Live review from The Underground “Back to its Roots” Festival Part 1:
4. Just The Way You Are
Set amid an emotionless European-style funfair, The Underground’s Back to its Roots Festival was the stubbornly beating heart of a curiously detached carnival of light, sound, and pulsing Euro-dance.
Joke Ian (捉伊人) took to the stage late in the afternoon on Saturday, kicking off an evening’s entertainment that steadily cranked the amps up to 11. Performing a mix of English and Canto pop punk, the local rockers – whose name is a play on the Cantonese for “hide and seek” – drowned out the noise of surrounding carnival rides with their own excitable pop-punk, interspersed with jokes. Singer Siu Sun Lee gave a strong vocal performance alongside Pinkerton-era Weezer guitars on 風起了, (translation: The Wind Blows).
An unexpected cover of Just The Way You Are began with high fretwork guitar, evoking Bloc Party’s Helicopter. Bruno Mars’ original soulfulness may have been beaten into submission, but this was a powerfully infectious take on the original featuring all three guitarists bouncing in unison.
The emo introduction to 孩子(translation: Children) enveloped the stage in a moody atmosphere before Mikey Ki’s guitar drowned out all the other instruments. The mix allowed the talented player to shine during the ballad, but sounded out of balance.
Band goals? More songs are coming! We’re staying tuned.
– El Jay