Performance: Rockorea 2011 (Midan city, Incheon)

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Being the first incarnation of Rockorea, it’s fair to say my expectations were set a bit lower than for something like, say, the Jisan Valley show. For a first go, 18 hours of rock music is a big mouthful to chew on, and for the most part was successful. There are suggestions of course, but those’ll come later.

Being the first incarnation of Rockorea, it’s fair to say my expectations were set a bit lower than for something like, say, the Jisan Valley show. For a first go, 18 hours of rock music is a big mouthful to chew on, and for the most part was successful. There are suggestions of course, but those’ll come later.

That the afternoon set started at 12:30pm and stretched to 6am the next morning meant most people had to prioritize. I arrived about 3pm, thanks in part to a slower-than-expected shuttle bus, and found the crowd to be a bit lighter than expected. Though I didn’t see them, I felt bad for the Blues Biscuit Band, who went up at 12:30pm to kick things off to a (supposedly) almost deserted field.

A bit of Sotto Gamba – don’t ask me what, but the saxophone (not pictured) really adds something.

Next up – The New Edibles.

Who knew the bassist could sing? The term ‘sing your heart out’ has been replaced with ‘sing your throat out’ – check out the neck on this guy.

A little musical interlude by the resident DJ’s.

Somehow the black-and-white treatment seemed appropriate for the Tatles (@TatlesBeatles on Twitter) – a quartet of Koreans covering most of the Beatles classics.

Somehow I don’t see Ringo with this much hair.

One unusual delight during the afternoon performances were the amount of families. I didn’t expect to see kids and pregnant women trying to take pictures in the front row, nor families sitting with blankets comfortably distant. In any case, a little cultural introduction seemed at hand, and these two ambassadors looked like they were showing the locals a good time.

It’s about time those kids got put away. As the sun went on and the lights came on, the Burlesque girls began to heat up the stage.

Goldie singing her heart out.

Lola Galore with a robotic-looking outfit.

Part of the ‘Skin’ performance – plenty of umbrella action as well.

The stage made it difficult to get the audience engaged, so she did the popping by herself.

One of the two volunteers getting a front-row view – well-deserved after ‘accidentally’ getting splashed with some water!

So you’re out at a rock concert and you see a beautiful woman dancing on stage in just a little bit more than her favorite lingerie…. Not what you came out for, but are you really going to complain? :)

…And we’re back – Fully Completely – a tribute band to the Tragically Hip.

Big singer.

What?! That’s it? Where’s the rest of the bands? I left, y’all. Between traveling plans with the girlfriend and the desire not to be bounced around a drunk and growing mosh pit, it seemed an easy choice. Most of the later bands perform around Seoul often enough that I’ve seen or heard most of them – for better or worse, the only band I hadn’t seen or heard of before today was the Beatles tribute band.

Now, for the suggestions:

Midan city: wow, you’re out there. The 20-minute shuttle bus ride from Incheon airport passed by a lot of empty fields, a huge expressway, and a lot of dreams. Next time (if there is one), feel free to take one of those empty tents and tell the crowd about your plans Perhaps they’re still in the early stage, but just seeing an empty muddy space and some infrastructure in place does little to raise the future city’s profile.

Rockorea:

  • 40,000 won to see the same artists as Haebangchon, Hongdae, and Itaewon features is a bit much (Disclosure: Chris in South Korea received two free tickets from the Groove Magazine.).
  • There were at least two gaping security holes that a four-year-old could’ve found (e.g. tent backs should never open to the outside / non-paying section, and there was nothing blocking the parking lot from the bathrooms – anyone could’ve walked around the right side of the tents into the grounds).
  • I liked the food selections, the prices were indeed reasonable, and the general layout worked well. The vendors on the left felt distant and isolated – very little draw to bring more attention to the cool hippie.
  • It’s hard to complain about a free shuttle bus, but waiting nearly an hour after having taken an hour-plus to get to Incheon (assuming you’re coming from Seoul) is improvable. A second shuttle bus – it’s worth it.

Readers: did you go? What did you think about it? Anything wild and crazy happen after the sun went down?

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