A hip-hop break dancing group from Hanoi opened the festivities with a really lively dance piece and then the live music started.
The festival had bands and DJ’s from 7 different countries such as Japan, China, Philippines, Australia, Jamaica, Vietnam and USA
. Red Bantoo (Australia) and Up Dharma Down (Philippines) had a softer sound in comparison to the hard driving, ear blasting sounds of the two bands from Hanoi (Recycle & Ngu Cung). Recycle reminded me a lot of the band 'Disturbed" and were the only group that the crowd demanded 2 encores. Whereas Ngu Cung (English meaning Pentatonic) is a Progressive Rock/Metal band and reminded me of a Uriah Heep/Pink Floyd blend. Molice from Japan was a true rock and roll band with a snarling lead singer with attitude that brought early Joan Jett to mind. The band from the US (Dengue Fever) with a Cambodian female lead singer was an unusual blend of jazz-rock. Of all the bands I liked them the least. The lead singer’ voice was too high pitched for the hard rock they were trying to push. They were fun to watch though with a 6’5” black bass guitarist and ZZ Top looking lead guitar player vying to out do each other with stage interplay.
In the DJ’s tent there was a large video screen that played cartoon montages while the DJ’s spun a blend of old school mixes to the very popular ambient/techno blends. People danced and just like the rock concerts I remembered in my youth, a fair amount of cannabis smoke was wafting its way through the air.
The crowd was a 60/40 blend of Expats and Vietnamese
. There were children scampering around the crowd and there was plenty of tasty food being sold – Indian, Italian, hot dogs, burgers, fries and of course, Vietnamese. Alcohol was served, with Jim Beam and Corona being the primary liquor sponsors. I drank mostly Corona’s but slipped in a Mojito to freshen my taste buds for Indian food. My friend Ngoc Anh went with me as she is a huge music fan also and a musician herself.
We got there at 3:00, it started at 2 and by the end (11pm) I was dead on my feet, especially since I’d stood the entire day with the exception of about 20 minutes to eat. I bought a t-shirt and my eardrums are still a little numb this morning but all in all it was a great experience and a really fun way to spend a sunny Saturday and support a worthwhile cause. Life doesn’t get much better than that, in my opinion.
Back to work tomorrow – I hope everyone had a great weekend like myself.
I am learning that Hanoi has a much bigger music scene than I had first thought. About a month ago you all went with me to the Percussion Festival, well yesterday I went to an all day benefit music festival. On Saturday the CAMA Festival 2010 came to Hanoi. I have no idea what CAMA stands for and the people I asked didn't either, and a Google search proved fruitless. Regardless of the lack of knowledge on my part pertaining to the name, the proceeds benefited the very good cause of HIV Awareness.