In less than 10 years, the burgeoning metal and hardcore scene in Vietnam has done what most underground scenes take decades to do. But with the kind of dedicated audience that managed to pool VND60 million in a crowd-funding effort to bring hardcore band The Ghost Inside to Saigon last May, it’s clear that the scene here is different than most.
The badasses are back, and this time they have Hoa Lu Stadium to ravage. If the stadium full of rockers and metalheads in Hanoi last month was any indication, this streamlined sister festival of the epic Rockstorm will leave Ho Chi Minh City gasping when it comes through on May 10.
Just not feeling that bubbly, smiley vibe you know you’ll have to embrace at the other dance parties this month? Try Saigon Hellfest 2014 instead — a gathering of six metal acts from Vietnam and elsewhere.
European metal band Lacuna Coil played Ho Chi Minh City at the end of July to an audience of 5,000. So is metal the musical future of Vietnam? Words by Karen Hewell, photos by Francis Xavier
When it comes to the lengths that fans will go to see their favourite music live in their own city, the crowd is the limit. After an epic show of community teamwork and passion, Vietnam hardcore community Corieror channeled local metal fans’ fiscal resources to bring American metal band, The Ghost Inside, to Ho Chi Minh City on May 14. Supported by Hanoi outfit 18+, who self-funded their flights to Saigon, the fans, themselves, covered the expenses to bring the band to Vietnam.
The Ghost Inside’s Asian tour started out like most western bands’ Asian tours, with stops in China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan, while Vietnam watched from the sidelines. On May 14, it turned into this — 150 sweat-soaked Vietnamese metalheads circle-pitting the floor of Hard Rock, as lead singer Jonathan Vigil intoned dire death growls in songs and uplifting crowd banter before the next.