So recently I went to the World Marching Band Competition at Stadium Merdeka.
We got the RM250 seats for RM60, and we sat just next to the grand stand.
It was really a good show, and the bands which got first, second and third prize- they were superb.
The second runner up is a band from Indonesia. It’s a very huge band, and like my brother said- the sound and the number of members and the way they run in their formation- gives this image that is intimidating you. Their genre is more towards pop, and their songs are a tribute to the famous band Dewa. And their arrangement was nice, I enjoyed myself watching them and listening to their performance. Scary band I tell you.
We're so large, we have a bunch of low brass like grapes.
Punchy with their pop.
The runner up is proudly a Malaysian band, an all-school girls band- Sultanah Asmah School, directed by Mr. Tang. Regardless that they do not follow the trend of active color guards and rigorous movements and songs- they still captured all attention with their cute and super neat formation and impressive dynamics and clean sound in their songs. All songs are arranged from local patriotic and pop songs. In short, this band is cute and perfect.
See? I told you they're neat. I like!
The winner is a band from Thailand- which pictures itself as an Asean version of the Cavaliers or any top American band. I really liked the soft part where the static percussions were hit by soft mallets to produce a magical-like Asean traditional sound. This soothing percussion solo part acts as a repetitive short interval between the whole band (which instead would play in an abstract arrangement with impressive strong dynamics while they do their formation movements). This band deserved to win and it is really really good.
Winner in action.
Yeah, they are quite huge too.
There were also other unique bands- such as the marching band from Cape Town South Africa, and their theme has something to do with the disco dance Saturday Night Fever era. They have very good dancers who most of the time distract people’s attention from the band.
Band members in literally glittering red costumes, and spot the strong dancers wearing black in front of them.
And another band from Miri was a bit out of the track. They attempted to play abstract, they attempted to do abstract formation, and they even used props. But it was a failure.
Think about huge pineapple prop and an ugly banana (which looked half-eaten).
And all of a sudden you were wrong because the props were not props- they were actually costumes. Some band members started to go underneath the pineapple and banana, and tadaaa… they became walking pineapple and banana.
Spot the ugly banana. And pineapple.
And there was also this guy who was wearing a brown robe. We called him Jesus.
What’s the motive of all these costumes? Don’t ask me.
We were laughing our heads off and we were confused at the same time.
Instead of getting an impressive abstract impact, what we heard was just jumble-mumble chord of noise. We were trying to comprehend, like watching a non-subtitled B grade French movie.
The guy with the robe suddenly walked towards the pineapple, animatedly waving his hands.
I quickly explained my interpretation to my friend,
“Jesus gives us pineapples.”
All of the sudden the “band noise” sounded like a sad song; and the formation became slow.
“The band now sounds sad. Who died?” my friend asked.
And suddenly a band member with the butterfly costume was carried away by other band members.
“The butterfly died,” I replied.
Pendek kata, we enjoyed ourselves-lah.