ! We hope that this expanded line-up will at least release one album together before call it off. A live album from the Pumpkin United World Tour is also a must release.

Simply brilliant ! Thank you HELLOWEEN ! Well done SoundValley Festival ! It was the best show in 2018 so far, no doubt !
 
Note :-
We have also updated the review with the following video, courtesy from VIDEO2U Productions.
 
 
 
Setlists
 
 Deris & Kiske
1) Halloween (Keepers of the Seven Keys Part I)
2) Dr. Stein (Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II)

Kiske
3) I'm Alive (Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I)

Deris
4) If I Could Fly (The Dark Ride)
5) Are You Metal ? (7 Sinners)

Kiske
6) March of Time (Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II)

Deris
7) Waiting For The Thunder (Straight Out Of Hell)
8) Perfect Gentleman (Master Of The Rings)

Hansen
9) Medley
    i)   Starlight (Helloween)
    ii)  Ride The Sky (Walls Of Jericho)
    iii) Judas (The Best, The Rest, The Rare)
    iv) Heavy Metal [Is The Law] (Walls Of Jericho)

Deris & Kiske
10) Forever and One [Neverland] (The Time Of The Oath)
11) A Tale That Wasn't Right (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I)

Deris & Kiske & Hansen
12) Pumpkins United (new single)

Loble
13) Ingo's Tribute - drum solo with (on screen) Ingo

Kiske
14) Medley
     i)   Livin' Ain't No Crime (The Best, The Rest, The Rare)
     ii)  A little Time (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I)

Deris & Kiske

15) Why ? (Master Of The Rings)

Deris
16) Sole Survivor (Master Of The Rings)
17) Power (The Time Of The Oath)

Kiske & Deris & Hansen
18) How Many Tears (Walls Of Jericho)
 
Encore 1
Invitation
Kiske
19) Eagles Fly Free (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II)
Kiske & Deris
20) Keeper Of The Seven Keys (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II)
    
Encore 2
Hansen
21) Guitar Solo
Kiske
22) Future World (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I)
Kiske & Deris
23) I Want Out (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II)
 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

PRIME DOMESTIC (Mal) - PUBLIC DISTORTION 2017 : OASIS SQUARE DAMANSARA - MALAYSIA : 09/12/2017



"... kira ... 1,2 ... 1,2,3 ..." that was the loud counting from the madman on the drum stool - Ainol, who stole the night with his madness and drumming aggression. In summary, 'Public Distortion' closed the year 2017 with a high note. The venue, though a bit far, was a good pick, and the sound system blew everything away. Both bands rocked the night !

We actually took our time off in 2017, having to put other priorities ahead of everything. But 'Public Distortion 2017' brought us back, and glad that we did.
  
Earlier, we reached Oasis Square Damansara when opening band - XPDC (V6) has already belted out a few numbers, and they were about to cover "Enter Sandman" (METALLICA) by then. Having seen them at 'Rentap Kasi Sentap 2016' (with MAY) in Johor Bahru, the band continued to impress the crowds. They were musically tight on stage, and Ali (vocal) was in control as always.
 
Yet, we came to see the highlight of the night - PRIME DOMESTIC. A super group that centred on 2 local guitar heroes - Joe and Hillary from the WINGS/SEARCH fame, along with the groovy veteran bass pounder - Fauzi (ex NRG/SEARCH). The line-up was made complete with younger talents - Ainol (drum) and Aweera (vocal).  

Their night started with a poetical narration, accompanied with some keyboard plays which helped to drive the momentum. As soon as Ainol gave the cue '1,2,3 ...", the band started their opening set with a 5-tracks back-to-back. 

