Think about the famed MTV World Stage and the first thoughts that come to mind is that it takes the cake for being the crème de la crème of all televised music festivals in Asia.
From the controversial hit single ‘Blurred Lines’ by headliner Robin Thicke debuting in Asia for the first time to the fact that the weather was dreadful most part of the festival, MTV World Stage’s iteration this year could be forgiven for being at slightly less that its best – especially in comparison to is predecessors.
The full male line up had female fans from all over the world thronging down to Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur for a Sunday they would never forget. Hailing from all parts of the world, this year’s international line-up of four male acts included home grown Malaysian rapper Joe Flizzow, K-Pop group EXO, hip hop crew Far East Movement and R&B singer Robin Thicke.
Kicking off the show was Malaysian rapper extraordinaire Joe Flizzow ‘werking’ his turf. He braved the rain and performed five songs including ‘Iller Iller’, crowd favorite ‘Untukmu’ and ‘All Around My World’ and was joined on stage by SonaOne and Altimet on ‘Havoc’. His performance definitely heated up the atmosphere; even the 15,000-strong crowd that were trying their best to stay their ponchos dry could not resist dancing.
Immediately after Flizzow’s set, the crowd got wilder as the 12-man band EXO launched into ‘Wolf’. Then again, ‘wilder’ won’t be the right word. I would describe the scene as ‘bat shit cray’. Hoards of fans squished their way to the front just to get a better view of EXO’s first performance in Malaysia. The screams and howls were ear-piercing and were able to drown out any conversation you would want to have while the performance was happening on stage.
It was already expected that a good ¾ of the crowd was there to watch the group of good-looking lads from EXO bust out carefully choreographed dance steps in complete synchrony. Not only were they all in matching school blazers (oh yes, we girls love our preppy boys), they managed to command the crowd with their vocals. They also sang hit single ‘History’, the One Direction-esque tune ‘365’ and they ended their set with ‘Growl’. What did it for the fans was not the confetti at the end but all the fan service they got. One can never underestimate the sly wink or boyish grin of a K-Pop boy band member. Never.
Robin Thicke may have been the headliner of the festival, but his set was nowhere as notable as Far East Movement’s heart-thumping, body-shaking, fist-thumping set. The VIP viewing area showed a scene right out off an episode of Jersey Shore. Opening with ‘Ain’t No Coming Down x Wild Things’, Far East Movement engulfed the stage with their hard hitting bass beats and brought the house down with club-friendly party anthems.
Grabbing inspiration and paying tribute to their idols the Beastie Boys, they played the longest set of the night that got the crowd grooving non-stop. Hit songs ‘Like A G6’, ‘If I Was You (OMG)’, ‘Live My Life’, ‘Rocketeer‘ and new super song of the summer ‘The Illest’ were performed. The energy level surpassed all the sets before theirs and it was so uplifting to dance and sing in union. Ending the set with ‘Turn Up The Love’ definitely ended the whole MTV World Stage experience for me. Their set had everything from rubber duckies to crowd-surfing men donning red overalls. It was clear to say that we all felt like ‘we be the illest in here tonight’
After that perfect pandemonium, it was going to be tough to get crowd as hyped as before. Robin Thicke had his work cut out for him, however compared to the other sets; his was the worst of the night. People were already leaving and more left throughout his set. After a more than disappointing technical difficulty, Robin started his set with up beat sensual tunes ‘Give It 2 U’, ‘Shake It For Daddy’ and even delivered a soulful rendition of ‘Dreamworld’. Then came ‘Blurred Lines’ and the atmosphere immediately lifted with the crowd dancing and singing along to controversial hit.
One may agree that what made Thicke’s set bearable was the fact that he had attractive young women dancing with him. But should that ever be the case? There were times the women stole the show and left Thicke struggling to retain the attention of the crowd.
Finally, the concert came to a close with a dazzling display of fireworks being shown alongside the MTV crew dancing to Big Sean’s ‘Clique’ on stage. It was definitely an experience worth remembering and many props go out to the MTV Asia team for making the whole concert experience completely enjoyable.
This press junket was made possible by the awesome folks at MTV Asia. MTV, you rock.