Rock On Festival 2017

Venue: Millian, Singapore
Date: 30th April 2017
Promoters: Skesh Entertainment, Rockiss, and Impact Live
Review by: Maisha G.
Special Thanks: The Impact Live team

I can’t say that I’ve been into the metalcore genre for a long period of time but I feel that I have discovered and listened to enough bands to know the various styles adopted by them, their musical directions and of course, the identity to all good metalcore bands are of course their signature breakdowns in between the bridges of the songs.

I am a huge fan of August Burns Red and I enjoy Parkway Drive through and through but something about this band that made me question the versatility of the metalcore music and how much it has expanded has taught me to not be too comfortable with a particular direction of the straight forward repetitive riffs and the furious breakdowns.

I See Stars is one of the bands that I have come to know and grew interested in over the years with their amalgamation of electronic music and metalcore and how they marry it so well with the songs and the lyrics, with the accompaniment of the growls and screams, as well as the clean vocals. It took me a while to get into I See Stars but I loved every bit of the tracks off their album ‘New Demons’ and upon learning about the recently released album titled ‘Treehouse’ and also learning about their upcoming tour, I was only hoping that they’d make a pit stop in Singapore. The dates were announced and that they were going to perform in Jakarta for Hammersonic festival. I spared no thoughts in buying the tickets and the flights to go over to Indonesia, with the many other amazing bands in the lineup, I cannot afford the chance to miss out on this. And a week after the announcement, I was told that they were coming to Singapore and I could not miss the chance to catch them live in my own homeland.

The evening started with our fellow regional heroes who opened the show. Bands like False Plaintiff from Singapore and Scarlet Heroes from Malaysia gracing the stage but the band that got my attention and I was caught in the moment and moshing alone was this band called Sekumpulan Orang Gila and they call themselves ‘SOG’ for short. They reminded me so much of August Burns Red and the growls the vocalist was capable of reaching was comparable to that of Alex Koehler from Chelsea Grin. It was a shame that their set was a short one with only four songs but one of the songs that stuck out was “40% Disco”. The band shared that Tyler Carter was featured on the song and I was blown away as I am a fan of Woe, Is Me and the newly formed band Issues. The synchronized beats got my heart reeling and I was just in massive awe of how talented they are. I’m confident they would put a landmark for themselves out there one fine day and I’m hoping they’ll clinch a spot in the lineup for Vans Warped Tour sometime in the future.

The crowd grew exponentially as the night drew closer to the main course for the show. It was their first time in Singapore but we were hoping that the crowd could be better but nonetheless, the crowd moved closer to the stage and we were greeted by the band as they started the night with a track off their album ‘Treehouse’ with the song “Running With Scissors”. I was still trying to get into their new albums but I never got the chance to revisit the album until a few days before the show itself. However, listening to it live before me made me fall in love with the song even more than before.

As soon as the familiar tune came on and I jumped as high as I could as Devin sang the lyrics to the song that started off “People like you” off the song titled “Violent Bounce (People Like You)”. The song has a back story to it of which it was written for Ronnie Radke from the controversial tour they had with the band Falling In Reverse where they were chased out of the concert venue for the reasons known best to Ronnie and his weird and unpredictable antics. The song was a track off their album ‘New Demons’ which I enjoyed through and through. The band went through a reshuffling of their members and I thought that the reshuffling would affect their performances for their older songs from their older albums but Devin sang the song so effortlessly that we forgot there was even a major change in the band’s playing and positioning.

When they played the song “New Demons”, I found myself standing right infront of Devin and there were a couple of times where he was kneeling right infront of me as he belt the notes to the songs. And I was just staring at how perfect of a human he is and I could feel the sincere deliverance in the songs that he sang. He sang with all his heart and I loved every bit of it. The next moment as soon as the familiar breakdown materialise, I took off my hair tie and undo the bun in my hair as I headbanged to the song and joined the mosh pit. I didn’t think I would have moshed my heart out that night but I did and I could see myself in the videos my friends took that I was enjoying myself thoroughly.

“Murder Mitten” was the last song for the night and the crowd went literally wild and everyone was jumping and moshing and there was no one in sight who was standing still. The song was like the band’s identity and with the instantaneous mention of the song title would bring back the instant memory of I See Stars. It was nothing short of amazing though I would love for them to perform “Boris The Animal”, my ultimate favourite song off the ‘New Demons’ album.

I waved to the band goodbye and told Andrew that I’ll be seeing them in Jakarta and he went in for the hug and it left me all excited and pumped up for Hammersonic. Just another week to go.

Thank you Rockiss for this amazing night. Words failed me on how much this night was needed after the long wait.