Watching SONIC BANG Music Festival Bangkok

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I flew to Bangkok again this August 2013 to watch the very FIRST International Music Festival that Bangkok has ever had, the Sonic Bang Music Festival. Thai music fans had hoped long enough for this one to happen.

Bulan Agustus ini gue terbang ke Bangkok lagi untuk nonton festival musik bernama Sonic Bang Music Festival. Sementara di Indonesia udah sering banget ada segala jenis festival musik internasional dari segala genre baik rock, pop maupun jazz, di Thailand sama sekali belum pernah ada yang kayak begituan. Mereka seringnya cuma festival musik lokal atau ngundang artis luar konser biasa. Jadi Sonic Bang ini ada festival musik internasional PERTAMA di Bangkok. Wah penting ini hadir untuk jadi salah satu saksi sejarah berkembangnya musik di Thailand. Pecinta musik di Bangkok sendiri udah nggak sabar nungguin gelaran yang satu ini.

I landed in Don Mueang Airport, took a public bus number A1 for only US$ 1 to BTS Mo Chit, and then rode the sky train. My hotel for 3 days, the modern decorated Pullman Hotel, was only a 15 minutes walk from the BTS Sala Daeng – Silom Area. My room was spacious, clean, stylish and it was on 24th floor, where I could freely enjoy the view of Bangkok. Awesome.

Gue mendarat di Airport Don Mueang Bangkok dan memutuskan untuk nggak naik taksi. Gue naik bus aja, murah meriah cuma Rp.10.000. Nomor bus-nya ialah A1, dan gue turun di terminal BTS Mo Chit untuk dari situ lanjutin perjalanan pake kereta BTS (skytrain) ke BTS Sala Daeng. Hotel gue emang lokasinya cuma jalan kaki 15 menit dari situ, di daerah yang namanya Silom. Hotel gue kali ini sangat menyenangkan. Kamar di lantai 24, cukup bisa untuk menikmati gedung-gedung tinggi di kota Bangkok sambil ngelamun karena pas banget gue sampe, nggak lama kemudian hujan turun deras mengguyur. Zzzz.

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the view from my room

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relaxing my tired legs

The day of the festival – before leaving to the venue, thanks to Warner Music Indonesia, I got to meet up and chat with one of the artists performing in Sonic Bang Festival, a rising up male country singer, recently nominated for the Grammys, HUNTER HAYES. He’s such a humble, warm and talented young man! Glad I got the chance to talk about his music and all. As a musician myself, getting inside another musician’s head to learn about his ideas, dreams and creativity is always priceless. Hunter Hayes’ stage was one of the first ones I watched at the festival. He was very entertaining and his music is great! His songs “Wanted” and “I Want Crazy” are absolutely recommended.

Besoknya di hari Sonic Bang digelar, gue beruntung karena siangnya gue bisa ketemu dan ngobrol ama salah satu artis pengisi acaranya, yang bernama HUNTER HAYES (makasih ya Warner Musik Indonesia buat kesempatannya!!!). Cowok ini masih 22 tahun, unyu, berbakat (dia bisa main 10 alat musik), baru keluarin album ber-genre country, baru dapet nominasi Grammy Awards, dan lagi ngetop di Amerika. Orangnya baik banget, suka cerita, ramah, rendah hati dan murah senyum. Lengkap sudah!! Sebagai seorang musisi, gue seneng banget bisa berbagi mimpi dan ide sama si Hunter ini. Di Sonic Bang Festival, panggung Hunter adalah salah satu yang gue tonton paling pertama. Penampilannya seru banget dan lagunya enak-enak (coba dengerin single-nya yang berjudul “Wanted” dan “I Want Crazy”). Yang nonton dia emang cuma dikit karena belom banyak yang tau dia siapa. Tapi kocaknya, ada fans-fans nya cewek-cewek Amrik yang syok berat karena idola mereka manggung disitu dan di panggung kecil pula jadi adep-adepan gitu nontonnya. Mereka histerriiiss!!!! Hahaha.