It began with IRON MAIDEN - "Hallowed Be Thy Name". Fauzi did the first verse narration, but Aweera came in too early for the following verse but quickly did a 'say yeargh' gimmick to amend it. That cover song was the right one to showcase the brilliant fretwork plays from both the axemans, which where PRIME DOMESTIC really dominates. They continued with 'Kau Masih Berdegil" (WINGS) which went well, as anything from WINGS is definitely Aweera's forte. Finally next, their own track "Malam Berasap" that excelled with the guitar groove. As soon as "Malam Berasap" ended, the keyboard continued to play, marking the arrival of one of the biggest intro - "Fenomena" from none other than the man himself - Hillary. It still haunts us after all these long. To us, the song "Fenomena" was musically SEARCH's biggest track from the album, even bigger than "Isabella". Next to follow was "Nasib Kita" (WINGS) where the pounding bass was best felt. Fauzi was simply stupendous and he really had a great time on stage. Aweera again nailed it. While Joe and Hillary were casting spells from their guitars through out the night. The 1st set done, and the choice of songs was just brilliant.


The following set was simply the best for the night where the band delivered all their originals, starting with "2087" - a heavy modern track but still kept that rocking sway, followed by their own version of 'fast, faster, fastest' - "Tekno Dewata" that displays melodic riff speeding on full throttle. The live version appeared heavier and killer. While, "Kurnia" has the usual M. Nasir's blueprint on it, a good ballad nevertheless.


The remaining sets were dominated by songs from SEARCH and WINGS,  until "Illusi Intonasi" and "Sedingin Pluto" came out later. Some have interesting re-arrangements done, obviously "Lena Diulit Intan" (WINGS) which has turned damn heavy. On the other hand, Aweera was no where to hit the high note in "Mentari Merah Di Ufuk Timur" (SEARCH).

The debut album 'Prima Domestika' featured 10 tracks and the band only delivered 6 tracks [inclusive of the baptized (literally) - "Illusi Intonasi"] and filled their more than 2 hours slot mostly with numbers from WINGS and SEARCH. If we are to take count of the songs in the medley, PRIME DOMESTIC delivered 8 tracks from SEARCH and 7 tracks from WINGS and that were at least 60% from the total 24 songs the band delivered that night. We understood that their (Joe and Hillary) times with those bands helped to shape who they are today. But moving forward, it is about time that PRIME DOMESTIC breaks away from those shadows. Yet, do continue with covers from WINGS and SEARCH in the setlist, but at much lesser. 

Apart from MAIDEN, it will be great if they added in a few more covers from rock/heavy metal legends like SAB ("Paranoid" please) / DIO / PURPLE etc as to offer new punch and variety. Yet, Hillary did gave us the intro of "Smoke In The Water" (PURPLE) before it continued with the last song of the night - "Pasti" (SEARCH). We are also okay if they cover SWEET CHARITY (definitely not  "Kamelia" and "Teratai", but "Ribut 10.59 Pagi" sounds cool) / RUSTY BLADE / LEFTHANDED / BLOODSHED etc with intent to pay homage to local heroes. Perhaps, something out of ordinary like HELLOWEEN - "Future World" which will be interesting to see the twin guitars running wilds.


While, the guest - Amy (SEARCH) came out in the middle of the medley, during "Isabella" and continued to do "Langit Dan Bumi" and "Kau Pergi" in full. The crowds were at their loudest during that time. Seeing him reunited with Hillary on stage was nostalgic.

'Public Distortion 2017' was definitely a success, and an official live CD release is utmost welcome. Seeing the overhead camera at works that night, a DVD release might be possible. Bring it on ...

Setlists

Set 1
 1) Hallowed Be Thy Name (IRON MAIDEN)
 2) Kau Masih Berdegil (WINGS)
 3) Malam Berasap (Prima Domestika)
 4) Fenomena (SEARCH)
 5) Nasib Kita (WINGS)

Set 2
 6) 2028 (Prima Domestika)
 7) Tekno Dewata (Prima Domestika)
 8) Kurnia (Prima Domestika)

Set 3
  9) Meniti Titian Usang (SEARCH)
10) Lena Diulit Intan (WINGS)
11) Mentari Merah Di Ufuk Timur (SEARCH)

Set 4
12) WINGS / SEARCH medleys
     a) Biru Mata Hitamku (WINGS)
     b) Rozanna (SEARCH)
     c) Ranjang Mawar (WINGS)
     d) Isabella (SEARCH) with Amy
13) Langit Dan Bumi (SEARCH) - AMY on vocal
14) Kau Pergi (SEARCH) - AMY on vocal

