Konsert BERSIH 8T: Inside

On the 13th of October 2012, I went down to Konsert BERSIH 8T at the Kelana Jaya Stadium. This would also be known as #BersihRocks on Twitter. Again, as an observer, I went incognito, not in yellow. I figure if they start carting away people in yellow, I should still be around to take pictures.

This is Part 2; Part 1 is here.

It was raining when I got here, and the guy on stage was James Nagason. I can see why it rained. Sorry dude you got some pitching to fix.

It was 6:15PM and the crowd was mostly at the back, where the stalls were – the action was all there.

His guitar wasn’t in tune either.

Garrison set the mood for the evening – proper, rebellious, punk rock.

Then it was random-noise-rock outfit Maharajah Commission.

Featuring folk guitarist Azmyl Yunor in a different mode.

The crowd was mostly up on the stands, next to the stage! So everybody was looking to the side instead.

I also sauntered backstage and found Adam Adli being interviewed and Mat Sabu being photographed with.

Soon it was dark, and a few short films were screened, including one amusing video about how to ensure your vote is secret via randomization, by Tindak Malaysia, featuring Annie Ooi (Aunty Bersih) and Patrick Teoh.

I can’t find the video on Youtube, but when I do I’ll update this.

Michelle Hoo, producer, composer and lyricist of the Bersih tribute song, Tears Of Malaysia.

Here with the group that sang the song.

Koh Jun Lin of Malaysiakini has a distinctive style that lets everybody know that he is a photographer, complete with kneepads. I guess he was ready for tear gas and water cannons. There was none of that, that evening.

Then, it was time for awesome acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Ray Cheong!

From above.

Check out the sea of yellow!

Click the picture for a full-resolution view.

Forget what Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have to say about the attendance numbers – you can count for yourself the number of people on the field. Bear in mind that there were still many people seated on the stands to the left and right of the stage, not forgetting the people who’d rather be at the carnival-like atmosphere at the stalls behind! Of course, the BERSIH 2.0 committee, who gave out receipts to acknowledge donation, would know the exact number.

Fahmi Fadzil, emcee and learned scholar of the music performed that evening.

This rock concert allowed this mother to bring her kids in prams, a better outing for them than a sunny tear gassy day.

Dudes not in yellow. No biggie, just keeping a note on faces.

Dum Dum Tak, proper straight punk rock, gets a Chinese uncle skanking, and his wife slapping him on his shoulder. Real cute moment that was.

Atama, also on the BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee, goes on stage and shows us hip-hop mixed with Sumazau. WOW!

Do the Sumazau, he tells us. Hishamuddin Rais and many others join along!

Nik Jidan, an excellent folk singer sings songs about (literally) fallen political aide Teoh Beng Hock and Asalkan Bukan UMNO.

He is joined by Vijay, Assistant Coordinator of Jom Pantau.

Azira Aziz turns a year older today! How old, I don’t know, but she can’t be a day over 16 from her cartoony ears.

Hui Se Di Dai usually plays Chinese rock but the guy who loves his Jaguar played a Rastafari classic.

Republic Of Brickfields with iconic Aru, sang an obvious cover – Get Up, Stand Up. Stand up for your rights!

Spotted in the crowd, following the instructions at the gate not to bring in any party logos, were Tony Pua and Teresa Kok. Apparently Fahmi Fadzil gets confused for Tony Pua sometimes. To add to that, I had to double-check if that was indeed Teresa Kok and not Elizabeth Wong, but that’s just me being not so familiar with how they look.

There is one unmistakeable man, though – National Laureate, Dato’ A. Samad Said, and co-chairperson of BERSIH 2.0.

He wrote a poem for this concert, and recited it that night.

Then came another familiar face, co-chairperson of BERSIH 2.0, Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The other BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee members were up on stage as well.

She gave a short speech…

…and also announced that the group would be singing a song!

Nik Jidan joined them on stage to provide musical accompaniment.

Random dude with flowers for Ambiga.

I can’t remember which cartoonist presented this to them.

Then it was time for the final act of the night – Ito, Julian Mokhtar & The Gang! I guess they didn’t want to call it Blues Gang because not the whole original lineup was there.

For example, on the right, on guitar, was Ito’s son!

Ito, of course, is a vital component, with his trademark raspy voice…

…and so is Julian Mokhtar, a blues shredder with his beautifully shaped, polished, and probably very custom guitar with scalloped frets.

Blues solo!

They ended the night with the classic, Apo Nak Di Kato.

Then, it was a big percussion jam session.

That was not all – they brought in BERSIH 2.0’s 8 demands, as well as fire eaters!

It all looks yellow to me. By this time I was shooting JPG, having run out of space from shooting RAW.

If you have decided you want to do more for Malaysia, be a Polling/Counting Agent!

Sign up for the training here. It is open to all citizens of Malaysia – you don’t need to be a member of any political party or the Election Commission, to participate in making sure the elections are free and fair! I’ve gone for the course myself, and learned so much about the electoral system.

More reading:
Konsert BERSIH 8T: Outside
Democratic Promise
Bersih 3.0
Vote For Cleanliness!

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