by Aida Rashid
In the midst of the child bride issue, #Undi18 campaign and the debate about debaters — the New Malaysia took a breather last weekend with a 2-day festival at Horse Ranch, Genting Highlands. The annual Good Vibes festival, which saw U Mobile returning as their official telco partner, saw a large turnout this year — a lot of which anticipated performances by child prodigy Lorde, Mercury Prize winner Alt-J, r&b saviour SZA and many more across the weekend. The weekend also saw a row of talented local acts like Bil Musa and Kyoto Protocol taking the stage, which were supported by U Mobile under the banner ‘Musicmakers’.
Local acts embraced the stage before the sun went down. Gracing the crowd were the likes of newcomer Lunadira, synth pop duo Pastel Lite, rap goddess Zamaera, and many more. Kyoto Protocol’s set was packed with new jams from their new album #ThePenIsMightier, which was released during the weekend itself. Bil Musa performed the majority of tracks from her Young Adults EP, including crowd-pleaser ‘No More Excuses’. Fan-favourite and Hujan vocalist Noh Salleh, accompanied by AG Coco and members of Budak Nakal Hujung Simpang, got the crowd to sing along to the melodic ‘Bunga Di Telinga’ & ‘Angin Kencang’. Each year, homegrown artists have proven themselves to be better than expected and an attraction everyone should look out for.
Mehdi Benjelloun, or famously known as Petit Biscuit took the stage nearing sunset on the first day. There’s nothing more apt than having ‘Sunset Lover’ being played during sunset whilst being surrounded by nature. The Neighbourhood — famous for their song ‘Sweater Weather’, rocked the stage and got everybody up in their feelings as soon as ‘Daddy Issues’ was played. Vince Staples took the stage right after, with his collection of sleek club-rap bangers. ‘Big Fish Theory’ in person was more than just a theory, it was the lifeline of nu-rap music. When SZA came to play, the night felt colder than usual — waves of feels came to visit when she started singing ‘Supermodel’. SZA didn’t seem like she just recovered from a previously assumed, irrevocable throat injury, as the live experience of her hit album, CTRL, was flawless.
Majid Jordan’s set at 6pm became a reason for people to get smashed in daylight, while indulging in their emotional pleasures singing along to ‘Her’. HONNE, a 4-year old band that’s already taking over the lovemaking music industry, were surprised to see so many fans knowing every word to the new tracks from their forthcoming album ‘Love Me/Love Me Not’. Despite that, they knew the eventual demand — of people wanting Day 1 to be played before they end their set. Nick Murphy or formerly known as Chet Faker, surprised the fans with his older tracks like ‘1998’, ‘Talk Is Cheap’ and ‘Gold’, reliving his alter ego. A group of art majors from Leeds, Alt-J graced the crowd with a dramatic opener ‘Deadcrush’, a track from their 3rd record ‘RELAXER’. Aside from their amazing stage presence, their stage set-up and lighting were also ones worth of a praise. The night ended with the highly anticipated performer Lorde, who brought along 4 dancers with her on stage. Her performance was layered with grace, enthusiasm and absolute rawness. She was the epitome of a young adult who’s just trying to make it in this world — except, well, she’s Lorde.
The Electric Fields stage also saw a row of great local talents — some of those from Saturday Selects, like Roshan, $miley and Lionel Rizki. Aside from local talents, the festival also saw local vendors selling scrumptious food across the weekend like Curbside Cantina, A Pie Thing and many more. Not to forget, U Mobile’s #UnlimitedFlavours initiative to use biodegradable cutlery was an effort to be more environmentally conscious and definitely keeping with the bohemian vibe. Aside from that, the U Mobile zone also had a phone charging area, trampoline freeze cam and limited edition festival kits equipped with festival essentials given out with playground concept setup.
#UMobileXGVF2018 started a few days before the festival, with “U Mobile presents Albert Hammond Jr”, a pre-party exclusive for U Mobile customers. U Mobile also held a social media contest where it rewarded its select few customers and their friends to attend the festival for free with the #UnlimitedSquad contest.
The New Malaysia had a splendid weekend with good music, good food and good vibes. Now it’s time to get back to work.