Set 5
15) Drum solo/battle (Ainol/Lola)

Set 6
16) Illusi Intonasi (Prima Domestika)
17) Ameringgo (WINGS)
18) Sedingin Pluto (Prima Domestika)

Set 7
19) Alam Barzakh (WINGS)
20) Sejati (WINGS)
21) Pasti (SEARCH) with Amy & XPDC (V6)



Saturday, November 12, 2016

FURIA (Pol) - 'Guido'

 
FURIA (Pol)
'Guido'
PAGAN RECORDS (Pol)
Release Date : 16/10/2016
 
FURIA has raised its bizarre head once again. For those who are familiar with the band, every EP - that comes out in between of full length, is always something to watch out for. It would normally turned experi-mentally bizarre and progressively insane.

They have earlier went to one isolated venue, and recorded their most obscure and rawest material ever - the exclusive 'Huta Laura/Katowice/Krolewska Huta' EP (2010). 'Exclusive' here meant that the tracks were never to be played and recorded again. For us, that EP was their best and in its most 'underground' form ever.

The 'Halny' EP (2010) started the bigger experimental and complex side of FURIA. While, 'W Melancholii' EP (2013) kept that bigger 'drone' influence and 'heavy' tone, yet still 'psycho'delic.

Now came 'Guido', recorded live in a depth of 320 metres down in an old Polish mine named - Guido. The band has brought back extreme metal back into the underground, in practicality now.

The materials basically consist of 2 parts. The 'Stara Polska Ksiezycowa' 7 'EP (which should translated as 'Old Polish Moon) offers 2 new tracks in the band's signature musical superiority. The track No. 2 was more mid-paced and epic with splashes of gothic and romantic vocal tone.

While, the 12 'LP - 'Ubrdy, Czesc 1' was the interesting pieces and said to feature 3 improvised tracks (with intro/sampling). It really revealed the experimental and progressive side of FURIA. It started with the intro - "320 w 2", which sounded like a sampling/real  recording of the band entering into the mine. While, the 3 tracks to follow were like transcendental music with Nihil (vocal/guitar) taking position to do the story telling about whatever mysteries can be found down there. The way the music was crafted is brilliant, from the progressive opening to the drone-style guitar chugging in the middle that built and drove the momentum, and the final explosion at the climax of Nihil's voice. The track "Hahary" was the perfect example.

Listening to FURIA is like goin' into 'astral journey', letting yourself out into wild unexplored terrain, but as soon as you began to drift afar, it will pull you back to whence you started.

The is already the band's 11th releases todate (inclusive of 2 demos earlier). For fans of FURIA, you all should have known what to expect ... If you don't, throw yourself into the deep of 'Guido', and listen to the album down there until you finally did ...

To order : http://www.pagan-records.com/webshop/
 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

WINGS : 25TH ANNIVERSARY HARD ROCK CAFE SHOWCASE : KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA : 08/11/2016


It was said that ticket sold out in just 4 days (approximately 750 tickets or so). That served as a statement on how strong WINGS has its fanbase here in Malaysia. It was their 4th appearance for 2016 after Sg Golok Bike Week (14/05/2016), Rockoustic (20/08/2016) and Rockaway (29/10/2016).

The interesting part about the showcase was how it was set to open - yes, in pure rock & roll style. Playing at club/pub/café-like venue, the vibe is normally stronger because of the close distance between the band and the crowds. We believed that all the gears must have already been set right. When the band was announced, one by one, the members of WINGS came to the stage with loud cheers from the crowds. With no further sound check, they hit the night. It was their 'rawest' sound ever. It sounded like plug & play jam session. The setlists was one of their best.
 
From the main floor we stood, the sound unfortunately went burst. It was too sharp at time and felt deafening. It was not able to support the high notes that AWIE delivered that night. Yet, the band was tight as usual. Hopefully we could get an official audio release from the showcase - soundboard recording with minor clean up here and there as to ease the ear piercing sound. Simply because of the 'vibe' and 'rawness', and we also liked the setlists.

