'Fat' gets thin on the ground

music March 17, 2012 00:00

By Kittipong Thavevong
The Natio

3,500 Viewed

Fans in Khon Kaen turn out for Dome but show less enthusiasm for other acts


Despite heavy summer rain, thousands of youngsters in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen enjoyed an evening full of music, fun and energy last Saturday during the Fat Fest “Man Thueng Kaen” (“Fun to the Core” music festival. 
The event, featuring more than 100 singers and musicians, was organised by Bangkok’s FM104.5 “Fat Radio” and marked the last in the trilogy of Fat Fest Trilogy events held earlier in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Members of the audience – mostly teenagers and those in their early 20s – began filtering into the concert venue, Khon Kaen University’s Kanchanaphisek Auditorium, around 4pm. In addition to the main stage inside the 10,000-capacity hall, a smaller stage was set up on the front lawn just outside. 
The scattering of 30-somethings no doubt felt slightly out of place even though they were they same age of many of the musicians.
Little-known bands from independent and small music labels started the concert just before 5pm on both the indoor and outdoor stages.
Indoors, Electric Neon Lamp was the first band to take the stage. They were followed by the trio 123 Soul, featuring singer Joe AF2, who sang many familiar love songs. The strangely named band Pla Nil Tem Baan (House Full of Nile Tilapia) drew loud cheers but even two hours after the start, the hall was only half-full.
Outdoors, small groups of people – certainly no more than 1,000 in all – sat on the lawn watching the first bands perform. Ten to Twelve managed to draw larger numbers of young fans close to the stage with their fast songs and energetic performance, finally getting some to dance, jump and clap their hands.
The sound of music from the outdoor stage had to compete with the noise from nearby booths set up by the concert’s sponsors to promote their products. Thanks to the big-name sponsors, the concert’s tickets could be sold at Bt100 each – an affordable price for most provincial fans.
Heavy rain late in the evening brought an abrupt end to the outdoor performances. The audience moved inside the auditorium and the remaining shows were shifted to the main stage indoors.
By 7pm, when the better known bands were due to take the stage, the auditorium was almost full. The good-humoured Jui Juis and his band cheered up the audience with funny songs, such as “Lesson One”, “Kor Oey Kor Kon” (“Human”), and his new number “Sap Krajai” (“Lots of Vocabulary”).
Heartthrob actor/singer Dome Pakorn Lam drew loud cheers from an excited audience when he emerged to sing a few songs, including his latest single “Kod” (Hug). For many members of the audience, Dome was the main reason for coming along.
The bands 25 Hours, Mild, and Armchair performed their familiar numbers, allowing many members of the audience to sing along. After this section was completed at almost 11pm, about half of the audience left.
Then, it was the turn of the five bands from the outdoor stage. “Bossa nova princess” Lula charmed the audience with her distinctive voice and managed to excite the remaining audience with luk thung song “Phuchai Nai Fan” (Dream Man) and a few fast songs.
Less than 1,000 die-hard fans remained in the hall for the remaining shows. The concert, originally scheduled to end at 10pm, finally wrapped in the early hours.