Flat Scandal lack the fizz to overcome musical hiccups
Japanese band Scandal gave a one-off concert at the Rotunda in the Kowloon International Trade and Exhibition Centre, last Monday. It was the band's fourth trip to Hong Kong, and the largest venue in which they have played to date in the SAR.
I've had the pleasure of seeing them each time they have performed here, and have always been impressed with their performance, energy and gung-ho attitude. So it was surprising that this show was not as much fun as previous gigs. There was a noticeable lack of energy from the band and several obvious musical hiccups. May be it was the result of performing in Taiwan the night before, and flying into Hong Kong the same morning as the show.
Kitec has always been bad for gigs owing to the arena's poor acoustics and design. The sound system didn't help the band's sub-par show; the instruments seemed overpowering and the vocals a little muted; I would have preferred Scandal to have used Kitec's more intimate auditorium- with its better acoustics - which they used last year. It was also annoying that security staff kept hounding those in the cheaper seats from taking photos, yet left those in the expensive seats free to snap away at will. Not cool!
The band opened with the first two tracks from their new album, Baby Action- Glamorous You and Sonotoki Sekaiwa Kimidarakeno rain. The rest of the set was a selection of songs from all their albums. The show closed with two encores, the first Kagero, a single from the band's indie days, and Everybody Say Yeah!, the lead track on their previous album Temptation Box. They sang 15 songs and the concert lasted just a little over an hour, which seemed particularly short.
Overall the concert was mediocre and, as a fan, I was disappointed in the lack of showmanship and performance.
Energy-wise, things didn't get going until the last song, in the audience as well as on stage- only those in the centre-front rows seemed to warm up. Hopefully Scandal's next Hong Kong show will be better.