 
Legend said that when the music is too loud to your ear, you are to old to rock & roll. But that was not the case at Hard Rock Cafe, the sound system appeared to be the night's biggest let down. It however started to improve when the set moved to "Inspirasi Taming Sari" later. Perhaps, the main floor facing the stage was the closest to the speakers and it might contributed to the ear slaughtering we experienced that night. But the fans rocked on nevertheless.
 
We moved to far back when WINGS did "Ranggi Metropolis", and the sound was better and appeared more balance. The crowds at the back looked stronger with the sing along especially during "Taman Rashidah Utama" and "Sejati". We're not sure how it sounded like at the main floor after "Ranggi Metropolis". But if you could compromise a little short of sighting at the band on stage, being at the back gave a better listening pleasure (you could always checked the in-house television on what was happening on stage).

Earlier, when the show was about to start, the in-house DJ played SCORPIONS' "Rock You Like A Hurricane" and as the song reached the chorus with the verse "... here I am, rock you like a ..." it then paused and the crowds gave a loud " ... hurricane ..." in return. By then, all in Hard Rock Café were ready.

Once WINGS was called upon at nearly 10.30 pm,  a guy well dressed in the traditional Malay costume came on stage. He was like being given a task to recreate the 'modern' atmosphere of Hard Rock Café with a strike of 'ancient' melody - the 'Nafiri'. We thought that the song "Amok" will open the night, but it was not.

Once the sound of 'Nafiri' reached every corner of the café, JOE rushed to the stage and grabbed the guitar. He appeared to keep the hat trademark (now wearing a cowboy hat) from the 'Rockaway' show. EDDIE and BLACK would soon followed.

Immediately JOE unleashed his signature strum just like when he opened "Hukum Karma" during 'Bongkar - Ta'kan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia' show in Istana Budaya. The drum and bass set in, and AWIE made his way out to the stage. A relatively similar version of "Hukum Karma" started the night and the cheers would then continue until the end.


Continuing their usual repertoire, the selection of the first 3 tracks back-to-back was again brilliant. It was "Hukum Karma" - "Romania" - "Bujang Senang". But when the songs - "Nasib Kita" and "Harapan" were delivered (which got AWIE at his top of the lung), it turned quite disastrous with the sound system. AWIE then requested the technical team to check and help to improve the sound.

While "Ingatkan Dia" started with a long progressive organ/keyboard intro which AWIE joked to it like they were playing at hotel lobby.

Taking photo as a fan this time around was a challenge. We started at the main floor, and it was tough to get a decent shot as the crowds were really having great time, punching the air, singing along, capturing some moments with their smartphones, making the signature =W= sign everywhere etc. The crowds were at their best the whole night, and that's what the meaning of 'fans' was all about.

We then moved to the right corner (facing the stage), hoping to get one or two better shots. Our biggest thanks to all the brothers and sisters who were cool and kind enough to give space for us to squeeze through (we've tried to be as careful as possible not to cause any discomfort to your enjoyment).

At that point, unintentionally, we somehow appeared to block part of the passage for the Hard Rock Café staffs to move through, and that 'one sturdy Hard Rock Café security' passed us a 'remark'. We just apologized and told him that it would take less than few minutes to snap a shot or two and will immediately move away once done. Having experienced WINGS 30th Anniversary celebration at Stadium Merdeka last year, the securities whom comprised of well built grim bikers from Lost Cowboy, Violent Storm etc were way cooler.
 
On second thought, we understood that 'he' was there to work his duty, whereas we were there for the love of rock & roll, and most of all, for WINGS, the band we have cherished for the last 29 years.

So were all the fans who were there that night, and that explained why all of you were the coolest. Rock Bro ! Hahaha ...

A late 'salam takziah' to Zul of Sayap2Wings & family for the passing of his beloved father recently, al-fatihah.

