Konsert XPAX Era Sayang Sabah

Not so long ago, I was given the opportunity to attend a music event on behalf of Breeze magazine. When I was first called I was thinking of declining because it was a rainy day and I was not keen about going alone. I called a bunch of friends and none were available at the time…. and then, I thought about all those IMPROV exercises we did at AWE’15 in Jogja this year… and realized that I was being a total wuss! I mean, seriously, I have been to shadier places in Bangkok! Alone! Yet I was afraid to go to a freaking concert alone? Booo!

So I said YES! Went alone and no, the ground did not opened up and swallowed me whole. It was fine. Going to a concert stag definitely FINE! No.. I might be down playing it a bit. It was a awesome! Ear-Splitting and Brain Damaging but… awesome!

I arrived a little bit late. I was welcomed by See Bee from Astro, she gave me my Media Pass… took me near the stage where the media people hang out. I got to bypass the crowd, that was super-great because the crowd was insane! I immediately saw my old friend there. She was there with her husband’s band (Ariez).

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This is Angela. We used to climb hills together when we were kids! Sorry, no beauty shot. This is how I normally look like on a rainy Friday night.

Upon hearing that I came as Media, Angel asked me “Did you go behind the stage and took photos with Afghan? Did you? Did you?”

And my priceless reaction was “Afghan, who?”. Even in my confusion, I could hear the crowd behind me chanting Afghan’s name. I found myself wondering… Who is this sorcerer? Is he someone famous?

The show began with a local Hip-Hop Duo but don’t ask me their names,  I definitely had no idea who there were. I scrambled a bit before I remembered to adjust my camera setting. So I am sorry to the local hip hoppers. Tiada gambar kamu yang cantik. It’s been so long since I have to shoot at night. Other medias with their big cameras made me feel small with my small mirrorless.

Right after the first performance… something blew up behind the stage and suddenly the power was out. The rain was a downpour so all the media people ran close to the stage to take shelter from the rain.

The crowd though, were not moving an inch.

The crowd though, were not moving an inch.

I can’t remember how long it was. But we stood there, in puddles of water, barely concealed from the rain. Shivering and waiting for the power to come back on. I remember looking at my feet submerged in a puddle and noticing cables on the ground right next to my feet. I remember thinking “This would be the worst way to go. Electrocuted in some concert.”

 

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I wondered briefly if I should just ditch it.

And then bam!  The show was back on again!… Took some nice photos, I did.

 

Donovon from Ariez. Angela's hubby who is also my old buddy from college.

Donovon from Ariez. Angela’s hubby who is also my old buddy from college.

 

And the show went on and on and on….

Ariez

Ariez

I am somewhat useless in these kinds of live shows. I really don’t listen to the radio much. I only find new songs from the movies and non-local tv series that I watch. So coming to this concert was really weird for me. Since I didn’t know most of the songs, when people sang along to the songs I just stood there like an asshat who refused to mingle. What was I supposed to do? I didn’t know any of the songs. Couldn’t even hum them if I wanted to. But Thank God, for this guy though. At least I could sing along to his song…

 

Altimet, singing the only song that I could sing along to that night. :p

Altimet, singing the only song that I could sing along to that night. :p

…..

Kalau Aku Kayaaa... Hari Hari Hari Raya....

Kalau Aku Kayaaa… Hari Hari Hari Raya….

Since, I didn’t have to give any photos to Breeze… I just took photos whenever I felt like it, usually when I saw great lighting or when I saw someone I knew. Like these fellas…

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Mak Jemah in da House!

….

Black & RJ

Black & RJ

…..

MOJO

MOJO

…..

Yeah, I am the creepy lady taking photos from between people's shoulders because I would do anything for a crazy angle.

Yeah, I am the creepy lady taking photos from between people’s shoulders because I would do anything for a crazy angle.

You know when you go somewhere and you say to yourself I am gonna take one awesome shot and I am done! Well, after taking this shot I looked at it, and I was DONE! I did not think that Akim was a good singer back in his AF days… but man, his has grown to be one hella performer! And oh yeah, because I live in a cave… I didn’t know he has this awesome band. My bad.

Akim and The Majistret. This SHOT. This lighting. Slayyyyyy.

Akim and The Majistret. This SHOT. This lighting. Slayyyyyy.

