Malaysia once again played host to MTV's annual music bash last Saturday, throwing open the country's most popular artificial beach resort, Surf Beach Sunway Lagoon, to the massive "MTV World Stage" event that drew thousands of concert-goers.
Thai-American hip-hoppers Thaitanium were the first to hit the stage, replacing American singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, who was unable to take time out from her busy filming schedule.
The fans, though, took the change in good spirit, greeting Thaitanium with deafening cheers. And even if the songs were mainly in Thai and only some of the hooks in English, the crowd were unfazed by the language barrier, dancing to the upbeat 11-track medley, which included an inaugural performance of their new single with Snoop Dogg, "Wake Up (Bangkok City)". The five sons of Siam - Khan, Way, Day, Big Calo and Tony B - set the mood for the night with hits like "Do What I Say", "Bong Tong", "Put Your Hands Up" and "Sukebe".
After succeeding in garnering a huge fan base at home in Thailand and gaining both fame and fortune in the rest of the region, the group is planning to make it big in the US.
"We started up in America and we have family in both countries. While Thailand will remain our base, we are trying to cross over," Way said after the show
"Right now we are in the early stages and working on writing good songs. Our new stuff will be coming out next year and we think it has a good chance of making itself heard in the States too."
Second to perform was South Korean boy band Boy Republic, making its MTV World Stage debut with a bang as the stage ignited in a burst of firepower that almost drowned out the screams of frenzied fans.
Universal Music's first K-pop idol group, they surprised the crowd with a maiden performance of a remix of their eponymous hit "Video Game" and invited fans to post 15-second mobile phone clips on Instagram. The boys closed out their show with fan favourite, "Party Rock".
"We performed the original song in quite a different way, so the remix is new to us," Sunwoo, one of the five members, confided over the set show.
"We also performed a few new songs for the first time. We're really glad to be here and will be going home with great memories of the show. We don't have a date to perform in Thailand yet but we are hoping to get there soon."
The pace slowed down a notch as homegrown international star, Yuna, took the stage. Glamorous in a full-length white dress, the singer performed "Falling" against a backdrop of waterfall pyrotechnics then segued into a series of hits that included "Mountains", "Lelaki" and "Dan Sebanarya", "Lights and Camera" and "Terukir Di Bintang" before wrapping her set with a magical performance of "Come Back".
The 27-year-old singer was signed to Verve Music Group, headed by Grammy-winning producer, David Foster, in 2012 and has since released three international albums, "Yuna", "Sixth Street" and the recent "Nocturnal." Known for her pristine, melodious guitar and soulful voice, the Malaysian star has won the attention of music fans all over the world.
"I enjoy writing and I tend to cover all kinds of different themes. Sometimes I write about love and sometimes I write about life," Yuna said. "Over the last couple of years I have met lots of people and that's made me realise that I have a role to play. At least two of the songs on my latest album are aimed at empowering the downtrodden and I will continue doing that."
American rapper and record producer BoB, aka Bobby Ray Simmons Jr, closed out the concert with an energetic performance that comprised a 16-track medley of such hits as "Don't Let Me Fall", "Ready", "Headband", "John Doe" and "So Good". The audience waved their mobile phones in appreciation as he sung "Both of Us", a track recorded with Taylor Swift, and many eyes brimmed with tears as he dedicated his global hit "Airplanes", recorded with Hayley Williams of Paramore, to all those who had lost loved ones in the recent Malaysia Airline tragedies.
MTV World Stage is a global series that brings multi-genre talents with global relevance to an audience in more than 550 million households. Recorded "live" at the most exclusive gigs, world renowned music festivals and unique concert locations from around the world, the series is the "front row seat" for music lovers to experience the biggest artists on the globe without leaving the comfort of their sofas. MTV World Stage Malaysia, which debuted in 2009, is part of this platform and enjoys a global airing in 154 countries.
_ MTV will air "MTV World Stage" on TrueVisions Channel 362 at midnight on August 30, 8am on September 1, 8.30pm on September 2, 2pm on September 3 and 9pm on September 5.