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me and Hunter Hayes

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Hunter Hayes performing – outdoor stage

The Sonic Bang Fest 2013 was the biggest summer event in South East Asia, gathering about 20 thousand people not just from Thailand but from other countries as well. I went there with some new friends I met in Bangkok, Chris from Hongkong, Ying Tham from Malaysia and Dawn also from Malaysia. The festival was held just one day (24/08) with tickets cost Bt4,000 (Bt5,000 for VIP) or around US$ 120. Six stages and 40 local and international artists were performing that day. It was on at the Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani, a suburb area around 30 minutes ride from the city center. The stages were positioned practically next to one another so there was no fuss or time-wasting getting from one hall to another.

Sonic Bang Fest 2013 bisa dibilang sebagai acara musik terbesar di Asia Tenggara selama musim panas ini. Mereka mentargertkan kurang lebih 20 ribu orang untuk dateng dan nonton acara yang hanya satu hari ini (24/08/13). Tiketnya cukup mahal yaitu seharga Rp.1,2 juta, tapi yang ditawarkan kurang lebih 40 musisi lokal dan internasional. Banyak pilihannya ya kan. Acaranya digelar di pinggiran kota Bangkok, di satu tempat yang bernama Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani. Dari tengah kota ke situ naik mobil sekitar 30 menitan lah kalo nggak macet. Ada 6 panggung yang lokasi gedungnya sebelah-sebelahan dan menyajikan artis berbeda di waktu bersamaan. Tinggal  pilih mau yang mana, ato jadi kutu loncat kayak gue. 😀

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At 4pm, we watched the FAR EAST MOVEMENT rocking the stage with their hit songs like “Rocketeer” and “Like A G6”. Then continued with ASH, a famous Irish alternative rock band from the 90’s. Then I moved to another stage and on purpose stood at the very front to see RAIN (real name Jung Ji Hoon), a South Korean singer, actor, model and dancer. I knew him from a Korean drama series “Full House” and found him cute ever since. All his Thai fans were waiting impatiently for him because it was kinda his come back performance after being in the military service for the past 3 years. I didn’t really know his songs but I think his voice was okay and his dance moves were fly. The most important thing was that his smiles were still as cute as I remembered.

Jam 4 sore gue barengan 3 temen baru yang ketemu disana (ada Chris dari Hongkong sama Dawn dan Ying dari Malaysia) nonton FAR EAST MOVEMENT yang seru bener mainin lagu-lagu andalan kayak “Rocketeer” dan “Like A G6”. Habis itu gue sempetin mampir nonton ASH, band rock alternatif 90-an tapi cuma bentar doang, karena pengen ngejer penampilan RAIN. Buat yang nggak tau, Rain alias Jung Ji Hoon adalah artis Korea yang bisa nyanyi, nari, jadi model, akting, ngrancang baju dll. Gue suka banget dia di serial “Full House” yang sempet jadi hits di Indonesia. Sudah 3 tahun ini dia ikut wajib militer di Korea, dan ini adalah salah satu penampilan perdana-nya lagi di panggung. Mangkanya semua fans nya udah ngantri nungguin. Gue sih cuma pengen liat senyumnya dan perutnya yang kotak-kotak. Moga-moga dibuka bajunyaaa…. eh tapi ternyata nggak dibuka-buka. Nyaris doang dibuka. Gue rasa mungkin dia lagi gendut jadi nggak PD. Hahahah! Tapi nyanyinya nggak fals kok dan nari nya emang cukup jago. Dan senyum nya manis banget ya ampuuunn!!

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RAIN smiling 🙂 we were all expecting him to remove his top and show his famous six packs abs, but too bad he didn’t

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Rain

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the Irish rock band of the 90’s, ASH

I noticed a few things about the Thai people during the festival. First, the Thai people love to drink their local beer. Probably almost everyone walked around in the festival carrying a bottle or a bucket of beer. Second, the Thai people have deep respect for their country. Almost before every single performance at any stage, 6 people got on stage and sang the National Anthem. Everyone stood up, made no noise, and bowed down after the song ended. Wow. Next thing, the Thai people love to party hard. Proven by the packed hall when PITBULL hit the stage. It was the most crowded and the most alive show of the entire festival. Everyone went completely wild, singing and dancing to Pitbull songs. Crazy!!! The last thing, Thai people were obsessed with their own local music. At one corner after the last shows, which were the PET SHOP BOYS and PLACEBO, I found lots of people dancing their hearts out to local Thai songs, instead of western dance music. After more than 12 hours long music fest, their local tunes still sound very appealing to them.

