▲ Vinnie Motor performing at The Factory in Jeju City, Oct. 29. Photo by Chris Dwyer.
Last Oct. 29 night was one of ghoulish revelry as expats and locals alike flooded The Factory in Jeju City for their Halloween bash. The Saturday night party boasted seven bands, a costume contest as well as a DJ, and went from early evening until late into the witching hours.
The event was billed as a “Death Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert and Ghosts Party” and invited attendees to “call the ghost in your world.” A wide spectrum of musicians heeded this call bringing an eclectic array of sounds to the evening. Jason R. Mortz began the evening with a batch of originals. Mortz’s songs harness the grit of America’s southern rock tradition. He hammered on his acoustic guitar behind grinding vocals. Playing with him was fast-fingered mustachioed friend Joey on electric guitar. Joey played blues at one point breaking out a guitar slide in the form of a Budweiser bottle. The music was augmented by a contained but complimentary alto sax blown by Hocheol Kim.
From there, the music made a dark turn as Silent Menual took the stage. The lead singer wore an expression of surprised excitement as he grunted and screamed his way through music that operated on hairpin turns and descents into furious power chords. They even threw in a cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T” for good measure. The rest of the band wore masks and at the center of the sound was a powerhouse guitarist whose instrument looked like something the Devil himself would strum.
Silent Menual set the tone for friends in metal Vinnie Motor. With a piston-fueled energy, Vinnie Motor powered through a set. At the helm was Wabi Kang on guitar and lead vocals. The rest of the band buckled down into power stances and pummeled the crowd with an adrenaline-fueled wall of sound. The lead guitarist seemed almost laid-back in his long trench coat as his fingers flew over the frets in whirlwind solos.
The set was briefly interrupted by the appearance of a next-door hotel proprietor with a noise complaint, but almost immediately resumed after she was calmed down. Vinnie Motor fittingly closed with a spot on performance of the Metallica classic “Master of Puppets.” The band managed to accomplish the ambitious standard with what seemed like playful casualness.
After a short break, local Jeju hard rock band Enswer took over and propelled the energy further with their own distinct brand of distortion-driven songs. The night reached the peak of its crescendo. They turned the by then max capacity crowd into head bangers and the front row teetered on the edge of mosh-pit status.
By the time solo Tropicalia-inspired acoustic act David Bevilaqua took the stage the crowd was far too frantic to listen (Tropicalia is a Brazilian art movement). His soft songs were unfortunately lost in a sea of noise as people took the lull in immense sound as an opportunity to begin talking.
DOK.GU.NO.IN was able to regain the crowd’s attention, however, as they packed the stage with performers. Singer Bo H Lee’s charisma was palpable as she paraded around with microphone in hand donning a wizard’s cap. The crowd appealed to “indie rock” fans with covers of songs such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Gold Lion.” The repertoire also moved through such classics as “Say It Ain’t So,” a sure-fire sing-along inspirer.
Just Some Guys played last. A band with influences as diverse as their worldly members, their repertoire spans genres including classic rock, country, jazz, and Cajun. Phil Miron held down rhythm guitar while Shaun Miller took lead. Classically trained trumpeter Steven Mercier let loose with a bright and frantic sound that meshed with Hocheol Kim’s saxophone. Different singers took turns at the microphone moving the band through a selection of covers such as “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
By the end of the night, the dance floor was a sea of zombies, serial killers, furry animals, and devil horns. Jesus and Harry Potter even made an appearance. Freddie Mercury and Brian May from Queen took top prize in the costume contest before Mr. Mercury himself (Chris Dwyer) took over the stage for a DJ set.
In the early morning, the crowd slowly began to dwindle and the dance floor became stagnant. Decked out individuals dispersed into the night fully satisfied by the raucous, loud, fun, and memorable 2011 Halloween at Jeju City Hall.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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