Monday, April 14, 2014

Rodfest 2014 - Metal in Korea

Those who know me know I am a big music fan - I'd have to be to have dedicated so much of my life to it. Those who know me well (with the exception of a few) would probably never guess that this oboe playing chorus teacher was at one time a heavy metal fan. Okay, so it was a pretty brief period...a good number of years ago...and it wasn't death metal...but every once in a while my inner rocker comes out to play, as it did with my recent concert experience in South Korea.

As a member of the 3rd K-Performance Supporters for the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO), I was given a free ticket for review and the chance to attend the RODFEST 2014 concert. At first I thought, "Nah, not for me anymore"...but then I said, "Oh, why not!" and ended up having a great time. I've included some links to videos of the acts I could find on-line - listen at your own risk!!

It was held at the Yes MUV Hall, in the Hapjeong area of Seoul - a busy place with a thriving  indie art and music culture. We passed a number of theaters and some artists painting street art as we made our way through the neighborhood. A fellow supporter and I had dinner beforehand at the Aloha Table: Waikiki - a very tasty meal and drinks, with a nice atmosphere - I highly recommend it!

As we descended into the basement theater, I was a little apprehensive, as the smokey air was very visible from the entrance - but I think it was more of an effect from machines, rather than actual smoke from cigarettes - I didn't see or smell any (even though there are a lot of smokers in Korea) and once home, there was no lingering smell. There is not a huge metal following in Korea, so this was a small, intimate theater with about 150-200 in attendance.  A VERY eclectic group of all ages and backgrounds were head banging along to the 4-5 song sets.

The concert started right on time with the Satellights - they weren't on the original poster line-up, and may have been the Power Up Project winner, but were an okay band - no drummer, so they used a drum machine and sang in all Korean - well, mostly screamed.

Next up was NOEAZY - the drummer was pretty sick on a few tunes - complex rhythms all over the place. They were definitely a metal band and were a good group, even with the squeaky clean looking frontman.

Up next was Transfixion, which got a few ladies very excited - this was more mellow than metal and I could actually find quite a few videos by them - here's "Tonight", which was a big hit.  As with most K-Pop over here, it's a mix of Korean and English - enjoy!

The "veterans" were up next - Silent Eye - complete with the expected long hair and rocker clothing style.  They were great - and loud - which prompted me to pop in my ear plugs, to save myself from an unnecessary headache and hearing loss later.  It actually helped me hear the words better, so they stayed in for the rest of the concert - and some of my neighbors were very envious!

NATN kept up the loud, metal factor and got the crowd going to where a mosh pitt even, I did not participate...but I did comment to my friend that it was a very civilized affair. Ring around the rosy for a bit, and then shoulder bumper cars. It made me smile.

The final act I caught was Diablo - the crowd was definitely waiting for them and they did not disappoint. They had the only F-bombs of the evening - quite a few, actually - and even though the crowd asked for more, they ended their set around 8:30.

For those in Korea, this theater was easy to find - take the subway to Hapjeong, exit 3 and it's a few easy blocks of walking. Lots to see in that area and some great restaurants!

No comments:

Post a Comment