Thursday, August 20, 2009

MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia '09

(Originally written on the 16th of August, 2009)

So yesterday (and the first few hours of today) was pretty awesome. I started out waking up at 6am and getting ready for BB. Putting on my contact lenses (that I had got a few days ago specifically for this occasion) went quite quick. Once my uniform was in order and I had everything packed, I took my maid's Kancil and drove all the way to Cheras. BB was alright, although I got a little tired of explaining my sunburn to people who asked why I was so red.

After leaving early and skipping a planning meeting (what a tragedy, eh?), I drove myself all the way back to Bangsar to get ready for the concert. Took a shower, shaved, changed into some nice clothes, used the mouth wash I got for free from a McDonald's breakfast meal, packed some clothes for the afterparty, and put some gel in my hair (with my mum's help. Fashion is not my strong point). After that I had some brunch. Mmm, bacon and eggs. When that was done it was time to drive all the way to Sunway, but not before stopping by at college to get a hundred bucks spending money and a quick internet fix (the 'net at my house broke a couple days ago and none of us felt like going through the headache of fixing it), but the computer lab was closed on Saturdays so I had to just settle for the ATM money.

When I got to Sunway it was around one o'clock. I got myself some outdoor parking (of which there was plenty, surprisingly) and then proceeded to the nearest internet cafe. An hour later I went to check the line for the mosh pit tickets. Only one group of people was waiting and nobody was manning the counters, so I decided to go for a walk around. I wandered around the hotel to get a look at the concert area, had lunch at Popeyes (better than KFC, worse than Hartz Chicken Buffet), and tried to find some books at Popular and MPH (Neither have Watchmen OR the Zombie Survival Guide. For some reason the last book they had in stock for the latter was classified in the Junior Readers area of Popular). When all that was done I returned to the line and found Nadia and Effie, my friends from college, already had a place in the now-long line, and so I joined them. We chatted for a while and they went off to the toilet. While they were gone, the drummer from Boys Like Girls showed up with some people from MTV Korea. The crowd was pretty enthusiastic. I called the girls, but they came too late. They were around to see me get interviewed by MTV Korea, so that was nice. I hope that clip shows up on YouTube, even if I don't understand it.

We waited in line some more and made a new friend, Pajol. We were all wondering when the line would start to move because each of our letters had different opening times listed for the mosh pit registration. Nadia and Effie's letter said 4:30, mine said 4:00, and Pajol's ticket said 3:30. In the meanwhile we saw a senior from our college outside the line. I asked if she wanted to join us in our spot near-ish to the front, but she was okay where she was. Some other guy behind us claimed to be from HELP, too, but I didn't recognize any of the lecturers he named, so he stayed where he was. The line finally started moving at around 3:45 and I ran off quickly to get some drinks. Red Bull for the girls, Pepsi for myself. We reached the counter before we could finish the drinks and were forced to leave a can of Red Bull behind as no food or drinks were allowed. They gave us our wet weather wear, wrist band slash entry ticket, and a fan, and on we went.

On our way to the pit we met another friend from college, JiaYin. She had the red pass, though, so she was outside the pit in the main audience area. We managed to scream a bit of conversation back and forth for a bit before heading on into the pit. The whole surf pool in Sunway had been drained for the event, and the mosh pit was right at the start of the pool near the stage. It was pretty huge. The stage was separated from the pit by about a sidewalk's width, so there wasn't a chance of reaching out and touching the band. The whole front was filled with people up against the barrier anyway, so we decided to just hang back, take pictures, and enjoy the music videos from the bands that they were looping on the screens on either side of the stage. Michael Jackson got played a little, too, but aside from that the screen was only showing commercials and songs from the bands who would be performing later on. It started drizzling at one point, but I decided not to wear the wet weather wear because I had a spare change of clothes in the car and I look sexier wet anyway. A little before the show started we met my Study Skills lecturer, Miss Selena, and her boyfriend, who apparently had the connections to get them tickets to the mosh pit. Cool guy. We also met up with our senior from HELP again, and I recognized her as Ashley. I'm a bit surprised I didn't recognize her earlier, since she and Juria had been the ones to convince me to dance on Orientation Night at college. She'd also got me to join a dance competition. I also saw the guy from who had given me and Elo our mosh pit tickets and I made sure to thank him.

The show started right when I was taking Miss Selena to see JiaYin, so as far as I know those two didn't see each other that night. The opening act was this local guy who was without a backing band although he had some pretty sweet MJ-esque dance moves. When we pushed our way to the front we could see that the crowd was more focused on Boys Like Girls, who were standing backstage. When the opening act was over there was a long break of nothing as Nadia, Effie, Pajol and I tried to get closer to the front without much success and the crew prepared the stage for the bands. A DJ came out and got the crowd pumped with a mix that started with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", which I felt quite awesome for recognizing. Some more stuff happened with the VJs and stuff but I have either forgotten about it or I can't be arsed to write about it.

The first band up was a local band, Estranged. Their bassist wore a kimono and what could be described as a mime mask. That was pretty cool. It was loud, their songs were powerful enough to keep the crowd pumping. I managed to inch a wee bit closer to the front.