Setlists
  1) Hukum Karma (Hukum Karma)
  2) Romania (Teori Domino)
  3) Bujang Senang (Teori Domino)
  4) Nasib Kita (Best of Wings 2)
  5) Harapan (Teori Domino)
  6) Blues Ular Sawa (Double Trouble 2)
  7) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
  8) Ranggi Metropolis (Naga Kramat)
  9) Ingatkan Dia (Menakluk Kosmos)
10) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)
11) Jerangkung Dalam Almari (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
12) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)
13) Sejati (Teori Domino)

Monday, December 28, 2015

WINGS : KONSERT WINGS 30 TAHUN - BACK TO 80'S : PADANG B - PLAZA ANGSANA JOHOR BAHRU - MALAYSIA : 25/12/2015


The year 2015 was simply the best year for us witnessing WINGS at their best form ever and continuously making history. We were fortunate to be there at Melaka as they opened the year with Konsert Menakluk Kosmos - Melaka on 31/01/2015. Again, there we were at their final show : Konsert Wings 30 Tahun - Johor Bahru on 25/12/2015.

It was an honour for Johor Bahru to get the slot for Konsert Wings 30 Tahun. Thank you WINGS, AGE TECH, ANGGERIK EVENT and SAYAP2WINGS. As JOE did mentioned in one of the interviews - if WINGS do continue with the same show next year (2016), its not goin' to be their 30th Anniversary celebration, as the band will turn 31 years already. So, Johor Bahru was lucky to host the 2nd and final show. It has been 5 years since WINGS last hit the stage here down south (Konsert Double Trouble 2010). The long wait was finally over.

The night session started at around 8.00 pm with guests like UCOP, RONNIE, ITO, AWEERA, MAEL and kumpulan SAYAP (Saiful Apek, Yassin & friends) doing tribute.

Approximately 9.30 pm, the same video montage (like Stadium Merdeka) erupted, marking the arrival of WINGS onstage.

WINGS finally heed the calls from their older fans, asking them to return to their original song arrangement. The band stayed true to their 'Back To 80's' concept and opened their introduction pieces with the usual 3 tracks back-to-back, all from the album 'Hukum Karma' (1988) in its relatively original form.

If anyone of you might asked why 'Hukum Karma' (not 'Belenggu Irama'), it simply because the current line-up with JOE on guitar (not SHAM) started with that album, hence it was chosen to represent WINGS for the 80's era. It drove massive and loud sing along from the crowds. "Taman Rashidah Utama" was an all time fans' favourite that grew in most of us since our school days. It was pure nostalgic when the track was given its deserved right to open the Johor Bahru show. It came out complete with the rain/thunder effect and the guitar slide intro (with a little touch of choir like backing vocal in the opening as extra). It then continued with the blasting drum, just like in the album, and "Opera Hidup" was delivered perfectly. "Hukum Karma" was next and WINGS had already won the crowds over by then.


One crucial fact about WINGS is they always make sure that every single cent of our hard earned money is well spent by giving us back one professional and quality performance. It was announced that the Kuala Lumpur diehards had even organized a bus trip down to Johor Bahru for the show. Now, that's pure passion and dedication !

JOE also paid homage to his birth state, wearing embroidery shirt with Johor flag on it. There was also a Johor flag tied at his back pocket if someone could noticed. The traditional song turned 'agogo'- "Tanjung Puteri" also served the night well.


The selection of songs before the 'reunion medley' was really meant to give a big punch to the crowds. Once everybody have settled down with "Orang Kita" and "Gemala Saktiku", another round of maximum rock 'n' roll were let loose starting with "Bazooka Penaka" which has been pushed back and replaced "Romania". Who might have expected that WINGS brought in "Kau Masih Berdegil" and "Aku Pun Tahu" to replace "Jumpa Hilang" and the mild "Pengabdian Ku Kekasih". It was indeed brilliant !

The 'reunion medley' did not changed but was without MUS, and AZLAN stepped in probably because of his high stretching voice which can suit MUS parts better. Once "Jerangkung Dalam Almari" was done, AWIE was kind enough to invite the other ticket holders at the back to come into the Rockzone area.

The better backdrop play was astonishing which lighten up the stage even more. "Awang Trasher" returned and was accompanied with 'Bersama Selamanya' backdrop. It brought most of us back to GAYOUR masterpiece cartoon series from the old legendary comic - Majalah Ujang. The cartoon storyline appeared to connect well with the song. There were also pyrotechics and exploding fireworks at stage front through out the show. The night ended nearing 1.00 am with the guests joined the band on stage for "Peronda Jaket Biru", and then came the final and bigger fireworks display.

