So you're out on your 'world tour' are ya? Gonna be a big star, eh? Well, mind your p's and q's boyo, you never know who you might get on the wrong side of. This time, it's Hajimama's, Collwyn Craig.
At first glance, they had all the trappings of a professional band. Before the show, someone who may be their manager carefully folded a couple of their T-shirts, aligned their three CDs, and meticulously placed all their hand-drawn stickers on the end of the Vinyl Underground bar.
As Tera Melos took the stage on Sunday night for no more than two dozen people, they placed their giant pedal boards (two each for the guitar and bass players), tested them, and sound checked their mics. I had listened to their Myspace page earlier and thought they had potential, and at the start of the show, I thought I was right.
After a few interesting songs, a sound problem with the bass amp stopped the show. The bass player got offstage and the other guys laughed and joked about what they could play. After that problem was fixed, everything sounded good again, but they still had to deal with the problem of the mic zapping the singer, which had also troubled Nacho Pupa, the opening band. A comedic pedal dance by the lead guitarist/singer was entertaining, but a song I kind of liked on MySpace sounded terrible live.
By the end of the show, the volume had grown so loud that even regular live music lovers were stuffing tissue in theirs ears to protect themselves. After their last song, when the other musicians stopped, the lead singer did not. He proceeded to turn his back to the audience and work his way up the chromatic scale on each string of his guitar in succession, at extreme volume, for a good five minutes, while everyone but the event organizer left.
As I began walking up the stairs I heard the rest of the band come back on stage and revert this un-music back into their last song and continue playing, but I was in no mood to go back into that deafening volume of sound.
If you ask me, it was a big ‘screw you’ to everyone who came. I know the crowd was small, no one bought any merchandise, and the mics and amps were problems, but from a band that claimed to have played over 800 shows, where was their professionalism? Nacho Pupa, a local Busan band, never stopped playing through some painful looking microphone zapping, and a broken string on one of their guitars.
I’ve been encouraged to support the groups that bring foreign acts down to Busan. I’ve only been to a few. I’ve listened to some on the Internet and decided it’s not worth going; however, I’ve been told afterward it was the best show ever. For Tera Melos, I listened, liked, and went, and was disappointed.
Just because a band comes from overseas and charges cover, doesn’t guarantee a good show.