Friday, April 9, 2010

Wyclef Jean and Fatboy Slim - Malaysian Grand Prix Post-Race Concert

You may be asking yourself why there is a concert post in a blog called Sports Road Trips. After the Malaysian Grand Prix, the promoters had a great double bill: Wyclef Jean followed by Fatboy Slim. I'm a big Slim fan since his song "Praise You" and the accompanying video, documented in Torrance Rises. My girlfriend is also a fan of both artists (I had no idea who Wyclef Jean was when I first saw the ad, which shows how little I follow music) so when I told her that they were both performing at the F1, she was eager to go.

If you had a race ticket, the concert ticket was only RM100, or $30. Without a race ticket, the concert was RM250. But the cheapest race ticket was only RM100, so it made more sense to buy the cheap race ticket and then the concert ticket. When you bought the concert ticket you were given a wristband which was all you needed to get in.

My girlfriend had stayed downtown while I went to the race on Sunday afternoon. But at 6pm, as most of the race fans were heading home, she made her way to the circuit and we walked up the hill to the concert entrance. We had a bottle of water that was not allowed to be brought inside so we chugged it and entered. I was surprised at how few of the race spectators were at the concert and we made our way almost to the front of the crowd. We then waited for about an hour, being entertained by a local DJ known as Twilight Actiongirl. Finally, after the sun had set and the crowd had swelled considerably, Wyclef Jean made his appearance. He came out wearing sunglasses and a Ferrari team shirt and immediately got the crowd moving.

I'm not going to review his concert in detail, other than to say he put on a great show with lots of energy. Much of his material is based on other songs and one memorable bit was when he did a bit of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" that had the crowd going crazy. He also brought several fans up on stage to dance with a belly dancer, which was good fun for everyone.

We were about 5 rows from the front, right at the center, and near the end of the show he made is way into the crowd. We were split down the middle and he walked right in front of us, as you can see in the picture below.

After he went off to raucous cheering, there was a 30-minute break while we waited for Fatboy Slim. Several spectators in front of us left, so we moved closer to the front.

I'm not a big fan of the electronic music/DJ scene, but have always enjoyed Fatboy Slim's unique take. His only instrument was a turntable and a computer as you can see below.

Early in the show, there was a sudden system failure that left him momentarily stunned. As the crowd watched anxiously, a couple of technicians rushed out and after a couple of minutes, restored order. The joint was jumping again.

His show was one continuous beat, highlighted by Rockefeller Skank, one of his biggest hits. He would wave his arms and pump his fists before returning to the headphones to set up the next record. As the show drew to a close, he wrote "Let's Have a Rave Up" but I knew that wasn't going to happen in Malaysia and shortly thereafter he walked off as the tired crowd prepared for the long bus ride back to KL.

This was a great show from two world-class performers. Being right at the front for a concert of this size is something that I had never experienced before and will likely never again. I'm not sure if the other F1 races have a similar post-race celebration, but if they do, it's definitely something worth attending.



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