After some more VJ silliness and some T-shirt giveaways it was time for Boys Like Girls. The crowd was very excited when they came on stage, and their performance was great. They started off by graciously calling for the crowd to cheer for all the other bands. They were pretty smart about that, because so far Boys Like Girls seemed to be the only band on the crowd's mind, so it was nice of them to acknowledge that there were other bands there too. I liked how they played the intro to Move Along when they mentioned the All-American Rejects. That solidified their awesomeness to me. When they started playing their songs it was amazing. I had a great time pumping my arm in the air and attempting to jump around and such. The band was throwing guitar picks out like candy, and every time one landed the people nearest would try and go for it and the people near them would use the distraction to squeeze closer to the front. They also threw out their towels, water bottles, and water inside said bottles for the crowd to enjoy. I managed to grab a bottle cap when I had bent down to look for a thrown pick, so that was okay. The band closed their performance with The Great Escape, and they really saved the best for last. The lead singer climbed the scaffolding on the side of the stage to sing the chorus, and the lead guitarist climbed right down to the front of the mosh pit barrier to get up close with the audience. Nadia and Effie weren't quite close enough to touch him, but it was great anyway. The only downside was when someone at the back threw a fan forward and it hit me on the head. I don't care if it was made of paper, it still hurt. People kept throwing things forward the rest of the concert. Not really sure why, probably because they're idiots.

When Boys Like Girls left the stage they announced a short break. We went out and bought some overpriced drinks. We decided to sit down 'till the next performance as we were pretty tired out. The rain had stopped a while back, so we found a place on the right side of the mosh pit to spread out some wet weather gear to sit down on and chillaxed. I massaged the girls' backs and Pajol took a few more pictures while we waited. Next up was Raygun, a pretty awesome British band. I decided to stand up when I saw some actual moshing taking place. It was pretty mild, just a dozen or so dudes running into each other and doing some crazy dancing and having a great time, but it was still nice to see some moshing in the mosh pit instead of the normal concert stuff that everyone else was doing. Effie and I danced near them for a while, but we didn't join in. I was tempted to a couple of times, but ultimately I decided against it. Raygun's performance was a nice surprise. It was very energetic so I didn't have a hard time getting pumped up to dance to it.

After that was Pixie Lott and Hoobastank. Pixie Lott was okay, but I was seated for most of her time on stage. Effie went to the front during their performance, and we caught up with her during the break when the VJs were throwing out free stuff. We were quite close to the front again, even if we were a bit off-center. Hoobastank was really good. They got some great audience participation during their songs, and I guess I had the most fun during their time on stage. When it was about time for them to end, the lead singer told everyone that he was gonna "test how well you know your music". Since all the other bands had been saving up their most famous hits for last, everyone was ready for The Reason, so it was even more awesome when they surprised us with Ghostbusters. When that was done they had everyone join in together for The Reason.

When that was done it was time for the band that most of the people had come to see. The All-American Rejects made an impressive entrance with Dirty Little Secret. The lead singer wore a green singlet and he was covered in body glitter, which was just insane enough to be awesome. Once again, picks and water bottles were liberally distributed among the crowd. Their songs were incredible and everyone had a great time. They closed with Gives You Hell, and the lead singer climbed the scaffolding on the other side of the stage from the one that Boys Like Girls had climbed. The only strange thing was that they didn't play Move Along, which meant that anyone who went for that song had to be satisfied with what they got from Boys Like Girls, which I find a bit ironic.

After the All-American Rejects, most of the crowd left and the rest sat down. I can't imagine that Kasabian, the next band, were too happy about that. They played for a really long time, and then they came back for an encore. They were okay, I guess, but it was a bit upsetting that when I finally got to the front all I did was fan myself and lean against the barrier because of how unenthusiastic I was. The crowd was also getting rowdy, and some stuff got thrown on stage. Security moved in to the barrier between the stage and the crowd, which was kind of pointless because they were still cut off from both the musicians and the crowd. A couple of people managed to break the rules and crowd surf and the security was helpless to do anything except wave their flashlights in their general direction.

When the show was finally over, we headed up to see about going to the afterparty. The girls and Pajol went to 7-11 to top up their credit and I went to my car to get changed. After I was nice and fresh I met up with them and we went to wait in line. I told Nadia to give me ten minutes in line and if no significant progress had been made then I would give up and we could just go get something to eat. The ten minutes expired and I only moved a few steps in front. I pleaded for one more minute and got it. Sure enough, the line surged forward. At the new rate we would be at the front in ten minutes. Nadia reluctantly joined me. After a while of waiting I went to the front of the line to see if they were checking ID. Apparently it was just a quick pat-down and a check that you had the concert ticket/wristband thing. I got back in line and soon we were near the door. Just then someone at the counter asked for our invitations. I hadn't noticed that you needed to have an invitation from the sponsors before going in. We left the line and wandered about looking for something to eat before saying our goodbyes to Effie and Pajol.

I was driving Nadia home, so we walked to the car and tried to figure out how to leave the parking lot. I found the autopay machines, rejoiced at the low low ticket price of RM3, got back into the car, and reversed into another Kancil. Fortunately it was full of friendly dudes who assessed that no major damage had been done and I shouldn't worry about it. I was very very relieved and thanked them as I left. My pattern of only having car accidents at slow speeds when parking and leaving parking areas remained unbroken.

Nadia and I talked along the way back and got lost a few times, but eventually we made it to a McDonald's near her house. I was shafted with some half-hour old fries while she got a nice fresh batch. We lost our appetites somewhere near the end of the meal and made our way back to the car. I had forgotten to turn the lights off, but the battery still worked. We passed a police roadblock one the way to her house, but apparently I was too white to be checked and they let me pass without any hassle.

After I dropped Nadia off I tried to navigate my way back while singing off-key to myself. I ended up taking a five-ringgit shortcut through the empty KLCC parking lot and popping out in a totally unfamiliar part of town. After driving around a bit I was just about to admit I was totally lost when I looked to the right and saw the tallest buildings in the country staring me in the face. From there it wasn't too hard to find my way back.

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