Two nights filled with star studded lineup ranging from pop, K-Pop, hip hop and the good old rock ‘n roll, Singapore was promised a weekend that would give each concert-goer a good take away that will last a little longer than just a while. When the news came about that Aerosmith is coming down to Singapore for a show, I jumped out of my seat, being the die-hard Rock ‘N Roll fan I am, it felt like my ‘to do list before I die’ would be fitting to resume because hey, it’s Aerosmith and Steven Tyler is one hell of an amazing man. Though I was taken a little aback when they announced that Psy, the man who moved the world with dancing feet, a global phenomenon (acquired I must say) for his ‘Gangnam Style’ hit, was also scheduled to perform at the same show. I am personally not a fan of K-Pop, but I was really curious on how this man’s showmanship brought him to a good name.
The night started pretty early as the crowd covered the stage area, with an extended runway added on to the stage. They were promised to experience a truly saga performance by the great lineup. First to perform were Blush, an all-female band made up of girls coming from all over Asia; Philippines, India, Korea, China and Japan. A highly energetic performance that gave me the Pussycat Dolls vibe, accompanied by the extremely enthusiastic DJ that was working and spinning to his beats – the night started off right, got the crowd cheering, and moving their feet.
Another star, whose popular song, I wouldn’t say is my jam but more of a song that is too catchy that it’s stuck in my head longer than it was supposed to and it has a cheeky yet hilarious take away to it – I was looking forward to none other than Carly Rae Jepsen. She greeted us with this huge smile across her face. Standing about 5 foot tall, she resembles a little ball of fun, clad in her salmon orange top and almost knee high boots, a true sweetheart. She sang songs from her debut album. I have to say though, all of her songs promotes a similar tune all throughout, nonetheless, it has an upbeat and light leg-tapping tempo that no one can deny. She sang “Good Time”, a song collaboration originally sang with Owl City was performed that night and I have to admit, I have the song stuck in my head right till today. A very lighthearted, yet chirpy and not overly flamboyant dance song that gives a subtle touch – just what I needed for the weekend. And of course, the set wouldn’t be complete without the song that stuck in my head for so long, “Call Me Maybe”. I will shamelessly admit to the fact that I literally sang my heart out to the song and I sense a smile on my face after my 3 minute long self-fulfilling karaoke moment ended. I began to feel soaked in the atmosphere.
I could see from where I stood, the crowd kept streaming in for the next act, some even wearing the Gangnam Style shirt proudly across their chest all set to let their hair down and party hard. I was quite anxious of what was in store for me so I moved to a comfortable spot, deemed safe by me and watch the set at ease. Though Psy only performed 4 songs, I have to say he takes the cake for the best showmanship that night. He got the crowd well engaged with his performance and I found my hips subconsciously gyrating to “Gentlemen”. I could also have sworn that something got over me that made me do the “Gangnam Style” dance. It was exhilarating to say the least and I couldn’t get over how viral the dance was across the crowd. I am not shy to admit that I have succumbed to liking the mainstream music but I am still keeping my passion rooted for Rock ‘N Roll, no compromises there.
The night was coming to an end but the upcoming set was the one that I’ve been looking forward to all night. I was quite baffled at the fact that the crowd was slowly dissipated into the darkness as soon as Psy finished his set. What was more baffling was that how could anyone of the crowd who left has not heard of CeeLo Green? I mean, he was the one who made the song “Forget You” viral across South East Asia before “Gangnam Style” hit the waves. Nonetheless, I have myself all excited and looking forward to his set as I got the chance to get closer to the stage. We were greeted by a very overly enthusiastic and forward-looking CeeLo, clad in his extravagant outfit. I told myself, “I’m pretty sure he’ll take that off in the next few minutes” as the weather that night was just too humid almost impossible to keep a long sleeve shirt for long. He did a cover of “Don’t Cha”, a song he wrote for Pussycat Dolls and I have to say though, I liked his version better than the original one. Not many people would’ve known though about Gnarls Barkley but I am pretty sure at least 100 people in the crowd have heard of the song “Crazy”. Before CeeLo Green, he went by the name of Gnarls Barkley back in the day and we had the chance to relive the day with him when he bestowed us with an amazing performance of “Crazy” and closing the deal with the explicit version of “Forget You”, and very smart of him to have us sing the explicit part of the song. The night had me at Psy and I left telling myself my body is ready for the next day.
Second day of Social Concerts was made of epic proportions. The crowd was as massive as it can be and I couldn’t help but to feel as though I wasn’t in Singapore. It felt like a foreign country just because I’ve never seen a bigger crowd than at Fort Canning Park. I was literally pushing my way through the crowd and get a good spot and yet enjoy the concert. The night started with the ever so fabulous Steven Tyler walking down the runway as he threw his scarf and his Prada shades to the crowd, working the microphone like it’s part of his body, he jived and crooned to “Love In An Elevator” and got the crowd roaring in harmony. I could spot several veteran couples hugging onto each other and moving their bodies to the song.
I was mind boggled how this 65-year-old lad’s energy was more vivacious that all of the previous acts the day before, combined. He was literally swaying his hips from one extreme to the other and constantly leans to the crowd, engaging himself, even making himself overly attractive to a crowd of what I believe are young teenage girls, young enough to be siblings to Liv Tyler.
The song soon echoed through the crowd and I had a huge smile carved on my face. The song “Jaded”, I remembered being 13 and singing to the song like it was a song written for me, it was like the anthem of my life at that point of time. I was calming down and keeping my cool but the 13 year old inside me wanted to creep out and possibly surf through the crowd and do a mic grab and sing along side Steven. Well, that was a hard snap to reality as I was pretty far away from the stage but still I was comfortable in my own spot.
Known to be a die-hard fan of The Beatles, Steven Tyler and his league of extraordinary gentlemen could only do justice by covering one of the best songs done by their beloved band. Covers done by Michael Jackson and even Arctic Monkeys, it was no surprise the intro to “Come Together” rang cross The Meadow and got the crowd staring at each other probably saying “Oh yeah, this is my jam”. He had his back facing Joe Perry’s back as they rocked the stage.
The night was brought to a mellow down after the hard rocking earlier songs, a song known vastly across the crowd and best known to many as the song from the movie “Armageddon”, “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”, was one of the best of the night. It felt surreal and it was ringing through my ears at their concert instead of amplified through my dad’s hi-fi system.
The night wouldn’t be complete without their most sought after song, most well-liked, and celebrated by even the late Ronnie James Dio and Ygnwie Malmsteen – the song that got many fans of the series called “Glee” starting to show interest towards this legendary band. We were greeted by a grand white piano and Steven, being the flamboyant superstar he is, stood on the piano and coerced the crowd, beckoning for the loud applause and the ongoing claps that rang wile across the venue, the song could only be “Dream On”.
The epic arrangements and guitar works was definitely a commendable one, not having many who could pull this song off beautifully; it was the song that made my night, my weekend and my month. The night many would only dream to have been there physically and immerse in the greatness of it. I had the best time of my life, and thank you Straits Times for the amazing and eventful weekend.