Nights heats up at Sundown

D=Out leader Kouki cuts a striking figure with his brown tresses, and the girls in Ace Of Angels (above) strike a pose.

It took a while for the Sundown Festival to heat up but high-energy and flamboyant acts such as Japanese visual kei rock band D=Out eventually got the audience revved up.

Known for their elaborate costumes and hits such as Music Nippon, they brought the curtain down on the regional music festival, held at the Marina Promenade next to the Singapore Flyer last Saturday.

Kouki, the leader of the five-member band performing here for the first time, cut a striking figure with his shoulder-length brown tresses, floral kimono-inspired jacket and scarlet gloves.

Midway through the band's heart-thumping set, he flung both his slippers into the mosh pit where two audience members scooped them up in delight.

D=Out bassist Reika also improvised by grabbing one of the banners that was being waved by fans near the front of the stage, and slung the fabric over his shoulders with great flourish.

Acts like these drove Japanese rock fans such as Ms Syaza Afandy wild. She was one of about 8,000 people at the festival organised by venue and event planning company Red Spade Entertainment.

The 21-year-old administration officer said of D=Out and another Japanese rock band, Screw: "Their performances were scarily good. I ripped a hole in the knee part of my pants because of all the vigorous moshing. It was cool overall to see all the different genres of bands."

The festival, which featured 10 regional acts, had a slow start at about 7pm.

As opening act Filipino rock band Rocksteddy took the stage, the grounds were still half empty. People continued to trickle into the promenade throughout the next hour of performances by Thai pop-rock band No More Tear and singer Adonia Shao from China.

Pleas from the performers to sing and clap along were ignored by most of the audience. But energy levels shot up tenfold when Japanese rock band Screw came on.

The lead vocalist of the five-member group, Byo, flaunted his lean and toned physique with a loose open jacket.

Singapore teenyboppers - their hair dyed blonde like many J-pop stars - swooned and bobbed their heads energetically to the band's rock grooves.

They squealed in excitement when Byo went topless halfway through the performance, yanking off his garment with the wire of his microphone clamped between his teeth.

The mood turned mellow as the next act, Taiwanese singer Yoga Lin, crooned a few acoustic sets.

Filipino rock icon Rico Blanco cranked up energy levels again when, accompanied by three musicians, he marched onto the stage decked in face paint, a red feathered headdress and large shiny shoulder pads.

Hong Kong star Bosco Wong and Indonesian alternative pop band Nidji entertained the crowd, while seven-member K-pop band Ace Of Angels put on impressive synchronised dance numbers in tight shorts that showed off the girls' slender legs.

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