World Cyber Games 2003
Gig Review written by olibia
Held at Civic Plaza, Ngee Ann City, the main event was the national finals of several LAN games organised by World Cyber Games, VoiDeck committee took care of the bands that were put on stage. The line up and time slots were sketchy and unconfirmed even until the day when the event commenced.
DAY 1 - 28th August '03
Quite a crowd turned up tonight to watch the 3 bands play. A huge tent with a huge stage was set up and it was really spacious and cool (temperature-wise), chairs were placed nicely in front of the stage (they got messed up later on anyway). However, it was a real disappointment to hear what horribly terrible sound quality was produced when Moren Tea Estate, the first band of the night started their set.
Moren Tea Estate
Their previous performance at BayBeats was an acoustic set and I was looking forward to this one. My anticipation did not go to waste. They did 2 covers, one of which being a Smashing Pumpkins' piece. Terrific song to start off the 4 day event. Like most bands, Moren Tea Estate has generally good song compositions. The band played well despite lead vocalist's microphone being too loud. Guitars far too soft. Too much bass for the bassist and not enough from the drums. Etc.
Better Than Run
Next up on stage was Better Than Run, this time with a new guitarist and a new drummer. 4 piece punkrock/emo band led by female lead vocalist on rhythm guitar, the band really sounds better with the new line up. The music improved a whole damn lot, comparing this and the set I saw them do at LaSalle's Idiosyncrasy in March. You would have thought that by now, the sound should have been leveled to an acceptable standard but no, the back up vocalist's microphone was too soft, and towards the end, guitars were hardly audible. It was pretty difficult to concentrate on what the band was playing when the thought of what rotten sound quality they are providing us with constantly probed at the back of my head.
A while after some questions were asked by the hosts to entertain the audience with, NvRLrN took over the stage. A few minutes into the set, it was obvious that they were not very happy with the quality of sound that was coming out of the equipment. The guitars could hardly be heard from the beginning. There were even problems with the monitors. NvRLrN was doing fine until the lead vocalist started taking things a little too lightly, clowning around on stage. Good showmanship... kickass bassist and really great vocals but the clowning wasn't necessary.
DAY 3 - 30th August '03
The performance started later than scheduled and I doubt all bands got their sound checks. The crowd was more than overwhelming, probably because it was a Saturday. Mostly the checked trousers/skirts people.
Potential Problem played first with their usual off beats from the drums. The drummer was using a double pedal this time round and he needs more practice with it. The uncoordinated double bass beats plus the many clashes and different kinds of drum beats didn't sound too good together. The whole arrangement of the band sounded quite messed up. Guitars were still too soft and back up vocals could not be heard.
No Direction was the next to play. It was good music made horrible by the sound quality. The drummer, as good as ever. He probably stands as one of the best punkrock drummers in our scene. (others from Suburban Dammit and Better Than Run/Death of Isabelle Le'Monarch) There were some screw ups from the lead guitarist though. His guitar kept on going out of tune after the 2nd song was done. This guy was invited up to the stage later on and they did a piece with the play of vocals, 3 of them in harmony. It would have sounded a whole lot better if the sound men knew which microphones to turn up or down.
Back after a long while, reformed and still sounding good with an awesome bassist who started off the set with slapping and popping and scaling... March Twelve wowed the crowd with their compositions. We're speaking in technical terms here. Terrific vocals from the female lead singer. Interesting how they varied their tempos in one of their new songs (I'm assuming) and managed to pull it off so well. A cover of Plain Sunset's Find A Way was also attempted. They should be given credit for putting in effort to rearrange and play the piece a little differently.
Fast, happy and loud Electric Co. played next and it was a pity that the sound was so bad, all the effects the LEAD guitarist had laid out in front of him and used could not really be heard. They played songs similar to what was performed at BayBeats.
lunchBox rhythm guitarist/lead vocalist spotting a very nice GREEEN electric. The band looked overly delighted to be able to finally play. They were the last band to perform that night because of some delays and change of schedule before. Here, they sounded much better than what was heard at VoiDeck Music 2. Perhaps all they needed were more jamming rehearsals. However, the lead vocalist still has to work on his singing a great load. He probably needs to master the skill of controlling his vocal cords. Other than that, lunchBox writes generally good music. Emo with a touch of punkrock.
DAY 4 - 31st August '03
So the prize giving ceremony did not end on time. And there were a few acts before CheapThrills was called up to perform. That caused more delay. A super long time was taken to set up... After which to hear, or rather, not hear the guitars clearly. The drums sounded good though. I guess being a young band and all with 2 gigs in 2 days under their belt plus all the previous performances they had to do all lined up in a month alone (yeah, that busy already), CheapThrills would definitely do a lot better with more jamming sessions and writing real songs instead of having their influences caught in between notes. Other than that, CheapThrills had really good stage presence; the lead vocalist displayed showmanship and the way he performed reminded me of Elisebelle Tears' lead vocalist. Halfway through the set, lead guitarist realised that he could hardly be heard and so he turned the amplifier all the way up, over doing it. The distorted riffs snuffed out part of what was coming from the lead vocalist during one of the higher pitched chorus. Good prospects await the band...
Probably the only rock band of the 4 day event, I am really glad DeZtiny was pushed to the evening slot instead of what was scheduled before. 2 guitarists, 1 bassist, 1 drummer and a keyboardist, they had full house support and cheers for all of the 3 pieces played; all of them were undeniably good with their instruments. Not only that, DeZtiny sounded like each of them knew exactly when to step back a little for the other to have the lime light, when to be in for a andante, moderato, allegretto and what have you. 'Nuff said, you can eat my socks if you thought they weren't good enough.
Death Of Isabelle Le'Monarch
The last band to perform was Death of Isabelle Le'Monarch. It was a very short set, which was probably why everything sounded real messy. They did 2 Static Lullaby covers and one of their originals that would probably have sounded better if there were no time constrains issues. It was difficult to hear what the guitars and bass were on about. Drums sounded good though.
The cameraman (lady) apologises for the badly taken photographs. One thing I could not get (and still have not figured out why) is why the bands were made to split into 2 parts on the stage during the first 2 days for the big screen to be in full view when what we were supposed to watch were the acts and not the screen.