Posted on November 22, 2016
According to the news, the summer of 2016 was one of the hottest on record. Despite the crazy heat and humidity, I was really excited to be heading to Pentaport. Not just because of the stellar lineup and the general excitement of going to a festival, but also the thought of hanging out in the lovely environment of Songdo’s Moonlight Park had me chomping at the bit to get there. Sadly, I was not able to attend from the very start to the very end each day; however, I think I made the most of my time there and thus I am in a good position to write about my impressions of the three days of Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival 2016.
I arrived at Songdo around 2pm, which was a little later than I had hoped, considering that the first show by Gutz had started at 11:40 in the morning. The sun was burning hot, so I couldn’t think of anything except taking shelter under the cover of the Dream Stage, but it didn’t make any difference -- it was hot as hell in there as well! However, going in there meant that I made the unexpected discovery of the three piece band from Berlin, Say Yes Dog. They were rocking out hard and it felt almost as if we were in a basement club in Germany, apart from the fact that everyone was dancing in the dazzling sunlight. After Say Yes Dog I checked out Rux, Method and then Galaxy Express, who drained all my remaining energy. So, naturally, my friends and I then followed the smell of food and found Penta’s hidden headliner, the Kimchi Noodles.
(I think the band Dear Cloud summed up the success of the noodles when they said this on day three of the festival: “We want to do well, just like the kimchi noodles”).
After eating, I watched Korean-American band Run River North and Japanese band The Oral Cigarettes, who kept shouting “sha sha sha!”, a reference to Twice, the Korean idol group whom they are fans of. After that, I was looking forward to seeing Nell.
Nell played as the sun went down and a cool breeze finally started to blow through the festival site. Their gig was the highlight of the first day for me. It helped that the band were in prime condition, as apparently they hadn’t had anything to drink beforehand! From ten-year-old hits to their most recent songs, they played a perfectly delivered set until the moon rose. It was one of those shows that I will remember for a long time.
Sadly, I couldn’t stay for the whole of the headliner Suede’s set, since I hadn’t booked the shuttle back home. I caught a few of their songs, and people who saw the whole set that they felt grateful for the hot wet weather for the first time, because their gig was super wet and sexy.
On the second day, I arrived even later because I was so exhausted from the day before. Life and Time was my first band of the day. The Dream Stage was packed with people who were really getting into it, and the band responded by putting on a fantastic set. I don’t know if it was the heat from the audience and the band or just the hot weather, but I couldn’t stay in the tent once they had finished playing, so I went to drink beer under a parasol instead. After I rested, I went to see At the Drive In, whom I had been waiting for all day. As expected, they blew my mind, throwing all their energy into running around the stage and tossing equipment around. 40 minutes was too short for them, so I left feeling a little disappointed that they had not played for longer, but thankful to Pentaport for having given me the chance to see them at all.
Grouplove’s show was one of the ones I had been looking forward to the most on the second day of Pentaport. It proved to be one of the best sets of the day as well. Best of all, the momement when they played their most popular song,‘Tongue Tied’, was indescribable. It absolutely blew my mind. That set was so good that my friend and I kept singing ‘Tongue Tied’ until we got home. The headliner of the second day was Weezer … honestly their gig was rather more ‘ordinary’ than I had expected. If it was anyone but Weezer, you might have called it boring, and the sound was not all that good either. However, Rivers Cuomo’s fluent Korean and his song ‘Be the Dust’ left their name on everyone’s lips.
On the third day, I arrived even later still! As the weather was still scorching hot, I immediately went to get some of those Kimchi noodles, but, sadly they were sold out! It was frustrating that our eternal headliner Kimchi Noodles had left us, but thankfully we managed to find other food and beer before going to see Dear Cloud. As I said before, the band had said that their aim was to be as good as the Kimchi Noodles, and they really were. Their set was cool and wonderful. When they covered Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’, I almost had a heart attack.
The Koxx’s set was the most exciting of the third day. This awesome band with 8 years’ experience behind them has become really good at ‘controlling’ the audience, and seeing them for the first time in a while reminded me of the great potential they have always shown. Two Door Cinema Club was as great as I had hoped they would be, but all my attention was on the Dream Stage headliner, The Vaccines. I really love their album ‘What Did You Expect From the Vaccines’; in fact I love every single song on it. For me, their set was the highlight of the whole festival. Listening to ‘If You Wanna’ and ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ live even made me forget about the fact that I had not been able to eat those damn Kimchi noodles! Last up was Panic! At the Disco. They gave us perhaps one of the highest quality sets of the festival. The sound system seened to be working much better than it had on the other days too, and Brandon’s passionate performance was an appropriately crazy way to end the three great days of a hot summer festival.
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Article: Jin Kim
Translation: Song Hee M. Roh
Editing: Rock N Rose