MILFF 2016: A review
Malaysian Independant Live Fusion Festival 2016, a clever moniker #MILFF happened last Saturday at KWC Fashion Mall with fabulous acts gracing the stage, namelylocal world fusion music super band AkashA Malaysia, and the rest from India – Haricharan and his backing band Bennet and the Band, infamous Karthik Singer and Krew, fusionistas Masala Coffee and closing act Thaikudam bridge.
Aptly titled the Epic concert, the show started with Akasha Malaysia working their magic with their original tunes. For the initiated, it was obvious a few of their original members were not on stage. However, the music was not compromised. The Malaysian band on stage, rocking it to the Irish tune with a concert going Irish woman clad in a salwar kameez doing the Irish jig was a testament to what a brilliant night it was going to be. The only change that was needed was a riser platform. Being cross legged musicians the monitors and lightings were blocking the visual aspect of the band.
Masala Coffee then took stage. A clever concoction of both original and cover numbers took the crowd into a frenzy. Indian musicians are known to be precise in their arrangements and mathematical permutations. The singers prowess (Sooraj Santhosh) was backed eloquently by the band.
Singer Haricharan who’s no new comer to Malaysia enthralled both his fans and audience at large with his familiar numbers. Some interesting keyboard, flute and guitar works provided by Bennet and the Band, who were incidentally the first time in Malaysia. It was a flawless performance leaving the crowd hungry for more. We would like to see Haricharan more with Bennet and the Band
It is worthy to note that the evening was kept tight between band changes by the notorious brothers Aanantha THR Raaga and @Ram together with another THR Raaga Malaysia announcer Yaashini Devi. Much kudos to all 3 of them.
The diva moment of the night was provided by none other than Karthik Singer. HIs krew did an amazing job. It was clear though that there were problems with the monitors on stage. The piece worth mentioning was his well loved fusion take of ‘Bandureethi’ with the Krew. His partisans (who definitely consists largely of the female gender) loved his set. Personally, his set could have been much better.
The finale for the night, perhaps the headliner of this festival would be Thaikudam bridge. Their piquant renditions of both cover and original numbers (Govind P Menon Thaikkudam Bridge) was delivered with the energy and rawness they are known for. A must have band in any festival. Thaikudam bridge’s debut appearance in Malaysia left a lasting impression.
For newbie Mojo Projects, MILFF2016 was a winner. Given the damper how A.R Rahman’s concert was organized earlier this year by another event organizer, most of the festival’s throng were cautious. It was a pleasant surprise to have a well organized show for a change.
Every festival does have its hiccups. The crowd for the food and drink vendors was overwhelming. The organizers should include more options and ease of being served. Speaking to the artists after the show, there were obvious sound problem’s on stage. The superb handling of the crowd by the security personnel was a win, however at a festival, crowd should be allowed to dance and move up towards the stage, to the beckoning of the bands.
All in all, it was a festival that brought together a diverse group of fusion music lovers. Much kudos to all involved. Hope to see future installments to come.