We don't think that WINGS was expecting something like the Stadium Merdeka turnout, but 8,000 attendees in Johor Bahru was still satisfactory. We have a great time just like everytime we came and saw WINGS onstage. But to those who were there at the 'mother of all rock concerts' (Konsert Wings 30 Tahun - Stadium Merdeka), the Johor Bahru experience might turned out a little ordinary.

Yet, we were very thankful that WINGS came down and willing to have another round of celebration with those who were unable to come to Stadium Merdeka earlier. Somehow, we would not get "Kau Masih Berdegil" and "Aku Pun Tahu" after all these years if the Johor Bahru show did not took place. So, the show was still significant.

But on the other hand, the Stadium Merdeka show had already left the biggest mark in the local rock 'n' roll history. So, should it continued elsewhere ? It was not for us to say ...

Let 2016 comes and we look forward to continue rockin' with one of Malaysia's oldest and greatest rock 'n' roll band ever - WINGS !

To those who have rocked with WINGS in 2015, we salute you !

The following video was courtesy from SAYAP2WINGS :-

Setlists
1) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)
2) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)
3) Hukum Karma (Hukum Karma)

Selawat Nabi

4) Orang Kita (Hukum Karma)
5) Gemala Saktiku (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)

6) Bazooka Penaka (Bazooka Penaka)
7) Kau Masih Berdegil (Double Trouble)
8) Aku Pun Tahu (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)

9) Satelit Puaka (Bazooka Penaka)

Medley
(WINGS with SHAM, MEL & AZLAN)

10) Intan Ku Kesepian (Belenggu Irama)
11) Biru Mata Hitamku (Biru Mata Hitamku)
12) Belenggu Irama (Belenggu Irama)
13) Potret Monalisa (Teori Domino)
14) Misteri Mimpi Syakila (Hukum Karma)
15) Di Ambang Wati (Bazooka Penaka)
16) Semalam Yang Hangat (Orang Asing)

Drum Solo (BLACK & JOJET)
Both continued on drum for the following tracks :-
17) R'N'R Lu Punya Suka (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
18) Jerangkung Dalam Almari (Jerangkung Dalam Almari) + AZLAN

19) Blues Ular Sawa (Double Trouble 2) - AZLAN on vocal
20) Nasib Kita (Best Of Wings 2)
21) Tanjung Puteri (Malay traditional song)

Guitar Showcase - Gelap Nan Terang (JOE)

22) Kota Kemusnahan (Belenggu Irama)
23) Awang Trasher (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
24) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
25) Ingatkan Dia (Menakluk Kosmos)
26) Sejati (Teori Domino)
27) Peronda Jaket Biru (Belenggu Irama)

Official merchandise from Grousiey Printhouse







Monday, November 2, 2015

WINGS : KONSERT WINGS 30 TAHUN : STADIUM MERDEKA KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA : 31/10/2015

 
It was cold, it was raining heavily, but it didn't stop 25,000 peoples to witness the biggest anniversary celebration. We have fans from different generations, coming together making history. Nobody seems to move from where they stood or sat despite drenching wet in the blessing rain. Konsert Wings 30 Tahun set a new benchmark in the history of Malaysia Rock 'N' Roll. We don't think that there will by any local rock concert in the future that will come close. It was monumental ! (let's wait for SEARCH 35th Anniversary next year). The sweat, the rain, the excitement, were all blended into one massive energy which then collided with WINGS all out killer performance. It became like a nuclear explosion !

Earlier, we arrived in Kuala Lumpur quite late and made our way on foot from Jalan Pudu to the once iconic Stadium Merdeka. It was about 6.00 pm then and it started raining as we walked. If there was a madman accidently shooting a video, and coincidently with "Taman Rashidah Utama" played in the background, its goin' to be the worst WINGS tribute video clip ever been made, hahaha !

There was a relax busker-like performance at the entrance and their rendition of WINGS songs were interesting. The one with the acoustic guitar had a full WINGS autograph on his guitar, cool. As we entered the building, we caught a glimpse of familiar face inside. That one guy approached us saying that he somehow remembered seeing us at the Melaka show. He was Hamizi from Pagoh, one crazy guy at MITC, front row facing centre stage.


