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)

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