I drove to Istana Budaya to see Stomp last night. It was the first time I was driving to that part of KL. Nightfall didn't help either. I ended up making a few wrong turns but eventually arrived safe and sound.
Hubby didn't want to come along for the show. "What for?" he asked. So no. 3 accompanied me. He had been looking forward to it since the day I won the tickets from Mixfm.
Plastic bags. Match boxes. Gas lighters. Hubcabs. Oil drums. Kitchen sinks. Boxes. Poles. Brooms. Garbage bins. Bare hands. I never knew these stuff can actually make music. Percussion music to be exact. The rhythm that they churned out with these everyday paraphernalia is amazing. I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to some nifty drummer instead.
No. 3 loved the slapstick humour in the first half of the show. He particularly liked the antics of the red-haired dork who was the oddball of the group. When Red-hair came on stage with a mop the size of a car tyre, no. 3 laughed and clapped enthusiastically. I was more tickled by his enjoyment than Red-hair's shenanigan with the gigantic mop.
My favourite scene was the kitchen-sink performance. Four muscular Stompers with kitchen sinks hanging from their neck made music by hitting their rubber-gloved hands on the sink and tapping utensils such as cups and containers which they fished out from the sink. Then they unplugged the sinks and flushed out the water into strategically placed buckets, making it look as if they were taking a leak. To complete the toilet humour, one of them even did the "shake", you know, to get rid of drippings.
The main Stomper, a fair complexioned handsome young man, had great rapport with the audience. He got us clapping along with him. He would clap in a certain way, say long-long-short-short-long and we would try to mimic him.
The show kicked off with the broom performance, followed by the matchbox ditty, then the hand-clapping, the poles-clacking etc. I started to wonder when they were going to hit those big garbage bins. That must be reserved for the finale, I thought.
I was right. And when it came, it came with a bang. I didn't like it. It was too loud and in your face. The din made by the garbage bins, oil drums and bin covers clanged together like cymbals was too much for both me and no. 3. He covered his ears with his hands. By then he was a bit bored because there was no more funny antics from Red-hair. He tried to snuggle down on my lap but the armrest of the chair prevented him from getting comfortable. In the end he sat up and pulled his sweater over his head.
Have you seen those Transformer Robots with big feet? Well, we saw them at Stomp. No, actually they looked more like stilt-walkers, but instead of stilts they were walking on huge metal drums which had boots molded onto the top. It was quite a sight, seeing these giants traipsing on stage.
All right, they weren't really ugly. I mean the Stompers' clothes. They looked like something the janitors or workmen would wear to work : dungarees, paint-stained pants, baggy bermuda shorts and the likes. I know it's in keeping with the theme but couldn't they have come up with something more colourful instead of drab brown, grey and black?
At the end of the day
My tickets cost RM250 a piece. I definitely won't pay this much to see Stomp. For a mere fraction of it, just maybe, I might, to see what the hype was all about.
Having said that, I must say I was impressed by the harmony of the Stompers' performance. There wasn't a click or a clack which was out of rhythm. They must have put in countless hours of practice to achieve this concord.
I remember reading in the papers that there was a standing ovation at the end. In this performance, it was the main Stomper who beckoned us to stand. The audience clapped and cheered enthusiastically. I didn't mind that this was a "forced" standing ovation for suddenly the coast became clear for us to make a quick get-away. We were among the first to hit the carpark.
But the finale was way too much for my ears. My head became mush, I got lost and went round and round in circles around Jalan Tun Razak and Kampung Pandan. After stopping at three petrol stations and asking six people for directions, it took me two hours to get home from KL to Klang when it could've taken me just an hour.