Rock the Sub is probably the second biggest highlight of this year for indie music lovers in Singapore, only next to Baybeats. Its second run took place on June 7 at Timbre @ The Substation after a very successful round in 2007.

2 stages, 12 bands and a lot more to offer

Similar to the Baybeats‘ concept of having 2 stages so that performances can be held consecutively, Rock the Sub had two stages named the Gibson Stage and Timbre Stage giving audiences the freedom to choose which performances they wanted to catch.

The two stages housed a good mix of 12 bands from 6pm all the way to 2am.

Given such an array of performances to choose from, audiences were often seen “drifting” between the Timbre Stage, located within Timbre’s premises and the Gibson Stage which was in The Substation’s black box theatre.

Timbre Stage

First up was You and Who’s Army, an upcoming band named after a Radiohead song. Therefore it was not surprising to see that they kicked off Rock the Sub to a good start with a Radiohead cover. Their female drummer, Benita, was the one to watch as she served well on the drums as well as on the keyboard.

The crowd are people in their 20’s to 40’s who mostly opted to dine first before enjoying the performances later in the night.

Among the newer bands in the line-up was Heritage – who is well in their 30 years of eclectic music in the local scene. Respected by all, Heritage also featured their flautist frontman.

Other bands that took the Timbre Stage were melodic Kevin Matthews and The Groovy People , rockers Lunarin and the crowd favourite Giants Must Fall, with a grand finish from homegrown band West Grand Boulevard.

Gibson Stage

The Timbre Stage was tame compared to the Gibson Stage. Filled with a younger audience, the black-box theatre was home to a head-and-fist-banging crowd who stood just inches away from their favourite bands. Sitting down was hardly possible, unless you want to risk being stepped on by the surging crowd.
The Armchair Critics gave an intense start at the Gibson Stage but things lightened up when their lead-singer RG went wireless and got offstage during his guitar solo. Other bands included Allura, who sold their new EP entitled ‘Wake Up and Smell the Seaweed’, ska band Fishtank, Tiramisu who threw a unique performance, rockers Zero Sequence and closing act, Vertical Rush. Allura was not the only ones with a new EP as Vertical Rush sold their limited edition ‘Angels’ EP featuring the acoustic versions of their songs.

The Highlight

The bands were at their best but it was the crowd who kept the party going strong. Pumped up by hosts FreakyZ and Zaki, the crowd bobbed their heads and some were even game enough to dance along. The crowd kept their energies up throughout the night. The highlight however, was when people in the crowd lit their lighters and waved it along to the music. It summed up the night with a warm fuzzy feeling.