by Aida Rashid

Albert Hammond Jr was in town on 18th of July for a one night only exclusive performance for U Mobile customers, a pre-show for the upcoming Good Vibes Festival (GVF) in Genting this 21 to 22 July, of which U Mobile is the official telco sponsor. The pre-show party saw 700 attendees, which among them were U Mobile customers and their invited guests who redeemed tickets via the MyUMobile app.

The show started with Orang, our very own dream pop artist and producer opening for Albert Hammond Jr – an artist known for his uploads on Soundcloud. Orang captured the crowd with his ambient, dreamy tunes and probably made some wonder where has he been all their lives.

Albert Hammond Jr. then took the stage with what was a massive lift of energy within the crowd. “We’re so happy to be here with you, we landed today and we said — let’s play a show today. Not tomorrow, but today!” Albert got the crowd a little bit crazy even before he started playing. With probably half of the crowd wearing The Strokes t-shirts, it’s likely that Albert has been the guitar-god they have worshipped since the rebirth of indie rock.

Kicking off the show with ‘DvsL’, a track from his newly released album Francis Trouble, he got the crowd to sing along — “I don’t even wanna say!”. His stage presence was the epitome of how a true rockstar should be, going down the stage just to be with the crowd and made sure everyone had the taste of being at least 1 ft away from him.

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‘Set to Attack’ put everyone in a state of anger-sadness, followed by ‘Caught by My Shadow’, a track from his third album ‘Momentary Masters’. Albert Hammond Jr played the majority of songs on this setlist from his latest album, with a few from his old ones. ‘St. Justice’, ‘Everyone Gets a Star’ and ‘Holiday’ were memorable and nostalgic — enabled the crowd to sort of visualise the growth in his music.

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The entire Albert Hammond Jr live experience was not only a must-watch to prepare for this weekend, but was also eerily close to the Albert Hammond Jr record experience — especially Francis Trouble. Energetic, consistent and entertaining would be the accurate words to describe his entire performance that night.  After a series of guitar solos, ‘In Transit’ took place and took everyone into a different dimension — and definitely had some reminiscing on the video for ‘In Transit’ that was shot by Albert Hammond Jr himself back in the early days of The Strokes.

There was still time for an encore, which found Albert making an entrance from the back door of The Bee, rummaging through the crowd and had everybody go crazy. ‘Blue Skies’ was a lovely breather, followed by a little goodbye speech – “I’ll never forget this, ever”. ‘Muted Beatings’ — his last song of the day that made separation harder than it was supposed to be.