Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lavigne's Black Star Week

In conjunction with Avril Lavigne's Black Star Tour which ended yesterday, having Malaysia as her last performance venue for the tour, I decided to blog about the whole week in one go. I'll try to tell each story as brief but complete as I could,with only the highlighted events included.

Day 1 - Sunday : Lunch with the Elite Team

So apparently Mahirah and Nadzmi secretly planned a lunch date with all the members of the Elite team prior to the departure of  a few of us to other unis, it was initially meant to celebrate the anniversary of the Elites and as a farewell for them. Well, things don't always go as we plan ; something came up and Mahirah herself couldn't make it so the organizing duties have been passed to the co-host of the event, Nadzmi. in spite of the fact that it was meant for the Elites, we brought in Dzaim's friend to join us under the concept of 'the more the merrier'. Jessie and I took the time we had while waiting for our food to arrive to prepare charades and plan out Music Club's first ever meeting. We talked for a bit while pictures were captured.Then everyone dispersed, where Josh had bowling practice, Benson had another appointment to attend to, while Dzaim's gang headed to One Utama to settle their preparations for their France trip,which left Faiz,Nadzmi and me alone. So the three of us walked to MBO to watch Journey 2. Not a bad movie at all to be honest and all three of us had a great time. pics credits to Nadzmi photography.

Day 2 - Monday : 1st Music Club Meeting in 2012

Not sure if anyone is aware of how I've been actively spamming the Music Club page lately ; the point? I'm a junior committee of the club now,and I were to handle meetings and other Music Club activities. To be perfectly honest, it was awkward at first, especially with the fact that only the junior committee were there while Benson only arrived later on.There was nothing scarier than trying to make a good impression and handling a crowd of new faces. This was also the first time we had a meeting in the Experimental Theatre aka The Box. I started to nervously approach the new members and got to know a few of them (whose names I could've sworn I had troubles remembering, lol). It went pretty well since they're quite warm , phew. Then Josh got to their attention when we did an introductory speech. They were then divided into 3 groups and we played charades. These groups were to guess the names of artists written on pieces of paper held by their leaders. They were to sing out songs by the artists ; alright I confess most of the committee did help the junior out. So as a result, all three groups were then required to each prepare a love song performance while the Elites, too, had to prepare ourselves to showcase and demonstrate who we are to them. The loser needed to perform first. Neo,Josh, Benson, Faiz and me performed Breakeven on behalf of the Elites. (photos credits to Nadzmi Photography)

Day 4 - Wednesday (Pavilion with the Musketeers)

It's been awhile since us trio : Mahirah, Faiz and me, had gone for a proper lunch date and outing,so this time, instead of having lunches in our uni, we decided to twist our plans a little bit. Faiz fetched me from my house and we headed for M's in Mont Kiara. I finally met her mom and got to somewhat chat with her for a little bit. We then headed for Pavilion. Traffic was quite smooth (my mom called be on my way there, making sure I come home early because I had a last minute notice to settle my scholarship application that night), and the first thing on our minds was to grab lunch. After several contemplation (and arguments lol) we finally settled down in Nando's. To save up, we ordered the Nando's 4-pax platter and a dessert. It was pretty amusing how the place doesn't seem to have enough staff when we were there, there seemed to only be one waitre on duty o.O peculiar, I know. After we finished our meals, they told me they were taking me to a 'surprise place'. As much as I love surprises, I hate curiosity! can't believe they would put me in that situation for the whole night! lol. Finally, mystery's solved. Turned out they were taking me to this newly opened haven for makeup addicts : Sephora, which was situated just opposite the main Pavilion building. Of course, what's the purpose of stepping into a makeup store and NOT dolling up yourself right? Faiz was on makeup duties, and I must say he might as well just work there xD judging by the standard of his skillful hands.Then we were up for a little facial cleansing talk by one of the salesgirls (dubbed E-een), as convincing as it sounded, I'd stick to my old face washing routine,too lazy to bother xD our next stop was Sticky, a candy place that Mahirah favors a lot. We were lucky to have been able to witness the candy being made by hand. Then we did a little more strolling before we finally decided to grab a Chatime (*disclaimer : it's a very popular chillout place in Malaysia that mainly sells bubble tea and other Taiwanese style drinks in plastic cups) and then took pictures with the touring bear statues to wrap up the whole outing. (photos credits to Mahirah Photography).

