Venue: Esplanade Theatre, Esplanade, Singapore
Date: 26th November 2013
Promoter: Greenhorn Productions
Review by: Nate Eileen Tjoeng
Special Thanks: Sylvia, and the Greenhorn Productions team
Welcome to LENKALAND.
There you will find yourself immersing in sweetness and all things adorable. You will experience a meltdown from cuteness overload. Who else but Lenka herself, is the ambassador who will create such an effect on you?
The Australian singer-songwriter is definitely not one with her nose in the air. Despite her stardom, she still presents herself as an approachable girl-next-door to her intimate crowd at the Esplanade Theatre.
The turnout could be better, but the fans were a supportive bunch. Especially so for Natalie Hiong, who was the opening act. A Singaporean singer-songwriter who just released her album, she was picked out by Lenka to start the night off. Her acoustic line-up only featured herself on vocals and keyboard, a guitarist and a cajon-player. Her songs are of a similar style with Lenka’s, and that is perhaps why Lenka appointed her as the precursor.
The best thing about shows at Esplanade is that the audience doesn’t have to wait long. Shows always start on time, and the stage was soon ready for Lenka’s band. In a jiffy, the equipment was set up and stage was adorned with a glittering disco ball as the centrepiece, and cardboard cartoon pictures of rainbows and flowers.
Lenka emerged from backstage in a dainty-looking dress and a headband soon after and pleased the cheering crowd with her first number, Nothing Here But Love. She was accompanied by two musicians – there’s no way to label them otherwise because each of them play more than one instrument. Note to readers: knowing just one instrument is not enough these days; you need to be multi-talented.
Well, the guitarist (instrument played most often) and the trumpeter (likewise) made the whole set sound full even though it was just the three of them in the band. Lenka is no doubt as multi-talented as she shuttled between a sling-on keyboard to a full-length keyboard, percussive handheld gadgets to even a trumpet of her own.
She exhibited her cheery and adorable nature from the second song, the all-familiar Trouble Is A Friend, when she pranced around on stage playfully while singing. During Honeybee, she took out a prop to contribute to the visual effects of the song. It was a bee and she held it as though she was serenading it!
Her amicable demeanour was not just displayed through her actions such as fluttering her hands like wings during the song, but also from what she said. Someone in the crowd shouted, “You are adorable!” at some point and she curtsies to the comment. Yet another shouted, “I love you!” She teasingly replied, “I love you more!”
Her sense of humour caught the audience by pleasant surprise when she said, “The next song is a lullaby and then it’s nap time. I hope you brought your PJs.” She then moved into her slower number, Don’t Let Me Fall. The personable singer even said she was dedicating this song to someone who requested it on Twitter.
She would always give introductions to her songs before she starts them, such as saying, “Sometimes in life you need to roll it with the punches,” and started to sing Roll With The Punches. Interestingly, the song continued into her rendition of Don’t Worry Be Happy.
During her set she also delivered a Bob Dylan cover called Mr. Tambourine Man, revealing her influences as a songwriter.
Hyping up the interaction and ambiance, Lenka also said, “I have a request. For my entertainment, purely my own entertainment, can I have you swing your lit up mobile phones in the air, like it’s a Pink Floyd concert?” Everyone obliged of course, and the concert hall was filled with mini white lights swaying in the air.
Lenka did her crowd favourites Everything At Once, Heart Skips A Beat, and We Will Not Grow Old and she claimed it was the last song and walked off the stage. Knowing that everyone knew she would be back, she eased back on stage and threw candies to the audience from a basket. Talk about being sweet!
She then mentioned that she was going to perform a song for the very first time, called The Long Way Home. It was the first time for sure, as she forgot some of the lyrics, and playfully excused herself, “First time, c’mon!”
Announcing that it was time for the ‘real’ last song, she asked for the audience to participate by singing, “I want my money back.” Recognizing the irony of the statement, she highlighted that it was not from her but for the audience to let out all the frustrations they have.
Obediently the crowd sang their part during the finale song The Show, and she ended by repeated bows and curtsies to the audience that adored her. It was no wonder so many fled out immediately to get in line for the autograph signing session where they could meet Lenka in person.