For rock fans, the 2015 +234 Rock Party was a little sparse, but the fact that Rock bands like +234 band and 1LastAutograph were headlining the show made it all worth checking out. In addition, as expected, 1LastAutograph did not disappoint. What I’ve discovered is that you don’t have the whole story about how the live performance of a band affected you until you’ve had some time to let everything sink in. You’re getting the story, not just the immediate aftermath but the layering of previous experiences. The +234 Rock Party was put together by RockNationNG in collaboration with RockStream and the +234 band. I had the chance to catch 1LastAutograph (again!) at the +234 Rock Party which held on the ground floor of the Silverbird galleria on July 25, 2015. The Alternative/Post Hardcore sub-genre appeared to be the them this evening in keeping with 1LastAutograph’s ethos. I’ve got a lot to say about the treatment of the alternative sub-genre, but I will say this: the industry of music is segregated and both the alternative and metal sub-genres are treated like objects. Those who survive are the ones who know how to work it. Just remember that those alternative songs are classified as rock songs, just as metal songs are classified as rock songs too.
The stage was set and ready for the show to kick off and the bands to begin their performance, then a group of kids who apparently are there to show support for +234 band, asked the DJ to play a song off their mobile phone and I was hoping it would at least be a rock song, not minding whatever sub-genre it falls under, to my surprise, they played “Watch Me by SilentO” and I was just standing there in shock looking at the kids whipping and Stanking their legs left and right. It was just funny and ironic that a rap song would be playing on at a Rock Party. Them the show kicked off with +234 band performing one of their songs. An alternative track filled with piano notes and a few chords here and there. I couldn’t really get the lyrics of the song, if it had any at all, but the song sounded good. Then the DJ played some songs off his jockey, to stir up the atmosphere and by the 3rd song, everyone was pumped up and people were beginning to troop into the venue. Then T acoustics came on with an acoustic guitar to perform 2 songs. The audience seemed to enjoy both songs as they cheered him on. Someone from the audience then demanded that the DJ play ‘Toxicity’ by ‘System of A Down’ and everybody was shouting “yeah, yeah, yeah”. The DJ started but was cut short by the introduction of the show presenters, Axlpif and WolePhoenix, with Dammy of RockNation as the DJ for the evening. WolePhoenix started of by introducing himself and then went on to introduce his co-presenter Axlpif. Then, he threw a question to the audience for the chance to win a spiky hand band. Next up on stage was 1LastAutograph who performed their hit single ‘All or Nothing’, the band then launched into the moody, yet chugging “All or Nothing”. Then Clay took the stage and performed a rendition of Dido’s “Life For Rent”. As always, Clay’s vocals was top notch, but there was something wrong with the instruments, the guitars were not just sounding right, so both the vocals and instruments were not in-sync. Taking things down a notch, Clay teamed up with 1LastAutograph to perform her single “Down” mid-set standouts with an extended bass solo from the new 1LastAutograph bassist who just joined the band from ‘Footprint 5’.
Next on the agenda was another quiz question, the presenters threw another question to the crowd for someone to win another wrist band. WolePhoenix asked who the departed Lead Vocal singer of Asking Alexandria was, and no one came out to answer the question, so I raised my hand and WolePhoenix said “no, not you Seyi. Even after I whispered the answer to a friend standing beside me, she was too shy to go out to answer the question. So WolePhoenix had no choice but to allow me answer the question, so I stepped on stage and answered “Danny Warsnop”. So I won myself a wrist band which I gladly handed to my friend who was too shy to step forward to answer the question. Then the crowd started cheering the DJ to play ‘Toxicity by System of A Down’. This time the DJ was not playing around with his jockey as he dished out tunes after tunes into the atmosphere that almost turned the Silverbird Galleria grounds into a mosh pit. First on the DJ’s jockey was Toxicity by System of A Down as requested by the audience and as the intro to that song filtered into the atmosphere, it looked like hell was let loose as everyone went into a frenzy. This song has been played at every rock show I’ve attended and each time it always stirs up a probably dull the atmosphere. The DJ played another hit song by System of A Down, Chop Sue and it felt like everyone was in a worship mood. I was outside talking with a friend and on hearing Chop Sue, I knew I had to get back in immediately. I rushed back in and saw a guy kneeling down like he was in worship, I’ll never forget that moment. For me it was the highlight of the event, everyone was jumping up and head-banging to the song. Next on the agenda was a competition of some sort, it’s called “The Air Guitar Competition”, now this might not be popular around here, but its a popular competition at major rock concerts, shows and events across Europe and the USA. Nobody volunteered to compete, so three people from the crowd were picked by one of the presenters, AxlPif to come compete in The Air Guitar Competition with the chance to win a Amp. Two guys and a lady were picked to do an air guitar performance to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”. From my point of view, the first guy’s performance was top notch, he actually did the exaggerated strumming, body movements and picking motions with some lip-synching. That for me is what air guitar should be like. The lady on the other hand, did not so badly, too, what I loved about her performance was her head movement, she whipped her head back and forth with her hair flying in the air. The third competitor just went there without knowing what the competition was all about, because, I could not make out what he was doing on stage. So when the crowd cheered more for the lady when her hands were raised and she was declared winner, I was surprised because, I felt the first guy did everything that needed to be done in an air guitar competition, but I guess, the fact that the second competitor is a lady and she actually whipped her head back and forth as we see in those rock videos made the crowd cheer for her.
The air guitar competition was the closing part of the event, after which the presenters thanked everyone for coming and promised that we would be seeing more of this in the near future. The presenters also took time to introduce and thanks the event sponsors ‘FaajiHub’ and silverbird Television who covered the event which was later aired on their entertainment news. In my opinion it was a very good event. Thumbs up to the organizers.