Monday, 23/10/2023 07:31

Monsoon Fest dazzles audiences at Thăng Long Citadel

By Trần Khánh An 

HÀ NỘI – Up to 20,000 revellers flocked into the Thăng Long Citadel in Hà Nội, one of the capital city's most famous sites, to experience the Monsoon International Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Monsoon captivated the young audience in Hà Nội by showcasing Vietnamese and international stars and bands. VNS Photo Trần Khánh An

Young music lovers were enthralled by the Monsoon gala nights, which featured top Vietnamese stars and bands.

The opening night showcased singer-songwriter Suboi, dubbed Việt Nam's Queen of Hip-hop.

Vũ, described as the "Prince of Vietnamese Indie Music" by Billboard magazine, took to the stage on the subsequent day.

"After nurturing the ethos of an international music festival for six seasons, Monsoon now evokes for me the ambience of international music festivals in the US," said Suboi during the inaugural gala evening.

Rock bands from two different eras, Bức Tường (Wall) and Ngọt (Sweetness), left the audience in awe with delightful surprises.

On the opening night, rocker Phạm Anh Khoa and singer Việt Lâm collaborated with the Bức Tường band for a riveting performance. Their aficionados energetically sang and danced to the enduring tunes.

As the culminating act on the second evening, the Ngọt band filled their youthful followers with joy, presenting a special 90-minute setlist in celebration of their tenth anniversary.

Both gala evenings boasted performances from international artists like Mongdoll from South Korea, Fergessen from France, Goodluck from South Africa, Lydmor from Denmark, and Forgotten Future from the US.

Sunset Rollercoaster, an indie Taiwanese synth-pop ensemble, closed the first gala night as the final act and stood out as the most renowned foreign performers this year. 

With hits like My Jinji, Vanilla, and Burgundy Red, the band captivated attendees with their rhythmic and melodic tracks.

Even after the concluding song, Candlelight, dimmed the stage lights, the high-pitched cheers and thunderous applause persisted.

Yielding to the crowd's relentless chants for "one more song", Sunset Rollercoaster re-emerged for an encore, causing thousands of fans to ecstatically scream and leap with joy.

"This is exclusively for you, Hà Nội. Once more, you've been incredible tonight," expressed Kuo-Hung Tseng, the band's lead, before serenading the crowd with the encore track, I Know You Know I Love You – which he amusingly termed a "cheesy love song".

Throughout the performances, the colossal backdrop screen displayed intricate visual effects, and the radiant neon lights were meticulously synchronised with the on-stage sounds, captivating even the most discerning attendees.

This year, Monsoon opted for a roster of independent, experimental artists who might be less known to the wider public, rather than a line-up filled with big names.

Consequently, it was anticipated that some acts during the gala nights might dampen the festive spirit.

Yet, for musician Quốc Trung, the general director of Monsoon, adopting this fresh approach is crucial in fostering a broader community of music enthusiasts and invigorating the modern Vietnamese music scene.

"Monsoon aids emerging artists in broadening their following, whilst they in turn promote Hà Nội’s culture and the essence of Monsoon to a greater number of music aficionados," he commented.

Holding the complete concerts in "Phố Hàng Nhạc" (Street of Music), Monsoon solidly backs these novel and avant-garde artists.

Earning the admiration of young listeners, Monsoon attests that the Vietnamese music realm is steadily aligning with global music festival standards.

The mesmerising gala nights ensured the audience is eagerly anticipating Monsoon's return next autumn.– VNS

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