Trip Start Aug 28, 2009
48Trip End Sep 28, 2010
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Where I stayed
Once we were settled in the flat in Suwon with internet, I investigated further and noticed Pendulum were actually playing at a huge electronic music festival along with The Prodigy, Underworld, Royksopp, The Crystal Method and The Potbelleez. Tickets for both days weren't cheap, and given I had already seen Underworld I put Royksopp off for another time and we decided to head out just for the first night
The festival was held at the Han River Nanji Park, a nice setting beside the Seoul's huge river and beneath some wooded hills. After checking into a nearby guesthouse, we got the metro and then a free shuttlebus out to the festival site. We arrived about half an hour before The Potbelleez started, giving us a bit of time to wander round and see what a Korean festival was like. What I found was that it was very different from those back home. Absolutely no vegetarian food to begin with, an almost non-existant merchandise stall, but other stalls selling perfume, and promoting Doc Martins and other ranges of clothing.
The Potbelleez, an Irish due now performing as a band and based in Sydney, were the first major act on stage, and they certainly didn't disappoint. I liked their album, particularly the singles, but the live show was fantastic, with the DJs adding a few more breaks and then the two vocalists (one male and one female) getting right into it when they had their moments on stage. We were right up the front, and it was interesting to see how the Koreans reacted. There was certainly none of the pushing I was used to back home, and I was quite surprised when I saw men in business suits and one girl with her shopping!
Next up were The Crystal Method, the highlight of the night for me. I'd known about them for years, but only recently got into some of their newer stuff. Their set was electric, mixing in tracks from their four studio albums as well as mixing some more well known stuff like The Doors and Smashing Pumpkins
There was a half hour break before The Prodigy came on stage, and we camped up the front to get a good position. When they came on stage the crowd went completely mad, and after the first song we had to get out of there if we wanted to see anything. The locals got over their excitement quite quickly though, and things were a little more mellow, at least from the crowds perspective for the rest of the set. The Prodigy were, well, as I expected. Good to watch, banging out all the old favourites, but a bit tiring after an hour and a half.
After chilling out for a little we then moved around to the smaller stage to see Pendulum's set. Ironically, it was Pendulum who drew me to the event, but also the once act that failed to live up to expectations. I think it was perhaps due to the mix, which was 95% bass. Having an MC on stage was a little surprising as well, although once I got used to what he was doing it was pretty cool. Also a little surprising was the fact he played hardly any of his bands songs, and did very little drum n bass, the two things I was hoping for.
We called it quits sometime after 3am and made our way back to the guesthouse. Feeling a little worse for wear the following day, we ditched all plans to do some sightseeing around Seoul, and instead made for Insadong for lunch at the vegetarian restaurant Min found for us, before heading back to Suwon on an afternoon bus. It really was a great evening, well worth the money, and I kept my fingers crossed some more big name artists would make their way to Korea while we were there.