The show started at approximately 9.30 pm with guests like LAN KRISTAL ("Gegar Gunung Gemora"), AWEERA ("Alam Barzakh"), BILA ("Semalam Yang Hangat"), ONE NATION MC  ("Kau Bukan Brader"), AFLIN SHAUKI ("Midnight Blues"), HATTAN ("Dia"), ITO BLUES GANG ("Biarkan Berlalu") and AZLAN & THE TYPEWRITER ("Enigma") paying tribute with a song each. The sketch from comedian SAIFUL APEK and YASSIN was hilarious (with LAN SCENARIO later joined in). Hat off to the young talented drummer - Nur Amira Syahira.

When the clock hit around 10.30 pm, the big screen at far left and right of the stage started to roll that one grand video montage (the sound effect really drove the excitement). The final sound check on stage was then heard especially the drum roll and bass solo that really got you damn excited and just wanted to scream your heart out. We really need an explosive start to help us survive the cold and freezing night. But when you got "Bazooka Penaka", "Inspirasi Taming Sari" and "Bujang Senang" as opener, back-to-back, its dynamite ! From where we stood, there was no hold back, everyone just exploded ! We didn't even cared to bring out the camera, the impact was just huge. The stage was wide and WINGS played a little bit at the back under the roof as it was raining (understood as it involves electric gadgets). But AWIE came upfront nevertheless. "Bujang Senang" should just continued with the guitar attack after the legendary intro just like from the album, no keyboard. We wished the arrangement for the older songs had fully came back to the original, just like their old heydays.


A live audio CD would really help all of us to revisit that magical moment. We hope that they will include the sound from the video montage and final sound check onstage as that started the big adrenalin rush before everything go 'kaboom' during "Bazooka Penaka". The 1st speech from AWIE should be kept as well (just like the movie 'Rock Oo' - "dah lama tak dengar ucapan yang berbaur politik semacam ni .. hahaha").

While DVD is definitely a must release, no question. This is WINGS greatest concert ever !

We read somewhere that WINGS planned to have segments like the 80's, 90's etc. So, it should started with tracks from the albums 'Belenggu Irama' (1987) and 'Hukum Karma' (1988). But which tracks would really blew the roof off as opener ? Our pick would be "Inspirasi Taming Sari" (the band 1st ever track from the debut album), "Peronda Jaket Biru" and "Jerangkap Samar". But WINGS did not do such sequence in the setlists - starting with tracks taken from the 80's album, then 90's and onward. They just brought back the attire.

While, the bikers cum securities from Lost Cowboys and Violence Storm were cool and easy despite their vicious look.

 
"Orang Kita" was a surprise, thank you WINGS. The crowds got crazier and louder during the chorus. "Gemala Saktiku" was rare from the album 'Jerangkung Dalam Almari' and we didn't mind they skipped "Awang Trasher" for it. So were "Jumpa Hilang" and "Nasib Kita" that got the crowds more excited. The album version of "Nasib Kita" was actually done by MUS and guest vocal - MAEL (XPDC). So the concert version with AWIE and MUS on vocal was definitely special. We also got an exclusive "Satelit Puaka" version with AWIE alone on stage, strumming and singing on acoustic guitar before the band entered in full force later. He also did electric solo during "Blues Ular Sawa", while JOE lent some vocal parts.

 
The medley was added with one extra track "Intanku Kesepian" as compared to the 'Menakluk Kosmos Tour' version. Just before the medley, AWIE and BLACK threw out some shirts at the audience as a form of souvenir. Former vocalist - MEL and MUS as well as SHAM (original guitarist in 'Belenggu Irama') joined the band on stage. They were also accompanied with guest axeman RODY KRISTAL and EDRIE HASHIM. While JOJET  (one of the founding member but only appeared in the 4th album 'Jerangkung Dalam Almari') came out later during the drum solo and continued on the drum stool with two more songs. "Misteri Mimpi Syakilla" replaced "Taman Rashidah Utama". Why ? So WINGS could play "Taman Rashidah Utama" in full, and the best part was they finally did it with the original guitar intro. Gone was the piano/keyboard intro for 'Taman Rashidah Utama" at last (the versions at 'Versi Tanpa Distortion' and 'Rockestra 2013' were interesting but we all have been missing the original version far too long).


