Saigon rocks!


The night before New Year’s Eve (year of the Dragon), Saigonese and expats got a choice to watch the rehearsal at formerly known as Independence Palace, or nurse a beer at Acoustic.

Years ago, this neighborhood was a hang-out place for privileged kids who attended nearby French lycee. Today, at least in this den-like corner, privileged kids shifted their interests to Punk and Hard Rock: we got graced with expat singers’ numbers mixing with local rockers.

At Independence Palace, the rehearsed dance filled the large stage with flags and poles, movement and au parleur, lighting and majestic surrounding.

At Acoustic, it’s the sound, the up-close vibe and all hair.

Collectivity vs Individuality, co-exist and share the same space.

Groupies, bartenders, and some expats who I.D. themselves as being from Portland, OR.

Our mean-looking Black rapper singer turned out to be the mushiest of all with his “Tears in Heaven” number.

Then, of course, “I hate myself for loving you“.

I on the other hand did not hate myself for being there.

I enjoyed it as much as I did years ago, on or off stage.

I am glad the spirit and essence of Rock has found new expressions and entertainers.

Still against the wind, without flag, but gotta to have hair.

I missed my dying friend who belonged to Saigon Rock generation 1.0.

He would agree with me it’s time for a new wave to emerge, even with glowing bass-guitar strings. Those Portlanders kept shouting “One more” because the booze must be accompanied by the band. I bet for a moment however short, they immersed themselves in the company of young and eager music fan, forgetting where one was from, and heck, even where one was going!

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