I can honestly say the venue with the most electric acts was without a doubt Club FF. There’s something about the intimacy of the space. Perhaps just the closeness amplifies how dynamic each act is. Whatever it is, every time I end up in front of that small basement stage, I’m completely pulled to shreds with the intensity of the moment.
DIEALRIGHT is no exception. The last day of Zandari Festa I’d already pegged as the one that was going to be my most jam-packed because my favorite bands were all performing. DIEALRIGHT was first up. I’d been anticipating seeing them live since I’d heard they were coming.
It comes as a surprise to no one that the grit and gutter punk of the band is so much more intense when on a stage. While somewhat reserved during our interview, Song-hwa is an absolute madwoman when she hits the stage. She’s a vixen, and I don’t think she’d mind the comparison. She slinks around the stage like a fox, her limbs loose, her step sure, and her gaze… She looks into the eyes of each person standing in front of her with almost murderous intent. She’s going to get you. You just have to accept it.
The passion and fervor she exhibits is infectious. The moment she opens her mouth, it’s as if no one in the crowd can breathe. Song-hwa takes to performing like a Siren on the sea. It is her domain, and she rules it with a firm grip on the microphone and a regal arrogance that must be revered. The comparison is apt. Trust me.
There are moments during the band’s performance where members of the audience stand slack-jawed and wide-eyed, a combination of the free beer and Song-hwa’s own intoxicating presence making them lovesick in their haze. When she comes to the front to pour her flirtations to everyone standing there, one woman is overcome with the urge to just reach out and touch, feel. So she does, wrapping her arms around Song-hwa’s elegant waist and holding on for dear life. Song-hwa, ever the gracious queen, simply lay her hands on the poor woman’s head and continues to sing.
It would be so easy to continue to wax poetic about Song-hwa. In fact, if one isn’t careful they might get completely blind-sided by the other musician on the stage. And they’d pay dearly for it. Sung-il… Just thinking about the controlled chaos he exhibits is enough to snatch a sigh from my chest. He doesn’t emote with the same crackling sensuality as his partner. But don’t let that serene focus fool you into thinking for one minute he couldn’t reach across the stage and steal your soul.
He’s so stoic, I think, because every ounce of that energy, all his rage, love, passion, sensuality he pours into that instrument of his. His is a masculine sort of sensuality. It’s heady, firm. He plays with intention, his aim being to force the audience to pay attention every time he makes his guitar sing. And believe me, the man can pull notes out of that thing that would make you quiver in places you ought not talk about in public spaces.
This is DIEALRIGHT, an enigmatic duo of musicians who have so much power in their bodies it’s astounding. Song-hwa is a sorceress, a creature unbound by the rules of earth, instead evoking something ethereal and divine to cast her spell on us all. Sung-il is a paladin, a man who with just the twist of his wrist is able to force your attention and adoration in his direction.
There’s just something about the coed duos at this festival. It makes sense they’d have to bring something dynamic to the stage, having only two musicians to play off of. But there’s something more, isn’t there?
In the case of DIEALRIGHT, there’s a sense that they can bend the universe to their will. Their’s is a subtle performance, not a lot of thrashing about or physical exertions. They simply exist, and the audience is compelled to react. Their music is hard, aggressive, thick with everything they have in them. It’s no wonder so much of what they do just oozes from them and permeates the skin.