We always love to have "Romania", "Ranggi Metropolis" and "Sayap Illusi" in the setlists everytime. While the track "Menakluk Kosmos" was the best pick from the new album, aggressive and hard hitting, worked very well for live show. The part where the backing vocal came in on some verses sounded good. The song "Ingatkan Dia" on the other hand was already a big hit in Malaysia, especially after being part of the soundtrack for one Aaron Aziz movie, so it turned out to be a loud sing along. The organ/keyboard intro was indeed catchy, the crowds instantly knew it as soon as the intro started.
 
 
Right after "Nasib Kita", AWIE announced that they have been instructed to stop the show but pleaded to the authority to allow them to continue so they can fulfilled their promise to deliver 30 songs that night. WINGS had been goin' on with tracks after tracks for nearly 4 hours already. While AWIE was still delivering his vocal at top notch. If we counted each track from the medley as one, we actually got 31 songs excluding the drum solo, guitar showcase - "Illusi Intonasi" and M. Nasir tribute appearance in the midpart.

They continued to deliver 3 more numbers in a rush before ended with "Peronda Jaket Biru" but with bigger rearrangement at the opening part. Once the track is done, BLACK continued to blast the drum and JOE hitting the string, probably trying to hit another song fast, but the sound was eventually turned off. It was nearing 3.00 am, and it was one glorious night. 31st October with 31 songs. Definitely the best show for 2015 ! It was legendary !
 
Setlists
  1) Bazooka Penaka (Bazooka Penaka)
  2) Inspirasi Taming Sari (Belenggu Irama)
  3) Bujang Senang (Teori Domino)
  4) Orang Kita (Hukum Karma)
  5) Gemala Saktiku (Jerangkung Dalam Almari)
  6) Romania (Teori Domino)
  7) Jumpa Hilang (Naga Kramat)
  8) Pengabdian Ku Kekasih (Bazoka Penaka)
  9) Satelit Puaka (Bazooka Penaka)

Medley
(WINGS + MEL, MUS, SHAM with RODY KRISTAL & EDRY HASHIM)
10) Intan Ku Kesepian (Belenggu Irama)
11) Biru Mata Hitam Ku (Biru Mata Hitam Ku)
12) Belenggu Irama (Belenggu Irama)
13) Potret Monalisa (Teori Domino)
14) Misteri Mimpi Syakila (Hukum Karma)
15) Di Ambang Wati (Bazooka Penaka)
16) Semalam Yang Hangat (Orang Asing)

M NASIR (tribute)
Hikayat Penuh Ranjau (Hukum Karma)
Quote - 30 years ago WINGS was brought to him with hope to record album that can sell 10,000 copies, but the band sold hundred of thousands instead, and WINGS grew to become legend.
 
Drum Solo (BLACK + JOJET)
Both continued on drum for the following tracks :-
17) R'N'R Lu Punya Suka (Bazooka Penaka)
18) Jerangkung Dalam Almari (Jerangkung Dalam Almari) with MUS
 
19) Blues Ular Sawa (Double Trouble 2) with MUS
20) Menakluk Kosmos (Menakluk Kosmos)
21) Ingatkan Dia (Menakluk Kosmos)
22) Sayap Illusi (Naga Kramat)
23) Amok (Bazooka Penaka)
24) Taman Rashidah Utama (Hukum Karma)

Guitar Showcase - Illusi Intonasi (JOE + HILLARY)

25) Kota Kemusnahan (Belenggu Irama)
26) Ranggi Metropolis (Naga Kramat)
27) Nasib Kita (Best of Wings 2) with MUS
28) Hukum Karma (Hukum Karma)
29) Opera Hidup (Hukum Karma)
30) Sejati (Teori Domino)
31) Peronda Jaket Biru (Belenggu Irama)

Official merchandise from Grousiey Printhouse