4. Dirty Little Secret (cover)
Props to Zero Displacement: the first band of the night may have played the shortest set, but they brought an army of fans who greeted the young rockers like Oasis at Knebworth. There was no trace of irony in frontman Ashwin Nair’s voice when he introduced the first song as, “this song is called Untitled…” The nameless new track drew upon the laidback alt-rock melodies of Stereophonics, but the lyrics were lost behind overly loud guitar. It was less a sound desk issue, and more a case of the singer not projecting his voice enough. Towards the end of the song, guitarist Leo Garcia took the opportunity to perform a neat solo, showing off his skill and lending some rockstar theatrics.
On Rush, drummer Sophia Young Rogers swapped instruments with Leo, and began playing a low, aggressive, rattling punk riff channeling Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ Bad Education. During this song, Sophia outshone her bandmates, bringing an infectious energy and freshness that stayed with the crowd. She brought the track to a close with a rousing “oooowaaaaaohhhh” call-and-response that had the whole crowd singing.
Stay was a song that needed a lot of work. Ashwin has a soulful voice, but his singing just wasn’t audible, despite the sound desk’s best efforts to turn him up. Leo broke through again with a simple solo, but his guitar was badly out of tune and had a jarring effect.
The band ended their set on a high, with Ashwin and bassist Miguel Raymund Yusay switched their guitars for a heavy cover of All American Rejects’ Dirty Little Secret. As soon as Miguel began playing that instantly-recognisable pop rock riff, the crowd went wild. After hiding behind unobtrusive basslines for the previous three songs, he finally stole the spotlight with a joyful and energetic rendition of a classic, alongside Sophia’s effervescent rhythms.
Zero Displacement’s set wasn’t the most polished or musically-accomplished, but the up-and-coming rockers showed there’s more to star power than pitch-perfect playing. All four members looked overjoyed at the love radiated back at them on The Hub stage, and it was a pleasure to watch this nascent group taking pride in their sound, having fun playing together, and delighting a deafening roomful of fans.
- El Jay
對筆者而言，The Underground嘅Sub Terra新系列有d似英皇佐治五世學校嘅Lion Rock、Hidden Agenda嘅Newbie Agenda、再加上幾隊老牌香港地下樂隊嘅混合音樂表演。繼Sub Terra 1嘅Asyndeton後，主辦單位再次邀請咗一隊年輕有為嘅樂壇新手—Zero Displacement—展開當晚嘅演出。上台時，佢地每人披上咗自己嘅國旗，一共有四個國家，既刻考起咗筆者：答案好似係菲律賓、印度、南韓、以及巴拉圭……好似係。問一問隔離朋友先知道，原來，佢地來自李寶椿聯合世界書院。喺香港，恐怕只有香港管弦樂團比佢地更加國際。
Zero Displacement出道無耐，原創歌曲唔多，所以當晚只不過簡短地玩咗四首歌，而結尾一首選擇咗翻唱All-American Rejects嘅Dirty Little Secret。佢地風格以典型二千年代嘅流行搖滾、流行龐克音樂為主，寫作上唔算特別突出。最突出嘅，反而係結他手Leo源源不絕嘅結他solo，雖然似乎凌駕咗其他樂器（單係「Rush」一首裡面就有三段solo），但係次次都獲得現場觀眾嘅喝彩，係全場嘅精華。
- Elson Tong