Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Zouk Out 2006 (part 4)

Rating: 1110.50
This is the last of a four part review. Read about the pre-party in part one,the high guy who ripped his shirt in part two and the sausage fest in part three.
From the main arena, I switched over to the live stage-- Plain Sunset (also on myspace), a home grown Singaporean band was playing some singable music. Vocalist Jon Chan had a lot of rockstar banter and I think they would be Singapore's answer to Parokya Ni Edgar. They had playful, risqué lyrics such as: We're not made in the USA/we're red and white without the blue.

I dunno what the bassist and guitarist were thinking but midway through their set, they stripped down to their boxers.

Ummm. okaaay. Rock on!

I thought I was finally going to get to see an honest to goodness brawl but a couple of seconds after some elbows went a-flying and the mosh-pit went a-moshing, the over-excited auxiliary police stepped in to put some order into the chaos. Boo. It's a freaking rock concert! You don't really expect people to sit and clap politely! (or do you? Sometimes I forget that order is of paramount importance in this part of the world.)

I didn't want to wait for sunrise so I decided to go home after Plain Sunset. On the way out, I passed by Belgian DJs Stephan and David Dewaele spinning on the velvet underground stage. Compared to Steve Lawler, they had more variety and had funky remixes of familiar rock songs. People here were a bit more social with each other as opposed to just bobbing up and down with a hand in the air like mindless drones. So I had to stop and groove a little because the music was finally danceable!

I had to tear myself from this happy place because for sure leaving this island together with thousands others would be a challenge. I had my last look around the beach and got an eyeful: this girl on a chair doubled over throwing up, a threesome asleep on the sand, slippers who lost their feet and in the distance, the subtle dull throb of bass.

The long road home
Going home is a pain. Booking a taxi was impossible so I figured I had to get onto a main road and flag one down. Although there was a free shuttle service from the beach to the harbourfront MRT terminal every 10 minutes, don't count on people keeping their manners when it's 4:30 in the morning, they're tired and just want to go home.

It doesn't matter that some of these folks were fashionable and educated and could afford the $40 entrance fee, $30 slippers and $10 beers-- in the absence of authority figures (and there were none to be seen at the time I was there), it's every man for himself Lord Of The Flies style. Queue to the bus? What queue? As soon as it arrived, semi-pandemonium with pushing and shoving. I was trying to be gracious and let the ladies first but some of the gentlemen used their bulk to bulldoze through.

Paksyet! This hot shuffle definitely was cramping my style. Disgusted at the mob, I calmly stepped back, reached into my bag....

and unwrapped my chocolate bar.

I munched happily along, sighed at this degeneration into chaos (where were the auxiliary police when they're needed?!), lamented about the tragedy of the commons and with a spring in my step, took the leisurely 30 minute walk to a car park where another bus was waiting.

The shuttle ride was eerily quiet. I guess if Zouk Out were sex, this would be the part where you'd take out your cigarette and have a smoke. An ambulance was wangwanging away. Some were barefoot (they lost their slippers) and with it went their sense of humour.

In Conclusion
Three and a half pawikan points. Bonus points for the variety and live jamming but minus points for the hassle on the way home. It's a great party best enjoyed with friends but don't expect to strike conversations with complete strangers here (not unless you're uber friendly or verrry good looking). No pretentious too-cool-for-you attitudes here, just some people looking to enjoy the music and have a good time.

It felt just a wee bit cold though. It doesn't have that warm, fuzzy, peace-love atmosphere of a reggae bar. It felt a little too slick, too engineered, too surgically precise... too perfect. (Heh! What am I complaining about?)

If you like music, you like dancing and have $60 to spare, go to next year's party. If the bouncer doesn't let your chocolate bar in, tell him reviewsbyp sent you wah.

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