Over the weekend, we were treated to some great music, tasty beer and mouth-watering grub at the Stärker Music Carnival 2017. The line-up of this year’s run of the carnival was an exciting one; talented local artists such as Jasmine Sokko, The Facade, Disco Hue, Lingkai and Alfred Sim took the stage by storm. As an effort to promote the local music scene, the Stärker Music group had organised their very own Music Jams contest, and the four finalists of the contest would get the chance to perform at the event. Last but definitely not least, the main highlight of this year’s music carnival was the gorgeous Mandopop superstar, A-Lin.
The queue at the entrance began to form even before the event started, and goodie bags were handed out to the concert goers as they filtered in.
The carnival began proper around 4pm, with the first Music Jams finalist, Giri, taking the stage. Following their performance was Music Jams Finalist, Rabcde. I found their set especially enjoyable, as the band displayed great synergy and the vocalist had a remarkable vocal range. Hence, it was no surprise when they were declared the winners of the competition, even though all four groups had delivered entertaining performances.
The first of the local artists to perform was electronic artist, Jasmine Sokko. Though the quirky yet talented young singer sported a visor which obscured her face while singing, it did not stop her fans from being unable to take their eyes off her. The crowd sang along and danced to her hit tracks such as “600D” and “Porcupine”. The young artist also mentioned that the music video of her song, “#0000FF”, would be released soon.
Alternative pop band, The Facade, performed tracks from their Vanity EP, which was released earlier in June this year. The local band clearly has a growing fanbase, and their catchy yet raw number Victim proved to be a crowd favourite.
Synth pop quartet Disco Hue hyped up the crowd with their electrifying beats. The band commanded stage presence and their track Plastic Hearts was a hit with the crowd. The atmosphere gradually transitioned from alternative and electronic beats to soothing Mandopop ballads, performed by Ling Kai and Alfred Sim respectively. Lanky, husky-voiced Ling Kai serenaded the audience with her new heartrending original, “本 能” (translates to “instinct”). Alfred Sim wowed the crowd with his powerful vocals and got everyone singing their hearts out to his rendition of “Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies” by Beyond.
At last, we had approached the moment that many had been waiting for. Fans of A-Lin’s had come in early to secure the front vow, and had been patiently waiting for her appearance for a good four hours.
Thunderous applause accompanied the Taiwanese superstar as she made her way on stage. LED boards illuminated the front row near the stage, and iPhone flashlights were being switched on. A-Lin also asked the audience to sing along to famous numbers such as Sea of Light, Forgetting Your Embrace, as well as Give Me a Reason to Forget. Her fans sang along with gusto, and a 15-year-old fan even presented her with a drawing as a gift.
It was definitely a music carnival worth every penny, and a true testimony to how much local music has grown.
By Natalie Kwan