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Ups and downs of My Coke

2007-06-27 13:25
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- Hoobastank live
- Springbok Nude Girls live
- Staind Live

Stills from the show Take a look

What we overheard and saw

Most of what's said at big gigs like this is shouted. Most of it is boring: "WANNA BEER?" or "WHERE'S TRACY GONE?" But there were a few gems, too: "She wasn't just drunk. She was with her mother!" Wouldn't you love to know the story behind that? And how about "Just give me the iPod you motherfucker." Got something to add? Post it at the bottom of this page.

You'd expect the greater availability of beer to result in greater drunkenness but it was not to be. Of course, the usual types who had too many in the morning could be found stumbling blearily around or lying on the outskirts with wetness in the corners of their mouths.

The Worst Bits

Cover versions seem to get the crowds hyped up, and they can be fun when they're entertainingly done. This may be a matter of taste, but the cover versions played at My Coke Fest were mostly a disgrace to the originals.

The Parlotones' covers just don't measure up to the originals. Their sped-up, dead-at-the-core version of Koos Kombuis's evocative classic "Lisa Se Klavier" is a shambling thrash with no soul left. "Here Here Comes A Man" (sic) suffered the same fate. Here's the news, guys: when they said "my coke" they didn't mean "act like you've taken some". Though the crowd seemed to dig it, I think their cheering was generous. Unfortunately, a good tune carries an average band, every time.

Hoobastank put up an energetic if muddy performance of their melodic rock stuff. While their melodies may all sound similar to one another, they make up for being, well... small, with massive onstage action, especially jumping on and off boxes. Unfortunately they demonstrated a simplistic, faintly revolting understanding of their two covers. They took "Another Brick in the Wall" aka "We Don't Need No Education" completely out of context and embellished it with wanky zap signs. This went down well with the chanting and probably quite well-educated audience. They took Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" and kicked it in the teeth. It's a song about a couple struggling together, a tender song, cheesy though it is. Lead singer Doug Robb sang it like this: "Dina works the diner all day THAT SLUT". Do I hear you say "Moron"? The best bits

The highlights, according to most, and pretty much neck and neck, were the two final acts, the professional and punchy 3 Doors Down, and the top-billed Evanescence - who sounded slicker than their own recordings. But for many fans, the best bit was watching the Springbok Nude Girls take on a crowd their own size, opening with a barrage of fantastic new material off Peace Breaker and finishing with refreshingly hardcore versions of their bigger blasts from the past. While Hoobastank played, fans spotted Arno Carstens hanging with his wife Melanie, and DJ Nicole Fox in the Golden Circle area, and, ignoring the Hoobastank onstage they began chanting "Arno! Arno! Arno!" You can't help imagining how the Nude Girls could have rocked the crowd if they'd been billed as headliners rather than as a warm-up act for the lowest-billed international. Judging by the number of South African band T-Shirts fans were wearing, and the shout Taxi Violence and Dirty Skirts got, the support is out there.

All in all though, a great day and night out, a friendly vibe, and a happy party. See you all next year for more.

- Jean Barker
My Coke Fest has been a big hit, in both cities. The weather was great - a perfect sunny and still Cape Town winter day. There was parking, there was beer, there were plenty of toilets, and most of all, there was plenty of music.
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