by A.Akbar

After 17 years, Rock The World went up for another round of chugging hardcore riffs, featuring the biggest names in the country including Bunkface and Masdo. But as much as people said that this year’s Rock The World is pretty much the same as last year or the year before – we beg to differ. We feel that there’s much to learn from this year’s showcase and it can serve as a lesson for all, even the organisers themselves.

  1. Metal is alive and strong, but in need of a fresh approach.

    Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

With hip-hop and indie dominating social media in addition to metal bands breaking up and staying quiet, there were a lot of hoo-haa saying that the metal scene is dying. Well, luckily, the naysayers are wrong again, but they do have a point. The metal scene can’t just be a gathering of old friends with the reunion of a novelty act as its prime attraction; hence, why smaller shows, like the ones organised by Xonorous Entertainment, Ethereal Hereath, Musica Mania and Ultimate Blast are important to not only keep the scene going, but to allow smaller bands to grow. Even bands like Massacre Conspiracy came from a small channel, that made them the headliners of the festival almost every other year. If we keep calling up the same few metal bands, younger metal bands will most likely give it up, and the future of the metal scene will be bleak.

  1. Thousands came even with 88Rising in town

Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

As much as you want to say that metalheads and hip hop listeners are two different crowds – you’re wrong. Listeners are smart now and they can listen to both genres without being called a ‘sell out’ or a ‘poser’ like the old days. It’s not surprising anymore to know that your Municipal Waste-fan of a friend, suddenly became a fan of A$ap Ferg. With that, comes a crowd-grab competition in between Rock The World and 88Rising’s first ever show in Malaysia, that garnered quite a number of people thanks to Joji, Higher Brothers and Rich Chigga (and no thanks to Mr It G Ma). Even though Rock The World won in numbers, 88Rising won in hype. It’s honestly healthy to have competition like this: organisers will try their best to win the crowd over and the consumers will benefit from it all, no?


  1. The diversity is awesome

Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

You have to admit that Rock The World’s effort in making the festival more diverse is slowly working. If you’re one of those people who expected Rock The World to make abrupt changes in the lineup in the name of diversity, you should know that the festival doesn’t just cater to Klang Valley people who are blessed with weekly gigs all over the satellite cities, but also people from up north who rarely get to see the likes of Bunkface and Naratu perform on the same stage.  Mixing up Emmet I with Farasu, Seven Collar T-Shirt with Blind Tribe and Zip Zieller with maddame… is something we want to see more in the future, maybe with one or two newer bands next.

  1. The balance of veteran and new bands is needed

Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

Back to our diversity point, yes, in terms of genre, Rock The World has shown that they’re capable of bringing Malaysian music of different palates. However, RTW showcased too many veteran bands who may have played at the festival for more than two to three times. Other than Masdo and Brawk, who are also two groups of familiar faces in the industry, all of the other bands are well-known bands at their prime. Some of these bands may have even played their last show last weekend, or at least planning to throw in the towel some time soon. There’s an influx of 20-30 new bands sprouting up this year alone who are ready to have a taste of that Rock The World goodness. Give them the 12pm slot, or the 11am slot – who cares. A slot is a slot, and at least they get to start somewhere and Rock The World’s legacy of bringing the best bands in the country will continue to be great and won’t die of old age.

  1. Rock The World has the potential to be a band merch market, and they should strengthen on that

Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

The other good thing that Rock The World has been doing for the past few years, was introducing a lane of booths a la Tempatan Fest, in giving bands a chance to sell their merchandise. The fact that merchandise of SOG and Daarchlea, who didn’t perform this year, were still found at the booths, is proof that this idea is working, and should be focused on for the bands to strengthen their finances.

  1. Iqbal M is out of this world

Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

Iqbal M has been known for their erratic and interactive performances on stage and for fans, it would be a pleasure to sing along to ‘Paling Cinta Dalam Dunia’ and cult-favorite, ‘Kota Memujuk’. Luckily for the band, this year they were handed a juicy slot in which the band, reaped the heavens out of it. The crowd roared, the bands were happy, and Iqbal Othman may have given nightmares to one of Rock The World crew members but nevertheless, a damn good show.

Iqbal Othman 貼上了 2017年12月9日

  1. Where have all the bootboys gone? They were in Bukit Jalil

Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

This may sound surprising to some, but over the past year, the number of bootboys have actively grown in the outskirts of Perak, Pahang and small parts at the north of Johor. This was followed after many veterans decided to pick up their guitars and play again – that inspired smaller boys to form bands and play. As a result? A mammoth of a crowd at Roots & Boots and Gerhana Ska Cinta’s respective sets. Soon, the popular Skin anthem ‘Where Have All The Bootboys Gone?’ won’t be playing anymore, because the boys are finally back.

  1. Rock The World remains the most consistent music festival in Malaysia

Photo taken from Rock The World’s official Facebook page.

Say what you want to say about Rock The World. As of now, Rock The World has proven that year after year, they’re still here to stay. From bringing the likes of Langsuyr and Disagree at the best, to bringing them back from the dead, Rock The World has seen it all. We hope the festival stays on for years – bigger and better than ever.

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