Apparently, the lighting people did an awesome job. For me to be able to take these shots without using my fast lens etc… says a lot about the quality of the lighting. Why am I talking about the lighting? What else am I going to talk about… I don’t know any of the songs remember?

Akim & The Majistet

Akim & The Majistet

And… what would a show on Sabahan soil without Stacy right? Stacy sang a duet with Akim but no good photos came out of that roll… :'( Their chemistry was a bit off!

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Last but not least, the sorcerer himself. I swear to God I did not know any of his songs. But the crowd was screaming so loud when he came on stage so I figured, he must be a big deal in Malaysia right now.

Afghan

Afghan

My friend’s sister was going Gaga over this dude. I can understand. He’s very good-looking and when he sang that duet with that Sabahan Singer whose name I don’t know (so sorry), their chemistry was off the freaking chart!

Afghan

Afghan, close up!

Don’t hate me. This is the last photo, I promise.

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Afghan was the closing act. He sang about five songs. I left before the last song ended. It was a little over midnight and I anticipated that there would be a traffic jam trying to get out of there. Not knowing what to expect from a live show like this… I came unprepared. In the end, I was a little bit deaf and light-headed because I stood too near to the speakers! But overall, I had a really great time! I took a bunch of photos that I am happy with and I learned a lot about taking photos on live shows!

This is my first time ever blogging about a Music Event! (Time for me to upgrade my musical knowledge a bit)

Thanks for the opportunity Astro (See Bee) and Breeze (Dinoza)!

Pint Sized Choir Conductor!

You’ve probably seen this video on social media before. I’ve seen it a few times but I can seem to stop myself from laughing out loud every time I see this pint-sized conductor!

The baby’s name is Lara and her father also sings in this choir. This was filmed at Central Baptist Church in Kyrgyzstan. Since then this video has been seen by 6.6 million people on Youtube! She was also featured in Today’s Talk. This young lady definitely captured the hearts of many!

Can’t get enough of her? Here’s another video of Baby Lara from a different angle.

Madadayo!

Ma da Kai?
Madadayo! まあだだよ!

Somehow this keeps echoing in my head today. I was awaken by a message from my aunt at 3am in the morning telling me to pad-lock my front grill because there has been a string of armed robberies near my place lately. So I woke up.. checked my front door, double-bolt it and then proceed to check every nook and crannies of my small apartment.
Went back to bed after that and couldn’t get myself to go back to sleep. So there I was lying in my bed and my foggy brain just pulled up the first thing that came to mind. It was the word まあだだよ (Madadayo), it means No, Not Yet! It was the title of Kurosawa’s last film.

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I don’t know what the heck I was thinking but at 3 AM in the morning it seemed to make perfect sense to over-analyse a film and think about its hidden meaning! I don’t know about you but at 3 AM my mind was pretty quick. Foggy. But sharp.

This never occurred to me before but today, it occurred to me how similar the theme was with Dylan Thomas’ Do not go Gentle into That Good Night and how both were about not giving up. About putting up a fight and not letting go easily…. took me 10 years to make this connection.. (see, I actually saw that film in 2001 and read the poem in 2007). Making this silly little connection between the two was like a Eureka moment for me….. at least, a few hours ago… before breakfast and all, I thought… this was brilliant. Now, not so much. I feel sorry for my 3 AM self.

In other note….

All these weird thoughts also made me think about my mother. How when she died all I wanted to say was MADADAYO….

But…

Seriously, who on earth think about Akira Kurosawa at 3 AM in the morning?

I swear this is not Monday Blues.

New Journey Log.

I haven’t finished talking about my previous trip but as I am writing this I am preparing for yet another trip. I will be leaving on Sunday and if all goes as planned I will be spending 14 to 20 days backpacking across Indo-China. Itinerary has been iron-stiffed. One way plane tickets, bought. All I need to do now is pack and do some last minute research about all my stops.

14 days 3 countries

 

Despite being nervous, I am surprisingly adamant about making this trip happen. So yeah, bravery has nothing to do with what I am doing. This is more about pushing my own limits and trying to see how far I could go with so little courage and money :p . Hopefully I’ll make it back in one piece.

