Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Butterfingers finale @ Istana Budaya 17-18 January 2009




This might come as a little late as far as the post-mortem reviews go. The event took place almost 2 weeks ago. For those expecting a full review of the sessions will find that this entry is just a recollection of me being there to witness the live shows myself. Heheh...anyway.......
For the benefit of those not familiar with the band, Butterfingers is a Malaysian band often credited as the catalyst who propelled grunge music into the local music industry in the mid 90s. Though their early incarnation was touted as very Nirvana-esque, their solid and dynamic progression to date in producing surprises in every of their musical offerings amazes many. Having shaken off the 'grunge-only' tag, their steady evolution saw them, eventually, dwelling into combining Malay folk tunes with modern rock twists. Their latest album, Kembali, is one helluva fine album indeed. So much so, it was spunned endlessly in yours truly's car CD player since its release way back in August '08! :p
Right, so there were 4 sessions altogether....with those who opted to go for all 4 shows given a special bulk discount price of RM120, where else those who only wanted to catch the shows individually would have to fork out RM35 per show. Brief details of the shows are as follows:
Saturday
2.30-4.00 pm: 1996-2001 acoustic session
8.30-10.00pm: Kembali acoustic session
Sunday
2.30-4.00pm: Transcendence 10-Year anniversary rock out session
8.30-10.00pm: Kembali electric-set
Yours truly bought tickets for the 1st and last show (family commitments and due to some other pressing matters). A special thanks to my wife who took full-time duty to take care of our baby son, without which, I could not have made it for both sessions. Though' the pictures above shows 4 tickets, only 2 were mine, the other 2 belonged to a friend of mine who also took time off from his gruelling shift-laden work to attend Butterfingers' last shows.
Did I say last? Yeah, I did. Their website (and later during the final moments of the show) mentioned that the band would take a break and go into an indefinite hiatus. One would be continuing his studies in the States and one would be pursuing a career in Canada. This would be the last chance to catch them 'live' since they implicitly mentioned again and again that the band would be laid to rest for the next 5 years or so.
So why only the 1st and the last show you may ask? Well, the 1st set, is sort of a 'must-watch' for me...since they were playing their staples from '96-'01. And they did not disappoint by playing the songs from 1.2 milligram right up to Malayneum albums. Honestly, I was hoping for more songs from their 1st two albums with less focus on their Transcendence & Malayneum albums. The song lists if I may remember vividly were Delirium, Epitome, Mating Season, Ruin By The Selling Out, Moksha, Fire Is A Curse, Girl Friday, Faculties of The Mind....*phew*...can't remember the rest, but they ended the set with The Chemistry (Between Us). By the way, in my opinion, the set looked like a reminiscense of MTV's unplugged session for a certain Grunge band in the early 90s.....complete with organised seating arrangements, orchestral backing and all! There was an opening act by another local band, Bunkface, which I didn't pay attention to as much, since it wasn't really the genre/type of music I listen to (huge nod to Sum 41 and Green Day it seemed!).

While I missed the 2nd set, I felt that I can afford to miss it since I would be watching the electric version of the set the day after. So, I won't be talking much on the 2nd show. Now, the 3rd set however, was such a roaring success according to those who were there. Though they played mainly songs from their Transcendence album, they also played songs from their 1st 2 albums...which were the ones I was hoping to hear in abundance! Dammit...hehe....
The 4th set is the one anxiously anticipated by most Butter fans as they were scheduled to play their Kembali album in totality (tho' they missed to play the one song I was hoping they would reproduce live!). Upon entry, I noticed that their orchestral backing was still utilised for this particular electric set, so expectations were high on the type of sound that was going to be produced. I managed to weasel my way to be in the 2nd row right in front of LoQue (the lead guitarist) to get a clear view of his guitar playing (ulterior motive! Heheh). Another downside was that I was also right in front of the right speaker, so I anticipated a blaring time.....(prepare, my-dear-ears!)...but surprisingly the noise level was quite tolerable, in fact I was able to hear the crowd's constant chattering around me.
The set kicked off with Air Liur Di Kuala Lumpur....followed by the rest of the Kembali repertoire.......Bebas, Maharani, Terus Terang, Merdeka, Joget Global etc. In between those songs, they also played songs from their Selamat Tinggal Dunia album, which I often neglect prior to to attending the show. They sound excellent performing the songs live, and I have since learnt to appreciate the 'Dunia album more after hearing the songs being performed with full of energy. There were a couple of times were the band stopped for their break and the MCs would go around and asked the crowd on who were their favourite Butter personnel is....as usual many chosed the lead singer or the lead guitarist himself, but interestingly, one of the attendees managed to mentioned Kalai, their former drummer's name. Interesting nod to the former member.
One point to ponder was that that the whole 4 sets were taped and are expected to be released as a DVD box-set. So those who can't get enough of the band (or couldn't make it for the sessions) could still experience the ambience later. Over and above, I think it was a good sign that Istana Budaya is beginning to mellow down and allow a rock band to perform at an otherwise theatrical/protocol-infused venue. I sense that more and more rock acts are going to take place there as well in the near future. Heheh.....
Well, that's it from me......

***Apologies for the low clarity/lack of pictures. There was a house rule that prohibits audiences to bring cameras in. And stern warnings were given to those who try to snap with their camera-phones (tho' some did managed to slip in their digitals and DSLRs anyway!).

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4 Comments:

Mr_Rizal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr_Rizal said...

"the other 2 belonged to a friend of mine who also took time off from his gruelling shift-laden work to attend Butterfingers' last shows." - Is it me that was meant in your word...!! lalala...!!

And i managed to get them signed on your KEMBALI CD layout that night... Fuh!! so many people rebut rebut mau autograph...!!

childlike84 said...

heyyy i didint know they are perfroming at istana budaya!! that seemed very nice la..shit. i aint the fan but music universal rite?aaargh! im jealous..hehe

by the way susah la nak komen..u bukak la option wide sket for comment giver...open user

The Rebel said...

Mr Rizal - Terima kasih kerana bersusah payah beratur dan bersua muka dgn En Emmet utk mendapatkan signatures dia org!

Mr childlike84 - Guess u'll be missing them fr the next 5 years! heheh.....

btw, already acceded to ur request for a wider option fr posting comments.