12,000 turn out for Silverlake Music Festival


Thai and foreign music fans alike found something to enjoy at the first Silverlake Music Festival.

About 12,000 people – a third of original estimates – turned up for the Jan. 28 concert at the Silverlake Winery, 20 kilometers southeast of Pattaya. Headlined by major Western bands Incubus, Seether and Owl City, the two-stage festival also featured a hearty lineup of Thai and Asian acts.

“They did a good job,” 33-year-old American fan Heather said of organizers Silverlake Entertainment. “The videos on the big screen were fantastic and the sound was excellent.”

Kicking off at just before 2 p.m., the festival offered two stages of music for 12 hours, plus numerous food outlets, areas to cool down and relax, a sufficient number of toilets and a wide offering of shopping opportunities. Music lovers could choose from T-shirts to CDs to fold-out chairs.  Attendees also praised the quick, efficient shuttle service from the parking lot.

Thai band The Stamp cut the ribbon on the music festival when it took the Earth Stage just before 2 p.m. Next followed 25 Hours, Mild, Singular, Band New Sunset, Silly Fools, Franko, Young Guns, Tattoo Colour and Gragson. DJ Spydmokee closed the night.

Thailand boy-band Scrubb kicked off the Solar Stage, with Slot Machine, T-Bone, Akira Jimbo, Anti-Flag and Modern Dog.

The much-anticipated finale brought out the big names: American synth-pop act Owl City, South African post-grunge band Seether and famed American alternative rockers Incubus.

Owl City, with its heavy synth and airy lyrics, aren’t for everyone with critics saying just a couple of songs exemplified the set list. But those knowledgeable about the electronic genre enjoyed it.

“It was quite relaxing music,” said 25-year-old Jeanette of Germany. “Everybody could move to it.  It was a fitting band to have in polite, civilized Thailand.  There was a nice atmosphere during the gig.”

Hard-grinding Seether, playing tunes from its new “Holding on to Strings Better Left to Fray” album, seemed more comfortable in the medium-sized venue. Front man Shuan Morgan seemed attached to his microphone stand for much of the set, but then excited the crowd by throwing his guitar into the drum set with an electric whining sound during the finale.

“I really enjoyed the band.  I have lived in Thailand for 7 years and it’s one of the best concerts I have seen, “ said 37-year-old Renee of German. “I didn’t know Seether before.”

Incubus, which has skipped between hard rock, punk, hip hop and other genres over its 20-year history, is in the 10th month of its 18-month tour to support its “If Not Now, When?” CD. Despite critics savaging much of that record as “elevator music,” band leader Brandon Boyd came across as the archetypal rock star who, after three songs, tore off his shirt to bare his torso and get the females in the audience shrieking in adoration.

“It was really nice but they should have played more of their popular songs,” said 29-year-old Lena of Germany. “I’ve followed  them for 10 years and have their music on my MP3 player.”