Venue: Fort Canning Park, Singapore
Date: 5th March 2014
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: Nate Eileen Tjoeng
Special Thanks: Hazel, Andre, and the LAMC Productions team
Photos by Alvin Ho: Black Veil Brides | Five Finger Death Punch | Rob Zombie | Korn
Its Singapore’s inaugural rock festival. What would one expect?
Doors opened as early as before sundown, at 5:30pm.
Masses turned up in the ‘kosher’ dress code – black. A festival organized by promoter giant LAMC, there was no lack for the perfect accompaniment for a rock festival – booze and grub.
Despite it being almost six hours before the appearance of the headliner Korn, the field was already one-thirds filled up for Black Veil Brides.
Black Veil Brides
The five-man band started the evening with a roar. Not because they were dressed in their usual – black make-up and body paint – but it was not difficult to see that each of the glam rockers gave their all by shouting, jumping and rousing the crowd, while delivering their popular tracks.
The band was visually pleasing as the members were either baring their bodies or their muscular torsos, which must have been why many of their front row fans were screaming girls with dark eyeliners.
Andy Biersack, in his rusty, rock singer voice belted out, “I thought Singapore was really boring, people adhere to laws and all, but I met so many wonderful people here.” After pleasing the audience with those words, he dedicated the song “Fallen Angel” to the crowd and humbly thanked them for their support even though he claimed that they are not the best band around.
They ended their show that lasted only 45 minutes with “In The End”, and excused themselves for the Rock Festival’s exciting night ahead.
Five Finger Death Punch
The heavy metal band that hailed from Las Vegas took the stage after nearly an hour of set change. The tough looking members fit the metal band image – dreadlocks, tattoos, mohawks, and goatees.
FFDP was interesting to watch as Zoltan Bathory, guitarist, headbanged to every song by swirling his dreadlocks, and Jason walked across the stage while thrashing his guitar with his solos.
Ivan Moody, lead singer, eventually addressed the crowd firmly as he said, “Five Finger Death Punch has been known to have the craziest fans. I agree. From this day onwards I am going to give you a name. You are known as bad company.” The band then moved on to cover “Bad Company”, the song named after the band.
Moody got the crowd excited when he demanded to see a circle pit in front of him. “I want to see a circle!” He roared and saw the audience form one in front of his eyes. The crowd went into a frenzy and circled in front of him. He then urged everyone to sing along with him as he sang “Never Enough”.
“You guys are f**king beautiful!” he said, pleased with the audience obeying his commands.
FFDP then stripped themselves down to just Hook and Moody to do an acoustic piece, “Remember Everything”, allowing for a moment of reflection amid the high energy set.
Before Moody closed his set, he requested for the crowd to put up their lighters and cell phones in the sky and delivered his final song, “The Bleeding” while witnessing a magical sight in front of his eyes.
Before the crowd got a chance to see him, everyone was awed by his stage set up as it displayed five monotone images of zombie faces, including what looked like Frankenstein’s. Angry words were lined up boldly on the front of the stage as platforms. Incongruous words such as these: HATE KILL WAR, LOVE DEATH SEX, SUCK DIE CRUSH.
Soon after, the members came and reigned the atmosphere by each standing on one platform. Even the drummer was elevated right in the middle, on his own throne.
Zombie came out in a hat and a trench coat and set zombieland alive with his songs. He started with “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown”. After a few songs, he introduced his newest member Ginger, who was on the drum throne.
To everyone’s delight, Rob Zombie was a man with a wicked sense of humour. He commented, “We don’t usually do normal things. I love Singapore, but I don’t wanna live here forever.”
In the middle of his set, the crowd was distracted with the floating balls which were let loose on the field. The fist pumping was not just into the air, but to canon the balls across the field.
The band then performed “House of 1000 Corpses”. With the backdrop, audio effects, and the members in their make-up, it felt like Halloween once again. “You don’t have to be polite, just scream. You won’t scare me.” Zombie added.
He then challenged the crowd to guess the next song, as he was going to do something “old school”. Making fun he said, “I don’t mean year 2000, because you look like you are five. Yes you.” Suspense was over when he delivered a 1980 Diamond Head cover titled “Am I Evil?” A moment was given to John 5 to swoon everyone over with his solo guitar playing. The ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist was the closest thing Singapore could possibly get to Manson for now.
Zombie returned on stage donning an I Love SG tee shirt and reinstated his love for the country by coming out with the Singapore flag during the encore, “Dragula”.
Before he exited, he introduced his band members and said, “I am Mr. Zombie. Mrs. Zombie, will you come and take a picture with us?” To everyone’s surprise, Sheri Moon came on stage and posed for a picture with the band, with the crowd as a backdrop.
Zombie then left saying, “Coming soon to an Instagram near you!”
Hardcore Korn fans would have been disappointed by the lack of the VIP stage, which is a cage built on the stage behind where Korn usually plays for their current tour. The backdrop was simply a picture of TV sets featuring what looked like Elvis Presley, Justin Bieber, and ‘American Idiot’ on the screens. Their signature drum kit with two kick drums was set up though, leaving the waiting fans in anticipation.
The headliner appeared, culminating the night. Korn was finally in Singapore, after so many years of their career in music. Jonathan Davis looked like he had been on some elixir of youth, as he seemed exactly like how he looked 10 years ago.
Korn dished out their all time favourites such as “Falling Away From Me”, “Spike In My Veins”, and “Good God”, where the audience bellowed back ecstatically, “Why don’t you get the f**k out of my face now!”
For the introduction of “Shoots and Ladders”, Davis walked out with his bagpipes, treating the crowd to a spectacular sight. The band then taunted the audience with their rendition of nursery rhymes in the song. Davis’ crescendos in the song paved the way for his “speaking in tongues” moments later on.
The moment finally came for “Freak on a Leash”, a number that features moments of Davis uttering rubbish like he was in some kind of trance. The gibberish sounded totally legitimate to the fans of course, as it was a moment they were waiting for.
Korn ended off with “Blind”, and guitarist Munky explained that Davis was actually sick but he went on to deliver the show, earning truckloads of respect from the audience.