Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rockin' and Rollin' with Motorhead

This posting is really late. In fact I have forgotten some of the points that I want to write about my recent visit to Dubai Desert Rock Festival.

In summation, my feeling about Dubai Desert Rock Festival 2009, was like watching and listening to the evolution of music.

I regret that I missed the first two bands - Scarab and Hatred. When I arrived Nervecell was already setting up the stage for their turn. Nervecell is a Dubai's local band. They play death metal. To me death metal is characterised by damped heavy riffs and brutal growling vocal. Nervecell has all these necessary features and if they stay long enough and continue to produce good music, they will soon join the rank of respected death metal bands. Not only they are the only Dubai's well known death metal act, but they put a lot of effort to produce standard quality album, music video and merchandise. Nervecell breaks my stereotyping of Emiratis on music.


The next two bands called Chimaira and August Burns Red were the US bands. Chimaira's music was full of double pedals punctuated with a lot of rest. It was quite technical. August Burns Red's vocalist used a lot of high pitch growl. However I failed to appreciate the attire on stage of the members of August Burns Red. Call me old fashion but I think when it comes to stage performance, not only your playing must be tight but at least your clothes should be cool too.


August Burns red

Opeth? this Swedish band is legendary. I think their frontman Mikael Akerfeldt is quite a funny guy especially with his macho and gentle speech with the crowd. Or maybe he wanted to set up the gloomy ambience of doom death metal. Anyway it worked ! They had good sound quality on stage and their guitar riffs and keyboard composition were very melodic.

Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth

By the time Arch Enemy came on stage, majority of the crowd were already tired and exhausted. My back bone and calves were really in pain after standing and jumping for almost 5 hours. I saved my energy just to pogo for the song My Apocalypse. I wanted to join the mosh pit, but I scared I would get a pulled hamstrings. So better not. I was a little bit dissappointed with Arch Enemy's sound quality. It must have been due to the worn out backline system after 6 hours of overloaded decibels of death metal music. But it was great to see Mike Amott playing live in front of me.

Yeah ..Mike Amott and his ESP flying V

Angela Gossow...a lady with powerful voice !

We had a long break before Motorhead come up on stage. The organiser must have noticed the slow reaction from a very tired crowd throughout Arch Enemy' show. I managed to finish two shawarmas during the break and could not care less to lie down on the tarmac and gave my entire muscles a brief relief from any vertical pressure. I had never been to a long-hours metal festival like this in Malaysia. I was so exhausted.

rock n roll ..yeahhh..!!

Two black metal fans from Lebanon

I had never imagined to see Motorhead play live. I smirked when I see the latest look of their drummer Mr Mikkey Dee. My mental picture of him was the one he posed in King Diamond's Them album. Mr Lemmy Kilmister humbly opened his stage speech by saying "We are Motorhead and we play rock and roll". As if there were peoples who don't know them. Motorhead is the godfather of killer rock and roll riffs, period. It was the simplicity of the melody and rocking husky vocal of Lemmy Kilmister that made them legend. I was hoping they play Orgasmatron but they did not. After the first song Lemmy immediately asked the soundman to raise their amp volumes. It was really loud, really rock and roll attitude. Between the songs Mikkey Dee showed off his decades-old drumming skils. My jaw almost dropped. At the end of Mikkey's show, Lemmy simply said "Mikkey Dee, the best drummer in the world". In two of their songs, two leather clad ladies came on board the stage and did fire dance. It was spectacular !

Mr Lemmy Kilmister and his pyro dancer

Phill Campbell

Mikkey Dee...after 3 decades

It was my first experience and a great one. I never thought of seeing these legendary bands when I made a decision to move to Dubai.

I am indeed a very happy rocker now ! mashkuuuurrrr....

"There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life"

Federico Fellini Italian dramatist

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dubai Desert Rock Festival

It is the month of March and for the metal fans in Dubai, it means the time to practice that pogo dance again in an outdoor concert called Dubai Desert Rock Festival. Before I come to Dubai, I have never heard about this festival. Apparently this year's festival is going to be the 6th. The organiser is Center Stage Management who is very active in bringing various international artists to perform live in Dubai.

This year's Desert Rock Festival is featuring:

Arch Enemy




August Burns Red



Sincerely I have never really listened to these bands' music except a few songs by Motorhead and 4 months ago I bought Nervecell's Preaching the Venom album after I found out about them. But I am never too old to be their new fan and enjoy their music after this.

Tomorrow morning the Malaysians community here are going for a community picnic in an island in emirate of Umm al Quwaim. I am sure it is going to be fun and exciting but I have to pass this time. What a shame..but how can I miss Motorhead !! I drew their band's logo on my geography's textbook when I was in secondary school last time. I never imagined I will get the chance to see them alive in my lifetime !

So I have chosen pogo dance and blasting guitar sound over the calm and serene beach. I will enjoy myself ...I should...I need to...I better be..

Rock on....Hell yeah !!

Music has to breathe and sweat, you have to play it live

James Brown
(1933 - 2006)


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