Showbiz. It’s all about the spectacle. And the fact that when you pack (roughly) forty million South Africans on overdrive into a place designed for gambling, you’re taking a risk yourself. MyCokeFest 2008 hits Kenilworth Racecourse Cape Town, giving everyone over 50 in a 50km radius a reason to moan about the youth of today.
|You motherf**ers better f**n get your f**n hands in the f**in’ air.|
There are three types of people at a eye-poppingly successful rock concert like MyCokeFest: those who mouth the words with rapt attention; those who, while perhaps they don’t appreciate the show fully, still watch the production of the event with interest. And those who don’t know where they are. Most of the latter group, of course, are Korn fans. I mean, seriously. ‘Korn’ is actually spelt with a ‘c’ and the ‘r’ is backwards.
In the past couple of weeks, 30 Seconds to Mars have had a tough rap. The guy’s an actor, after all, and got his face messed up in at least three movies. And he was on the cover of the Big Issue. Shame. So with black mascara and a rent-a-band (let’s face it), a white-clad Jared Leto broke the ice for the international acts, following up Prime Circle, Van Coke Kartel and Shy Guevaras.
all pics © Rob Beugelink/Overtone
Man. It was amazing. As someone who watches loads of live music, I was genuinely blown by this guy’s ability to engage the crowd, put on a show (not just a bunch of songs), and say ‘fuck’, ‘fuckers’ and ‘motherfuckers’ (and variations thereof). Selling the drama, bigtime. I now trust this man to entertain me, as I’m sure others do. [Comments below]
Kaiser Chiefs: where were the visuals, lads? Following 30 Seconds was a tough one, but the yobsters either had electrical problems (which could well be the case) or a serious ‘look-at-us’ mentality to have absolutely no videos going during their act. Maybe they really do want an angry mob on their hands after all.
In fact, it became painfully clear that by the time the golden circle had finished yet another golden circle (a.k.a. beer, geddit?), Jared Leto was probably backstage with a third of the concert’s ladies (Paris Hilton included), and someone across the road was furiously scribbling a letter to the Tatler about the youth of today, it became painfully clear that this concert was about half Muse fans and half Korn fans.
all pics © Rob Beugelink/Overtone
Aside from serenading some of the patrons at the Mount Nelson’s Planet Bar (remember? Free, live music every Saturday night (punt punt), and the band just happened to be near a guitar or two) Korn boasted a bunch of favourites, some of which tore the house down on the 2006 Family Values tour. Let’s just say everyone came undone.
Of course, the fact that Muse came to South Africa to steal the show is fitting. But luckily, by the time the three-piece photophiles took to an elaborately lit and kitted stage, the guitar, piano and mikes were still around.
And in tune. What a show. Boom-a-laka ching chong. While versatile frontman Matthew Bellamy‘s fans are a docile bunch, they’d have torn you to shreds if you had a big afro and stood in front of them while the band unleashed favourites Knights of Cydonia, Map of the Problematique, New Born, Starlight, Plug-In Baby and a bunch of other Black Holes stuff. Glam. Classic, even?
Moments of the show? Great Charlotte getting everyone going with their crowd-pleasing ‘oh-this-is-the-band-who-sings-this-song’ numbers, Jared Leto climbing 50 feet into the rigging and addressing his subjects in song from a dizzy height. Also, Kaiser Chiefs’ coming out guns blazing, and hoisting a T-shirt tribute to the South African footie team, watching Chris Cornell‘s face scrunch up with some superstar singing in the sunset, and John Bauwens. He’s awesome, and all about the vibe.
A super food, seating, shower, toilet and lighting setup reignited hopes in the local production of big acts after moments like Metallica being cut off momentarily at the Belville Velodrome some years back. Now, a brief message to the organisers: how about investing some of that payload into the production of local music? There are Matthew Bellamys and Jonathan Davis’s and talented young people walking around in this country every day. Perhaps it’s time for South Africa to take heed of itself. Sure, local acts have a lot to learn about showbiz, but how about we get the radio quotas enforced, create the fans ourselves, and treat local music like the international music it is? Now we know concerts like this can happen in our back garden. You gotta be from Mars not to see the sense in homegrown.
“How about we get the radio quotas enforced, create the fans ourselves, and treat local music like the international music it is?”
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