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Gig Review

Xtreme Volume 3

Gig Review written by olibia

Xtreme Volume 3 was held at Hard Rock Café, on an extremely hot afternoon. I was relieved of the heat when I stepped into the cool ground of HRC. This year’s Xtreme gig has all its funds collected donated to a certain hospice, a care centre catered to everybody regardless of religion and race. As usual, the gig started right on time and to my understanding, Xtreme volumes have been running for the 3rd year now. With a complete mix of genres this time round, I suppose the gig was targeted at both the majority and minority.

4 piece Undercurrent took not long to set up and they had a 5 string female bass player. They started out with a cover and later played originals with the front man just singing and not playing guitar during several songs. There were not many solos from the lead guitarist, except when the lead vocalist joins in the guitar playing. I also realized that there were little vocal back-ups. But all was well, for the emotion packed expressions from the lead vocalist while he sang kept us all mesmerised, I am sure. Undercurrent sounded very much like a rock ‘n’ roll band and they make good live sets.

Next up was a 3 piece band called Native Stalk. They were giving away 3-song demos and that was a good "marketing" technique, I thought. From the way the lead vocalist belted out his stuff and the kind of music they played, it is not difficult to point out the influences of bands such as Creed and the Dave Matthews Band. Although it was good music to the ears, there should have been more effort to improvise on the rhythmic strummings and simple drum beats. The lead vocalist sang well, but he toned really soft during slow and low parts. There are plans of Nature Stalk recruiting one more guitarist or keyboardist; I believe the music that is to be written would be much better.

There were some Q&As while 20 Dischanger set up and it was obvious that the host of the afternoon went up unrehearsed as he was so full of sh*t. It was not too bad, though, the crowd seemed entertained enough. It was only then the host announced that Xtreme Vol. 3 was organized by Marine Parade CC. There were not many people that afternoon, less than 70 heads were marked.

20 Dischanger

20 Dischanger

At first listen, 20 Dischanger sounded like your typical punkrock band but I came to hear what they really are is something much above that category. "Something" being your regular punkrock band you would want to watch at a punkrock gig. There is not much I have to say about the style of their playing as they are what you would find in a regular punkrock band - power chords, a few leads here and there from both guitarist and bassist, 16/16 beats. The bassist needs to work on hitting the right vocal notes while backing up but other than that, the band played their pieces well on the whole.

$uicide $olution

$uicide $olution
Gha$ty

Gha$ty

The first metal band came on and the stage got a little over crowded as $uicide $olution is a 6 piece band, consisting of a drummer, 2 guitarists, a bassist, a female lead vocalist and a mascot, The Clown. Ha ha no, I am just kidding. The "clown" actually backs the lead vocalist up during the songs. And basically entertains the crowd when backing up is not needed. It was not like visual entertainment was insufficient; it was more than enough really. I personally found it quite difficult to concentrate on the music the band was playing partly because of the clown, who did not really crack many jokes but blocked my view of the band instead and also partly because of these raunchy moves the female vocalist was displaying. Yes, explicity. But at least they kept the crowd watching the band, methinks. As the clown was in a, well, clown suit, he was masked and his back ups were not very audible. There were quite a number of effects used on the guitars and the female vocalist was great, she goes up there and gives all she has.

Bumi

Bumi

The following band was bigger than the previous one - 8 piece Bumi looked like a tribal band or some sort carrying a percussionist who used some unique percussion instruments like the RM wedge, the tambourine, conga, and a triangle. And they have 2 keyboardists, a bassist, a guitarist, a drummer and 2 vocalists. At some parts, even one of the keyboardists joined in the vocal harmonizing. A 6 string bass was used but there weren’t many techniques performed by the bassist to put it in good use. Bumi sounded like a band with sufficient gig experience and good showmanship; the originals played were delightfully simple. Nevertheless, it was impressive of them blending the different parts together nicely.

Marquee is a 5 piece band with guest bassist from Undercurrent, a sectionist drummer they were trying out. Most of the pieces they played were covers but the lead vocalist pulled them off very, very well. Think Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne and high pitched vox from male vocalists of rock bands. They played so well, there were requests of more at the end of their set. It was amazing, never have I seen a man hit such high notes so smoothly live until that afternoon.

5 years old Zero Sequence, a 5 piece band influenced by 70s and 80s music performed after Marquee and I was once again bowled over by the music these great bands are feeding my ears. Zero Sequence pretty much went instrumental with little or no singing. Their keyboardist belted out keyboard solos as well, besides just staying in the background. Even though there was not much singing, the band still managed to keep the crowd’s attention; they were terrific with their instruments. One could tell that the band relied on techniques to be able to create what they played and they covered a long and difficult piece by Dream Theatre toward the end of their set. Very, very impressive once again.

Zeotz

Zeotz

Metal band Zeotz took a while to set up and the crowd was mostly diners then. The band is of middle aged men but it was good to see them all enjoying themselves up there. Zeotz played covers from Sepultra, Slayer and Metallica. The songs were long enough to fill the 25 minute time frame each band was given. The lead vocalist had good showmanship and he confessed he gets off the music they play - he loves watching the band. Needless to say, they played well and tight, leaving the crowd wanting for more...

Right on time again, Xtreme Vol. 3 ended at 5pm. It was a pity not many were present but there were no major hiccups during it all, so, something for the bands to get merry about. The low *attendance* was also partly because of the many ongoing gigs that day too, I suppose. Until the next Xtreme gig!

Rating: 7.5/10
 
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