Selama berada di tengah-tengah orang Thailand di festival ini, ada beberapa hal yang gue perhatiin. Pertama, orang Thailand itu suka banget nge-bir. Mereka antri panjang di beberapa tempat jual bir yang ada, dan bisa dibilang hampir semua orang bawa-bawa satu gelas atau satu EMBER kecil bir. Nah loh. Malemnya itu bir udah pada tumpah dimana-mana sampe lengket banget lantainya dan banyak yang mabok disana sini.

Kedua, orang Thailand itu nasionalismenya tinggi banget. Hampir di setiap panggung, setiap kali musisi mau tampil (contohnya di panggung Rain dan Jason Mraz), bakal ada 6 orang naik ke panggung dan nyanyiin lagu kebangsaan Thailand. Semua orang yang ada berdiri, kushuk, dan setelah selesai semua membungkuk memberi penghormatan. Waw. Mana ada di Indo kayak begitu coba… ya kan.

Ketiga, orang Thailand itu haus party banget. Waktu PITBULL manggung, itu gedung penuh sampe kayak sarden, dan semua orang menggila segila-gilanya. Iya sih lagunya Pitbull emang hits dan bikin goyang semua. Tapi reaksinya penonton gila banget. Ketahuan mereka emang doyan pesta.

Keempat, orang Thailand itu sangat menyukai lagu lokal mereka yang kedengerannya kayak lagu dangdut koplo campur gending Jawa. Walaupun kurang lebih 12 jam mereka dihibur artis dari berbagai penjuru dunia termasuk musik elektronik sekaliber PET SHOP BOYS dan musik rock sekaliber PLACEBO, mereka tetap aja habis itu menggelar pojok-pojok musik lokal untuk nari-nari pake lagu Thailand yang menurut gue bunyinya ajaib. Anak-anak mudanya kumpul untuk nari-nari sendiri disitu. Di Indo kan nggak mungkin gitu. Bayangin aja di Java Jazz Festival tiba-tiba ada tempat untuk orang joged dangdut, terus rame. Haha!

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PITBULL, the most crowded and pumping show that night

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Pitbull, the only show that I watched from beginning to the very end

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PET SHOP BOYS….performing with eccentric backdrops and dancers

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too bad, very small amount of people were watching the 90’s rock band, Placebo

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the CROWD style, gaya normal di Bangkok, rata-rata bertopi

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the CROWD style.. yang gayanya aneh juga banyak ___”

Anyways, my most fave artists performing beside Hunter Hayes that night were OWL CITY and JASON MRAZ. Owl City brought their unique tune while Jason performed with all his soul and might. His music was brilliant and absolutely eargasmic. I couldn’t stop dancing and singing along!

Dari keseluruhan artis yang gue tonton, gue paling suka sama Hunter Hayes, OWL CITY dengan musiknya yang unik dan menarik untuk di dengar dan JASON MRAZ sebagai juaranya. Jason tampil lengkap dengan membawa banyak instrumen tambahan seperti trompet, saxo, biola, perkusi dan lain-lain. Lagu-lagunya yang keren pun dinyayiin semua dengan aransemen yang bisa bikin gue sangat sangat terhipnotis. Jauh lebih keren dari penampilan dia yang pernah gue tonton di Jakarta. Gue sangat menikmati musik Jason malam itu dan kuping gue-pun bahagia banget.

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OWL CITY stage’s back drop. Very catchy

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Mr Jason Mraz, in my opinion his performance in Bangkok was 10 times better than his performance in Indonesia

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Jason Mraz performing a duet with Hunter Hayes. Awesome! They’re both so inspiring!

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hey, that’s me!

Overall, Sonic Bang gave something for everyone. There wasn’t really any particular genre or mood so everybody enjoyed it his own way. Good job Bangkok for your first music festival!!

Secara keseluruhan, musik yang ditawarkan di Sonic Bang 2013 ini sangat variatif, jadi bisa menghibur semua orang. Acaranya rapih, dan tampilannya juga cukup oke untuk meyandang gelar sebagai festival musik pertama dan pionir. Seru!

Here’s the Sonic Bang Fest short video I made:

(Ini video singkat yang gue buat di Sonic Bang Festival, silahkan ditonton ya:)

 


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music is what feeling sounds like – olivelatuputty.com @shiningliv

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