Live Reviews — August 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Good Fun at Good Vibes Festival, KL

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Kuala Lumpur’s home-brewed festivals have this very specific atmosphere that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s not just about the music, but also how you can mingle around, hang out with friends and (local) bands, eat festival junk food, get some bulky goodies and participate to branded activities.

Good Vibes Festival

Before heading to Sepang Go-Kart Circuit in the afternoon, I had a bad preview of the Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman while switching from a city hotel to the festival one: we were waiting in the same lobby: me, wearing my usual festival paraphernalia and Billy Corgan, with his fake German tourist outfit (that was far worst that what you could imagine: a too short Hawaiian shirt, shapeless sports short, high socks and sneakers, and a small crumpled sun hat). We all know that despite his not-so-fit shape, he’s still a music legend – that’s what I was holding onto while reaching the festival.

Starting under a bright sun at 4pm on Saturday, Good Vibes opened itself as a huge but friendly setting to the festival-goers: not too spread-out, no overload of booths and advertisement, and thanks to the previous days weather, the floor and some wooden pallets to sit on. Popsicles were more than welcomed during the first sets comprising of renowned local acts on the two main stages – OJ Law, Pesawat, The Impatient Sisters, Liyana Fizi, Pitahati. All along the afternoon and evening, the Silent Discotek and the Star Club made the clubbing fans rejoice, in a quiet or heavy mode. The audience started to get warmer from Kyoto Protocol’s highly rock-infused set and Tenderfist’s strong beats’n’bass short appearance. All was then set to introduce the rockiest part of the line-up: Irish-power Ash, Malaysian stars MonoloQue, heavy-Arcade Fire-like Modest Mouse and high-school-garage band Japandroids (I still don’t and won’t get what the fuss is about with this band: it sounded horrid even from far). Closing act for one of the two main stages was KL band They Will Kill Us All, displaying their powerful and inspired melodies, with all their fans singing along. We all joined to take communion in front of the Smashing Pumpkins, the festival main headliner. Here comes Billy again! That was not the highlight for all of us, but I believe we all had a good load of nostalgia watching the band perform their old tunes – which still sound really coeval by the way – and surprising us by their teasing and well-balanced set list. Big disappointment not to get an encore despite the frenetic shouts and applause, but that’s how it ended.

All in all, Good Vibes Festival was what we could expect from the start: a fun, relaxed and joyous festival, without any big music surprise but a friendly atmosphere and of course, good vibes. One or two bands in different music genres and a less clashing line-up would have been welcomed, but that was the initial festival from Future Sound Asia, so we can only expect better for the upcoming edition!

These are the first photos available from Good Vibes and under the festival’s copyright. Find the whole album on their Facebook page!