Yesterday, September 30th, a friday, was the Hongkong stopover of THE OCEAN‘s China tour. They performed at the Hidden Agenda with a good turnup of audience and German fans. Local Hongkongese band “Lao” (not too sure about the name) was the warm-up act of the night.
Together with a small group of friends I went to the Hidden Agenda at around 8:30pm just in time for the door opening, the merchandise screening and a round of beers, which are comparatively cheap for 20 HKD a bottle (good old Tsingtao). The evening quickly started with local band “Lao” taking the stage, with two shouters, playing modern hardcore-styled metalcore. The music, i.e. bass, guitarist and drummer brought forward a pretty tight sound, however the two shouters lacked what a friend of mine called “power” or “something behind the song”. It was pretty obvious that they still need quite some practicing before they can get a audience moving, as except for a couple of their friends, everybody was pretty unimpressed. Towards the end of their stage time, they covered a song of THE OCEAN as a warm-up for the German main act.
At roughly 9:30pm it was time for The Ocean to take the stage and they really took the stage, they owned it and delivered a great show. From the first song onwards, the audience got into the music, quickly enjoying the harsh growls of the Swiss vocalist and after a couple (of pretty long) songs, moshpits erupted on the right side of the stage. The band joined quickly in, with the vocalist stage-diving, the guitarist stage-diving, the bassist stage-diving and jumping into the mosh pit, always keeping on playing and growling all along.
The band and the audience celebrated a gig, that according to THE OCEAN was so far one of the wildest on their China tour. With previous gigs in Shanghai, Wuhan, Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangzhou, Hongkong showed off its wilder hardcore side and proved to this Berlin outlet that experimental sludge metal is well-received in South East Asia. Members of various Hongkong bands, such as “This is Ammunition”, “Hyponic” and “Defiant Scum” were seen in the crowd, all singing along to “Happy Birthday” when it was announced that THE OCEAN’s drummer actually had his very own anniversary that evening.
With several encores, THE OCEAN closed the evening around 11pm, inviting everybody on the stage, jumping, poging, moshing, banging and just wildly enjoying the last screams and growls, breakdowns and riffs of THE OCEAN. After the show the band still hung around, taking photos with many gig-goers, talking and drinking beer, giving autographs on their posters and CDs and getting a rest from a one-and-a-half hour to two-hour set of energetic powerful modern metal.