After a stellar kick-off last year, Future Music Festival Asia came back for a second serving. A franchise of Australia's trademark festival, FMFA is the biggest international music festival in Southeast Asia, held in Kuala Lumpur.
With a claimed 15% increase in attendance this year, FMFA looks set to be a permanent fixture on this region's music scene. This year also saw an additional day devoted entirely to trance music, an extremely popular genre among Malaysians. Under the helm of the world's number one deejay Armin Van Buuren, who brought his A State of Trance 600: The Expedition World Tour to the delight of a sold-out crowd of 30,000, the first night of FMFA was anything but stagnant. Fixed on just one stage, the night was spent, literally, in a trance. The show was also reportedly broadcast to listeners worldwide via www.astateoftrance.com.
The second day saw slightly less numbers of attendees as well as artists compared to the first year. I have to say it was the right choice to scale down on numbers of performers, and concentrate on bringing a well-rounded festival that has everything from indie, hip hop, pop, to hard dance across four stages.
Goldfish & Blink.
Considered to be a rather comfortable festival with its compact size, FMFA took it up a notch by installing a new, easier access pathway from the lower level arenas to the higher ones. Such thoughtful installation was more than welcome for stage hoppers who wanted to zip their way from one area to another.
The main attraction for most, including Thais who flew down for the weekend, was The Prodigy who curated their own stage under the name "The Prodigy Presents Warrior's Dance Arena". Feed Me and Kill The Noise presented the top two deejay sets in the festival, serving as a good warm-up for what The Prodigy had in store. The legendary big-beat band lived up to expectations, proving wrong those who thought their days were over. The Prodigy presented a no-frills set that incorporated all the biggest hits and unrivalled energy. The constant dry ice and underworld colour scheme added to the fearsome effects.
The Gnome Stage was a place for hip-hop lovers and rappers to hang about early in the night, while it switched to hardcore dancing as the night progressed. Legendary hip-hop outfits De La Soul and Naughty by Nature were definite highlights of the night.
Sadly, The Temper Trap took to the Flamingo Stage too early. They came on even before the night fell, and that reduced the opportunity for them to showcase their lighting, which usually complements their live sounds. Rita Ora, pegged as the next pop diva, was lively, while Grammy-award winner fun. got the crowd singing along. Mister Gangnam himself graced the festival as the special guest. Psy, in his excellent English, announced that FMFA would be where he retired his global hit as he will release a new single in the near future. On that note, Psy performed Gangnam Style twice as he wanted the first round to be for "photo ops" and second to be for "enjoyment". Bloc Party ended the night for indie lovers, but due to a delay, people had to choose to see Bloc Party or The Prodigy instead of a little bit of both.
An official statement has already confirmed there will be another edition of FMFA next year. Here's hoping to an even a better line-up. Low cost airlines and budget hotels, let's get going!
About the author
- Writer: Onsiri Pravattiyagul
Position: Entertainment Editor