Monday, March 28, 2011


A rockin' good time in Pattaya
By Ekkarat Sukpetch

PATTAYA--This year's edition of the Pattaya International Music Festival proved as popular as ever, even though the promised appearance by the cute lads from Japanese label Johnny Junior was pulled at the last minute as a result of the twin disasters to hit the country.

That left South Korean superstar Rain to pick up the slack and he did so on Saturday night in style, emerging on stage dressed in a black undershirt and black leather vest and wearing dark shades. He opened with “It's Raining” and “Rainism” before greeting the Thai audience with a cheery “Hello Pattaya, it's been a long time. I love you. I love Thailand. I will come back next month for a concert.”

That revelation was greeted with loud screams, which continued as Rain closed out his show with “Love Song” and “Hip Song.” And even though the night was nowhere near over, about half the crowd drifted away from the Universal Stage.

South Korea's Son Dam Bi opened for Rain dressed in her sexy uniform and wound up the crowd along with four dancers. She sung her hit “dB Rider” before segueing into “Queen,” “Crazy” and “Saturday Night.” Watching her move on stage, it was easy to understand why she's known as the “dancing queen.”

One Japanese act that did make it to Pattaya was Hanuman. The band, who has long been fascinated by Thailand, played covers of Thai artists' hits including The Richman Toy's “Od Od” and “Krapao Ban Fan Yim,” Potato's “Pieng Por,” Silly Fools' “Khee Hueng,” “Ba Bor” and “Jija,” Bodyslam's “Kraam,” and Tattoo Colour's “Kohok.”

Saturday night was livelier though Friday night was probably the more crowded of the two. It was also the night for the Asian artist showcase on the Galaxy Stage, among them Filipina Nina Girado, who counts Thai singer Chin Chinawut among her fans. Malaysia's Will Ng and Fluke the Star joined up for Off Pongsak's “Thang Khang Lang Thalu Theung Huajai,” while Singaporean hunk Derrick Hoh sung a Cantonese version of Peck Palitchok's “Jai Nueng Kor Rak Aik Jai Kor Jeb.”

Laotian lass Tik showed her sexy dance movies in “New Me,” “Laew Jao Ja Sia Jai” and “Bor Hak Chao Laew.” Thai artist Ice Saranyu was up next with a cover of Pai Pongsathorn's luk thung song “Khon Ban Diew Kan” then duetted with actress Nuengthida Sophon on “Mai Long Mai Roo.”

Chin expressed his condolences to victims of Japan's tsunami and earthquake victims and asked the audience to hold their lighters aloft while singing Justin Bieber's “Tray.”

Indonesian pre-teen trio Superkidz rocked the crowd with their single “Playgirl” and a cover of Green Day's “Basket Case” before handing over the stage to Vietnam's Pak, who played a mix of rock and reggae including “Someday You'll See,” “Why” and “Let's Walk Together.”

And in a nice gesture by the organisers, donation boxes were placed around all six stages to raise funds for victims of the March 11 tragedies in Japan.