The Tyrannian Music Festival
The Tyrannian Music Festival is always a feast for the ears, but this year’s splendour was truly incredible. A stupefying 60,000 pets and owners attended the gig-fest, which of course was held at the Plateau Concert Hall. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to be part of the experience, I’m now going to take you through the day’s events:
The 2 Gallon Hatz (***)
Being the first act to play at a prestigious music occasion is no walk in Faerieland, but The 2 Gallon Hatz manage to get the early crowds interested with their fun country tunes. The band creates a lively atmosphere throughout the arena-turned-outdoor-amphitheatre, yet fails to collect a mass audience. As one song blends into the next, you start to wonder whether The ‘Hatz will ever develop a strong fanbase. Lively.
Only 20 minutes after the first set finishes and hordes of screaming young Neopians (mostly female) surround the stage, squealing hysterically for their heroes M*YNCI to appear onstage. You’d be forgiven for thinking the crowd were waiting for a heavy metal concert – pets shove those ahead into the barrier for a glimpse of the now arriving band. A young pink Uni steps on my toe unapologetically. For these preteen fans the soft pop is as exciting as your favourite team winning the Altador Cup, but as the soppy ballads and dance routines continue the quintet’s individual haircuts and colours fool no wiser viewers.
Twisted Roses (****)
Seeing Twisted Roses perform in daylight is a little disorientating, like spotting Eliv Thade sunbathing on the beaches of Mystery Island. Nevertheless, the industrial rock combined with the threesome’s gothic glamour is enough to set pulses racing and make the day start to feel like a real music festival. Icy attitudes and possible subliminal messaging aside, the band raises hopes for other female musicians hoping to make the big time.
Mellow Marauders (**)
Mellow Marauders are newcomers to this tradition, but the crowd still hovers in anticipation to see this rare act. The band's appearance and amazing background props gives it a great stage presence, but the music fails to follow. Don’t get me wrong – the violins and flutes are all very nice – but after the explosion that was Twisted Roses, the audience find themselves bored and shuffling their feet awkwardly. Unmemorable.
Yes Boy Ice Cream (*****)
It’s a good job Yes Boy Ice Cream is here to save the day then. Blasting into their greatest hits with full-on costumes and laser beams, the enigmatic trio get even the most sombre of music fans dancing; a feat many other bands have fallen short in accomplishing. Few manage to look away, captivated by the fun and energetic set the band carry out. Once the 90 minute party is over, Tyrannia seems that much less colourful.
Wock Til You Drop (***)
Local rock stars Wock Til You Drop have a tough act to follow, and despite their heroes' welcome and ecstatic home crowd, they just can’t seem to recreate the ambience that YBIC had. The music is good, and the front man/lead guitarist rocks hard, but seems to lap up all the glory, leaving none for the bored-looking drummer or the poor soul who has to spend the entire show encased in a block of fake ice. His ego becomes irritating as he demands louder applause and punters start heckling.
Cheeky comments are soon blown away by Moehawk’s powerful yet melodic hard rock. With ridiculous hairstyles and piercings galore, you’d assume that Moehawk would not appeal to a very wide audience. Wrong. The concert hall and all surrounding areas are filled with hyper owners and their Neopets, all anxious for the trio to play their most well-loved anthems. They do not disappoint. Fans are greeted with flying guitar and keyboard solos so fast I’m sure that if the band had fingers, you wouldn’t be able to see them. Although the fast-paced songs and shredding guitar can get a little repetitive, today, Moehawk is simply unstoppable. Ingenious.
Chomby and the Fungus Balls (*)
Here is a band that always gets the top spots in musical occasions such as this one, and how they do this is simply a mystery to me and several other music fans. The Chomby’s recurring shrieks give viewers a persistent headache, while the too-bright backdrop produces a sense of nausea rather than a sense of nostalgia. The group tries to make up for the dreadful set by releasing tens of inflatable “fungus balls” into the crowd, which believe me, were far more interesting. Definitely the right time to go find some festival food.
Gruundo take the stage as the true kings of Neopian punk rock – even if they are from Kreludor. The first band to appear with an actual bassist, their sound thunders throughout the plateau, shaking Tyrannia to its roots. The audience cheers, jumps and sings along as if the people hadn’t just spent all their energy watching previous highly rated acts. As heads bang and pyrotechnics set the stage –almost literally – alight, we all realise in glee that Sloth has in fact created something useful.
Sticks N Stones (*****)
After such a performance, it takes a great band to come onstage and keep the crowd going, never mind better the last act. No other band comes to mind than Sticks N Stones. The youngest member being only 17 years of age, the motley crew have Neopia in the palm of their paws, and have reigned as the kings of the Tyrannian Music Festival. Striding onto the stage with utmost confidence, singer Axle Roo asks all 60,000 owners and pets to scream – and none disobey. When the heroes break into hit single “Welcome to the Plateau” the noise made by the masses would have put many bands off, yet nothing seems to distract SNS tonight. Young gun Sludge launches into a solo so face-melting that punters on the west side of the venue look over at Terror Mountain with worry. Adolescent fans look up at their idol with admiration, and even a few tears. No-one else has yet matched the air of electricity that hangs when this band play their excessive stadium rock, and doubts that Gruundo’s set could be beaten have been swept away. The crowd leave for home – after three encores, of course – with the satisfaction that tonight could not have ended more perfectly. Phenomenal.