rockiss i see stars singapore

Coverage: Rockiss Rock On Festival ft I See Stars: A showcase of rock’s rising stars

Advisory note: only for serious head-bangers, not for the faint-hearted.

Aggressive music fans were treated to nearly six hours of intense rock, punk and post-hardcore goodness as regionals bands performed abbreviated fifteen-minute showcases before headlining electronicore act I See Stars blew the roof off at last Sunday’s Rock On Festival Showcase organised by Rockiss and Impact Live Asia.

Held at Milian Singapore, the festival was a cozy affair for the rock and pop punk community as metalheads were treated to a feast of spirited performances by local and regional bands. The festival was a laudable effort at kickstarting an appetite for rock and post-hardcore music filled with engaging personal stories and inadvertently planned cross-genre tributes to American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars with bands covering hit songs such as “Grenade” and “When I Was Your Man”.

©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365
©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365

Kicking off the festival was Singaporean post-hardcore quintet False Plaintiff and metalcore outfit I, Devotion who serenaded fans with original tunes as they roused the lukewarm crowd in the early evening with flower-decorated microphones, stage twirls and sincere lyrics. This was followed by Malaysian pop punk band Scarlet Heroes whose charismatic lead singer garnered a few high-pitched squeals while diminishing the reticence in the air as the audience slowly eased into the music.

The showcase felt like a gathering of like-minded musicians passionate about their genre-centric music as each of the supporting bands sang along to covers by their pop punk heroes, even throwing in a mashup of hit single “Closer” by The Chainsmokers ft Halsey and “Only One” by retirees Yellowcard. The camaraderie and esprit de corp was evident in the room even as face-painted Malaysian metalcore act Patriots closed the supporting bands set, even sparking a mini mosh pit nearing the end of their set.

©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365
©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365
©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365

It was clear that majority of the crowd was largely present for headlining act I See Stars as band members Brent Allen, Andrew and Devin Oliver and Jeff Valentine took the stage for an unflagging kinetic hour-long performance. Infusing hip-hop and electronic elements seamlessly, the well-seasoned Michigan natives showed no signs of fatigue or jetlag as they captivated fans with a well-organised setlist consisting of hits such as “Running With Scissors” and “Mobbin’ Out” from their latest record Treehouse.

With a strong electronicore identity that bridges that gap between archaic hardcore music and modern-day electronic music, I See Stars are more than well-equipped to play international arena tours with a well-staged production and colossal sound. You know a band is commendable when a music journalist-photographer decides to stop doing his job midway through and immerse in the music. Also spotted sashaying through the set was a couple who brought their headphone-protected toddler to the concert.

©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365
©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365

Even as fans lifted their hands in awe like a religious congregation in worship, I See Stars spawned a mosing pit and intense head-banging near the end of the night. They even promised to return to Singapore before proceeding to their one-song encore. Their ability to connect emotionally and physically with fans is noteworthy. In fact, it’s the key selling point of the band. Suffice it to say the crowd left the building that night in a state of euphoric high, if not a sudden emptiness following band’s exuberant, albeit short-lived, performance.

With Rockiss’s approach in engaging cross-genre acts, selecting a headliner and delivering enthralling performances, their festival should confidently draw in an even greater turn out in its next run.

©Ronald Goh for AsiaLive365

I See Stars have two more dates in Southeast Asia, playing Bangkok’s OXA Pub on Friday, May 5 and Jakarta’s Hammersonic Festival, Ecopark, Ancol with the likes Megadeth, Whitechapel and Northlane.

Special thanks to Impact Live Asia.
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