Against the Current: Raffles Rock Uprising 2016

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By Kaushik Rangaraj (17S06P) and Sabariesh Ilankathir (17A13A)
Photos by Lau Yunxi (17S03E) and Liu Yanru (17S05A)
Additional reporting by Lee Yun Ning (17A01E)

“It was a night of great fun and infectious music that really made it a perfect way to end off a week – not just for the audience, but also the performers,” said Yujun (17S03A), in an apt summation of the entire Uprising gig.

On 22 April, The Theatre Studies Room was bursting with energy from 6–8pm, with Raffles Rock experiencing an unforgettable time that they promised to share with us. Of course, Uprising was intended more as a snippet of Raffles Rock’s real full-length performance on 27th May, “Rock Out”. Nonetheless, Uprising was a night of earnest, energetic rock music that had the entire audience on their feet raving and cheering for their favourite bands.

Osaka Sun keeps the audience enthralled with their renditions of alternative rock classics

Osaka Sun kicked off the show with their beautiful renditions of “Lovers in Japan“ by Coldplay and “Cough Syrup” by Young the Giant.  Given that Coldplay and Young the Giant were arguably one of the better alternative rock bands out there, it was no easy task for anyone to take on their songs. However, Osaka Sun did not let that stop or hinder them, going forth to deliver a truly memorable performance. Sophia Goh (17S03H) headed the vocals, with Peng Mu Zi (17S06H) and Jesse Tan (17S06N) on the guitars. Ethan Cheong (17S03H) debuted his drumming dexterity to the Rafflesian population in this show. He swapped with Jesse for “Cough Syrup”. Rounding up the band were Joelle Ocampo (17S03A) and Lee En Lyn (17A01D), playing the bass and keyboard respectively.

Lead Vocalist Su Ying and guitarist Adam Teo are pictured in the forefront during their song Hollywood (Girl)

The night only got better after, with Daybreak taking the stage following Osaka Sun’s performance. Daybreak was the second J1 band performing for the night and despite their newbie status, they managed to pump up the crowd with their energy and freshness which left lasting impressions. We definitely feel that these band members are going to become the new faces of Raffles Rock with their talent and stage presence. Vocalist Su Ying (17A01B), as well as guitarists Adam Teo (17S07B) and Ho Chih Ying (17S06C), were livewires throughout the set, constantly hyping up the audience. Daybreak performed “Hollywood (Girl)” by Papa Roach and “Brick by Boring Brick” by Paramore.

The veteran J2s take the stage and dazzle

The first J2 Band of the two present at Uprising, Atlas Hour, then took to the stage to the screams and cheers of their fan following. They performed an energising set, which included the standout track “Cake by the Ocean” (DNCE). The crowd cheered for Guitarist Nathanael Goh’s (16S03N) every strum, as he proved himself once again a smashing rock performer. Atlas Hour also performed a wonderful rendition of Anna Sun and “Gravity” by Against the Current. Their final song, “Anastasia” by Slash, left the audience incapable of standing still as everyone began to excitedly mosh.

Saving the best for last, Raffles Rock presents Diversion

The final act of the night was the second J2 band, The Diversion. Usually the best is saved for the last, and this Rock gig was no different either. Diversion walked onto the stage, evidently very hyped up and determined to end the night with a great performance. They performed 4 songs, each song better than the last. “The Handler” by Muse and a mashup of “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai and “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 simply blew the audience away. Singer Nicole Sim (16S06O) was very enthusiastic and interacted with the audience very well, inviting them to sing and clap along throughout the performances. “Selenium Forest” (instrumental version) by Plini was also very well played. Nonetheless, it was The Diversion’s last performance which really blew the audience away — “She’s Gone” by Steelheart was performed, as a tribute to Prince, who had passed away earlier that day. It was a well done performance, during which keyboardist Andrea Raeburn (16A01E) truly shone. Because it was handled by a capable and sensitive performer, the keyboard truly captured and expressed the intensity of the emotion that the song had been trying to convey.

“Despite the small crowd and setting, the atmosphere was still very electrifying and everyone’s spirits were really high throughout the entire concert.” This sentiment expressed by Brian Chiong (17S03C) was echoed by several others of the audience as everyone enjoyed the 2-hour action-packed concert. The Rock Members had reaped the rewards of the 2-3 weeks of hard work they put into organizing this concert; an effort that was evident that night in both the high production quality and well-chosen songs. Despite it being a small endeavour, Uprising no doubt left these two reviewers  eager for more from Raffles Rock.

Rockout: Anarchy by Raffles Rock will be held on Friday the 27th May (last day of Term 2), 7.30pm at The Ground Theatre at Scape. Tickets are priced at $12 (early bird) and $14 (standard) and can be purchased from the canteen booth on Wednesdays and Fridays in the weeks leading up to Rockout. See you there!

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