Weather has been a challenge lately. One quick look on weather underground and I find myself  looking at a very tough journey ahead. Thunderstorm for the next ten days where I am going. I put my safety in the hands of God. I’ll just go and yeah think about survival once I am there!

weathercm

The first leg of my journey will begin in Northern Thailand. I have never been to Thailand before. I’ve seen sooo many beautiful photos. I can’t wait to begin!! Wish me luck!

A Letter for The New Year.

Hello 2014. I finally have the chance to greet you. How are you? Hope you’re okay. The world is FREEZING. But I hope you’re okay.

As for me, I’ve been busy. I don’t even have enough time for my own website. But I have a lot of time for other people’s website. As long as they’re paying that is. 2014 is a good year to make more money. Especially when the cost of living keeps increasing.

I will not be spending much time ranting here. I am beginning to think that it is high time I begin turning this site into something else. The time for writing and self-reflecting is over. This website no longer serves those purpose.

I will, revamp. Re-theme. Re-do Everything. Look out for the new look. It will roll out sooner than you think.

So, that’s it 2014. I’ll be seeing you later.

Look down.

Have you ever seen a Rangoli? Rangoli is an Indian sandpainted design often seen in Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. Rangoli can be any size and can use a wide variety of materials. Most of the time I see it made with colored rice.

Rangoli

A few years ago I had the chance to see how Rangoli was made. It was our University’s light festival and a bunch of students gathered together to create this beautiful artwork. It took a lot of preparation… and hours of intricate work to come up with beautiful rangoli designs. As soon as they were finished, the Rangolis were left on the floor just like and that. No warning sign were made to warn people of their existence. I thought that perhaps since they’re so beautiful and big… people would’ve notice and would try to not to walk all over them.

I was wrong. Not a few minutes later a bunch of students walked all over them, destroying these beautiful artworks in matter minutes. As I watched this happening,I wonder if those students who made the rangolis should’ve put up a notice to make people aware of their artworks?.. and then I noticed some of the students did see the Rangolis… but they just didn’t care!

A few lessons were learned that day :

The first lesson is, if you are on top… you tend to not see what’s below you. Sometimes, people just stare up ahead and they forgot to see what’s around them. Don’t make this mistake. In life, you should be aware of your surroundings. Look around. Appreciate beauty and kindness… and if you’ve climbed to the top of the mountain, don’t just spend too much time staring at the sky. The sky may be beautiful and blue .. but there’s a vast beautiful world below you. Look down. You might see beauty. You might meet new friends. You might discover new things.

The second lesson is to know that awareness is important. If you are doing something, make people aware of what you’re doing. Especially if it is something important. Don’t just leave your work on the floor for people to walk all over it. Put up a sign. If you value something, make sure that you let people know that you value it. Like ‘time’ for example. You may hate waiting around for people. So let them know. If you don’t, people wouldn’t know that you value it so much and will unintentionally waste your time.

The third lesson, sometimes, you will meet people who just don’t value things. These people could see beauty and not appreciate it. They will see injustice done and not do anything about it. Not because they can’t. But because they just don’t care. Avoid this people. They will bring you down. …. Also make sure you are not one of these people. Not caring, is the worst thing to be in this world.

Choose to be aware. If you are not aware of the world around you, it would be hard to be grateful.

Eat Slowly. Choose Happiness.

How to be happy? A lot people seem to know what happiness is and how to find it. We have these weird ideas that the only way to find happiness is by achieving all the things we wanted to achieve when we were younger. Some people want to be rich. Some people want fame. Some people want love and friendship. Those are the universal image of what happiness would be like. But happiness is trickier than that. Usually we would come to a point where we realized we have achieved everything that we thought would bring us happiness and we are still unhappy. Why are so many rich people unhappy? Why do famous people kill themselves? Why do marriage fail and friendship broke apart?

Most of us have a misconception about happiness. But it is not our fault. We were raised to believe that happiness is closely related to what we can achieve, what we have and the people we know. When the truth is, true happiness should come from within ourselves. Not from things… or other people.

The easiest path to happiness is to be grateful for the little things that you do have. If you complain a lot, you don’t have time to be grateful. If you’re grateful you don’t have time to complain. Let God deal with all the monkeys and politics in the world. Concentrate on making our lives better from the inside.

But really, it’s easier said than done.

Take a breather. Stop complaining about things you can’t control. Eat slowly and choose happiness.

Also visit the Gratitude Project.