Day 6 - Friday (Jam session with Band 93)

It was the 17th already and I've never been this glad to have made up an alibi to cancel our 26th February gig ! Although it's almost two weeks away, I doubt the boys can cope such tight schedule,especially considering the fact how we're all part time musicians and are not professionals. I'm not really their leader, thank God, but we share the tasks among one another since none of us are willing to appoint ourselves one. So we made it a habit to practice way earlier beforehand to avoid any last minute jobs. We all anticipated Josh's arrival to see what he brought.. it wasn't a bass as we've expected, but he brought enough equipment to open up his own mini studio in SLC! well it wasn't a complete set,but surely it's good enough for recording. His midi controller (the red keyboard,for those of you who are wondering), his mixing headphones, laptop,cables,condenser mic, mixer. It was a hassle but he managed to carry them all by himself ; although he had to first go home and take it back to uni. The jam session went well for 2 hours solid before we resumed a random jam session. Jason joined us in between and they managed to record a song with him. It was rather productive and I managed to wrap up Here Without You and part of Breakeven with Neo. We then dispersed, where we awkwardly ended up meeting each other again outside SLC. Neo,Josh,Jason and I sat on the floor and started talking. Just as Josh was gonna leave and I wanted to head out to dinner with Jason, we met Neo who was supposedly gone for hours ago. Talk about magnet eh?  Another funny incident is when we were all in the middle of a convo when we learnt that Josh's car broke down and we had to go all the way to his parking spot to jump start the engine for him. Heck of a day I might say!

Day 7 - Black Star Tour final gig (Avril Lavigne live in Stadium Merdeka)

I've been waiting for this my whole life! Avril Lavigne, as I mentioned before, is one of my biggest idols and she's definitely in my bucketlist of artists I'd like to watch live before I die, lol. I got her Rock Zone ticket thanks to Rach! For some strange reason, I wasn't quite excited about it the night before,maybe because of the hectic day I've had in uni. I didn't bother to get myself ready until it was 3pm. Traffic was smooth along MRR2 but started to clog up when we reached KL, I managed to reach on time : 6pm. I was supposed to meet up with El Amino but unfortunately the queue was insanely long so I decided to just wander around alone to look for a perfect spot to sit and wait. I was lucky I stumbled upon such lovely girls : Alyssa & the gang of young teenagers. I initially asked them about the posters they got, and somehow the conversation evolved and voila! new friends :D And the advantage was that I managed to get to the front of the queue with the girls.Long story short, security was an asshole and they took my camera away, then again it wasn't enough to steal the excitement. The show started of with some shitty dance music (sorry, for some reason I hate music remixes done by this DJ Natalie, it was disturbingly annoying). I was so glad it ended and soon, Avril showed up on stage strutting the tunes of Black Star and then pumping up with WTH. The 3rd song was SK8ER BOI, one of my faves since I was a child! The following are the songs she sang + my reviews :

Full Track/Song list of Avril Lavigne The Black Star Tour LIVE in Malaysia
1. Blackstar 

It was only an instrumental, but the excitement started to spark because we know we're finally seeing her on stage. The 'star' light sticks waved by the audience gave a really interesting effect on the entire atmosphere throughout the song.

2. WTH

To be honest, I'm not really a big fan of this song but I gotta admit, Avril pulled off the high notes better singing live rather than recorded! 

3. SK8ER Boi

I hate the fact that everyone sang along and I can't hear shit that Avril sang,lol. It was fun though because the whole crowd felt the energy she carried and started to jump with her.

4. He Wasn’t

5. I always get what I want

6. Alice
This song was so much better live than in the album. I fell in love with it instantly when the epicness flew in the air as the music started to entice us.

7. When you’re gone
"I always needed time on my own" - by singing this line, Avril had once again gotten the whole stadium to sing along. As usual,her vocals were out of this world !

8. Wish you were here
9. Unwanted/ Musical Piece
10. Girlfriend

11. Airplanes/ My happy ending
12. Don’t tell me

I texted Dex, because it was pretty much 'our song', we did a cover of it before and we both happen to be Avril junkies.
13. Smile
14. I’m with you

Encore :
15. I love you

I saw a couple going in the empty space between TT Zone and Rock Zone, the BF proposed to the GF, of course she said yes,but eventually fainted probably due to dehydration.
16. Complicated

Somewhere in between, Avril and her band disappeared from the stage, the whole venue darkened and the crowd shouted for an encore. The members reappeared, switching roles : Avril on guitars, Jim McGorman (yummy... hehehe) on lead vocals etc, to cover Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks".

All in all,it was a great show in spite of all the drama and the mildness in the atmosphere due to Avril's lack of audience interaction. All was well and I enjoyed every bit of the concert :)

p/s: did I mention fate brought me to meet Nureen Izazi? she's an amazing budding young guitarist,you should check her out,seriously. she has high potential!