Live review from 20th Anniversary Festival Day 2 星期六

1, 序章
2, 這旅程
3, 靈魂情歌
4, 回復原廠設定
5, 只想繼續唱著未唱的歌

“Every moment of sadness, there is always a song that represents the mood of the moment”

That’s what the band has on their record label site. And from love songs, to sentimental ballads, expressive punk rock and the occasionally summery jitters, SADJAY does, in fact, have a song that represents the mood of many moments.

Formed in 2017, SADJAY was one of the more established and experienced bands to showcase their musical talent at UG20th (and it’s their first time!). Arriving in matching slack blacks, dyed hair, and a keyboard, SADJAY stood out as one of the more truly local bands of the night. Their heavily layered, sappy melody forward sad ballads also gave off an air of sophisticated Asian pop. However, while the songs were well written, the performance in the Dairy did leave a lot to be desired.

If you were to find them on YouTube, the performances both in sound and visuals are tight, well-balanced and passionate. At the Dairy, we had the passionate. After the first song, lead singer Anthony asked for a rebalance with the piano going quieter and the vocals getting louder. For an already pretty heavy band, this really pushed them a bit too far with the vocals overwhelming the now tinny piano. The vocals were also often flat especially when half sung, and during the introduction to their third song 靈魂情歌 (A Ballad for the Soul) the solo drum opening was out of beat with the pre-recorded backing effects. All of this does, however, point to an issue more with the Dairy Bar’s sound system than them – clearly from other live performances and their studio recordings, SADJAY is more than capable.

This is a shame because their songs, with their relatable lyrics, catchy melodies and complex musical layering could have been one of the more memorable performances of the night. At times, the piano arpeggios soared high above the chaos of the other instruments, creating a moment of calm before crashing back down into the sad mire, reminding us, as they aimed to, of all the complex emotions of love and life. Clearly, very clearly, hopefully, this was an uncharacteristic performance. Nonetheless, their experience shows. It’s not easy to keep a performance going with so many problems out of your control so kudos to them for sticking to the most important mantra of all performers – the show must go on. Considering their musical goals, it’s kind of symbolic isn’t it.
– Cyril Ma

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