Rock On Festival 2019

Venue: The Grand Hall @ Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus, Malaysia
Date: 27th April 2019
Promoter: Skesh Entertainment
Review by: Sofea A.
Special Thanks: The Rockiss and Skesh Entertainment teams
Photos by Shamiera Z.

With all the bands that came last year, 2019 has a lot to live up to. As one of the biggest pop punk legends Mayday Parade began announcing South East Asia dates early in the new year, including one in our neighboring country just a bridge away, Singapore, fans were spamming not only Mayday Parade’s social media, but also promoters who are familiar in bringing bands of the same genre into the country. Wishes came true when Skesh Entertainment announced Rockiss’ Rock On Festival with none other than Mayday Parade scheduled to play a full headline set! With the Rock On Pass to meet the boys themselves selling out in a day, it was set to be an event of the year thus far.

We were in for another surprise when Skesh Entertainment announced another international act which turns out to be none other than Sydney, Australia’s up and coming pop punk band, With Confidence! Set to play in the Grand Hall of Subang Jaya’s star educational establishment Taylor’s University on April 27th, this is the second year for Rock On Festival with the first one being held in 2015. As the day approaches, the full line-up was released with a number of local acts. It was a dream weekend for the emo kids as the festival commenced at 2pm with Des Panik having the honors of starting the show! It was followed by Modescape and Trophy Knives, setting the bar high with riffs and sing-along tunes to get the crowd going.

Following that was a charismatic performance by An Honest Mistake, entertaining as ever with Darren Teh’s wit and iconic pink hair. Patriots were up next, donned in their signature army paints on their faces, performing famous tunes as fans sing along to. As they end their set, it was Sekumpulan Orang Gila (SOG)’s turn to rock out the stage with their hardcore melodies, urging fans to two-step and mosh along. Rock On Festival attendees are in for a treat as Oh Chentaku, whom has not been on stage for some period of time, gave a performance to remember, as lead singer Myo belts out well-known tunes from once upon a time ago. Music is never lost in time.

As Myo teased the fans with the words to Mayday Parade’s Three Cheers for Five Years, fans of all ages cheer and scream in excitement for the headliner. But before they take the stage, it was With Confidence’s time to shine. It was the trio’s very first time in Malaysia and they killed it. Starting with a heavy number “Keeper”, it got the fans headbanging and screaming along to lead singer and bassist Jayden Seeley. With a set time of one hour, With Confidence gave Malaysia a taste of the Australian poppunk scene that will one day take over the world.

Performing a single from their new album “Love & Loathing”, fans sang along to “That Something”. Next came tunes from their first full-length album “Better Weather” which were “We’ll Be Okay”, “Archers” and “Dinner Bell”. On stage, Jayden and the rest of the guys, Inigo Del Carmen, Josh Brozzesi and their touring member Scott McLaughlin talked about their time exploring Malaysia, giving a shout out to the monkeys of Batu Caves. They continued along their set with a fast one, “Jaded” and “Moving Boxes”, amongst others. Jayden Seeley then toned it down with a mellow performance of “Long Night” but picked it up again with “Here for Nothing” and a song off their first EP, “Godzilla”. As it reaches the end of their set, they ended it with the new single “Pâquerette” followed by “Icarus” and lastly, “Voldermort”. It was a perfect set before the main act.

As the stage lights dimmed and the sign flipped, fans were cheering for Mayday Parade to take the stage. The buzz in the venue went up on a higher notch when the members of Mayday Parade took the stage with “Never Sure”. Just when I thought the crowd couldn’t get any louder, it went even crazier as they played a definite fan favorite, and a personal throwback, “Jersey” as their second song! It was then followed by “It’s Hard to Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated by Bolts of Lightning”. I could never say the full title of the song in one breath, but Derek Sanders definitely did. After a few more songs, out came the sweet little song “Piece of Your Heart”, which made all the couples a little emotional. With questions of the fans loving emo music being thrown out to the crowd, Derek Sanders played a short medley of New Found Glory’s “My Friends Over You”, My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Okay” and Taking Back Sunday’s “Cute Without The ‘e'” before tearing the stage with “Jamie All Over”!

What came next made every old school Mayday Parade fans’ heart full with performances of “Anywhere But Here”, “When You See My Friends”, “Miserable At Best” and “Stay”, with the latter two being performed on the piano. It was truly a walk down memory lane as these songs were the anthem of my teenage years. It went even sweeter with “Three Cheers For Five Years”! It was evident that everyone did not want the night to end as they ended with “Oh Well, Oh Well” as their last song. Chants of “We want more!” grew louder and louder which turned to cheers as they came for the only encore of the night with “I’d Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song is About”. With promises of not making us wait for another 5 years for them to come to Malaysia again, they bid farewell as we bid farewell to our emo memories.