Venue: KL Live, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 28th April 2010
Promoter & Organizer: This Feeling KL, Stellar PR & Events
Review by: Liz (guiltstricken)
Special Thanks: Gael, Kelly, Marc & the This Feeling KL & Stellar PR Events teams
The five guys (4+1 touring keyboardist) of Stereophonics were flawless.
Alas, this is where the quandary starts trickling in. You get so comfortable and in total captivation by their musicianship that you start to wonder if you were even in a live concert. The whole stage was set up perfectly. The dry ice effect (probably more tobacco smoke than dry ice), blazing lights from all directions and top notch sounding audio resonating through the halls of KL Live. It seemed too good to be real.
The only constant reminder of course was Kelly Jones himself in flesh and blood giving you scraps of his thoughts by belting out song after song after song in sheer confidence. As you soak up everything they have to offer, there’s only one way of giving back. It was an absolute sight to behold as everyone paused in time and chanted in unison to the lyrics of Dakota during the encore but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
JUNK magazine did a great job helping This Feeling KL to spread the word out early March that Stereophonics will be stopping by Malaysia. By the time the tickets were announced in April, word has already stretched to long time fans eagerly waiting for the revival of Britrock in Malaysia. Kudos to This Feeling KL for their effort, but a huge howler came up when there was a mammoth mess up of the queue pre-gig. Fans that arrived early were left disappointed and upset when they found themselves squirming with late comers. However, noting that this was perhaps the first major event organized by This Feeling KL, it was quickly forgiven.
Rockstars are never punctual so when Stereophonics emerged in a very Malaysian time-keeping manner at 9:25pm the crowd was almost delirious as Live N Love echoed abrasively catching any one off guard. The blinking multi coloured neon lights were a sight to behold as it blends with every pitch perfect note and drum beat. More so if you’ve got a bird’s eye view of the whole stage from the balcony. It almost tells a story of its own added to the weight from Kelly’s lyrics. From the front however, it was a nightmare for photogs to get the right camera settings. The lights were clearly set up for arenas and stadiums that Stereophonics have now become regular patrons of. Basking in the glorious lights, all five seem to play in their own silhouettes and one can only hope the lights would be from the front to see more of their facial expressions (I mean, let’s not put Kelly Jones’ pretty face to waste, shall we?)
For a guy that usually dons his leather jacket and black shades, we can excuse Kelly if he seemed slightly detached with the audience. His luscious Gibson SG guitar with a bejeweled strap stole the hearts of many but it’s the music that really speaks. Take it from the pair of young lovebirds, soaking in the lyrics of Could You Be The One hand in hand and eyes gazing timidly into each other as the song panned out.
Speaking of hands… (here we go) how lovely was the fact that every time Kelly raise his glorified hands, the crowd cheered even louder? Amusing himself (for lack of better words), Kelly played a little game of what I’d like to call “hands and cheers” with the mass as they made their final bow out. They left on such a high after the Malaysian gig but the Asian leg of the Keep Calm and Carry On tour may have ended slightly sour with a particular slipper incident in Singapore two nights after.
Forgive my massive lack of mention for Adam, Javier, Richard and Tony (who celebrated his birthday that day!). They were the true champions of the night, allowing Kelly a platform for storytelling. Richard was particularly groovy with his bass and when met after the gig, he was still in high spirits and jocund company albeit sleeves folded up as high up as they can go due to the scorching Malaysian heat.
With 17 years of experience in their pocket, Stereophonics weighed their options and chose a splendid set list. Going through all the best moments from that night would take a while with the massive 24 songs played, but I shall remain forever grateful to be able to listen to A Thousand Trees live. At the end of the day, leaving a Stereophonics gig may give you that very pleasant feeling of consuming a small portion of your favourite (vanilla) cupcake. Exhilaratingly memorable leaving you craving for more. It is with that very essence everyone went back to work and reality the next day with the intensity of Dakota still ringing in their ears.
1. Live ‘N Love
2. A Thousand Trees
3. More Life in a Tramps Vest
4. I Got Your Number
7. Pick A Part That’s New
9. Stuck in a Rut
10. Mr. Writer
11. Maybe Tomorrow
13. Have A Nice Day
15. My Own Worst Enemy
17. Could You Be The One
19. Bright Red Star
20. Caravan (Just Looking)
21. Local Boy in the Photograph
22. She’s Alright
23. The Bartender and The Thief