One thing which emerged clearly after the rain last Saturday was that you can’t keep a good fan down. The ones at the Sundown Festival on November 26, endured downpours, the sun and standing for hours to see their favourite acts perform.
The performers at Sundown Festival, Singapore
People ran in as soon as doors opened at 5.30pm, despite the show only starting around 8pm, making fans who had been queuing for hours to grab a good spot – some had been standing in line since Thursday – understandably agitated.
Some fans right behind the media mosh pit where we were situated jeered as yet another video played on the big screen, with no stars in sight.
The more enterprising fans got onto the concert’s official Facebook page to complain about the delayed start while one man took to heckling very loudly – a choice example of his skill: “Is it going to be at sundown or tomorrow?” – which served as some comic relief to the tired crowd, at least.
But as soon as the hosts appeared, the agony of the long wait was banished to the back of the fans’ minds – well, for most of them.
The organisers of the Sundown Festival have since attributed the long delay to the rain, explaining to commentors on Facebook they had to ensure the grounds were safe for the crowd and the stage was okay for the artists to perform on.
Japanese visual kei band ViViD performing at Sundown Festival, Singapore
Having never perviously heard of Japanese visual kei rock-pop band ViViD, who opened the gig, I was pretty amazed by lead singer Shin’s acrobatic jumping around on stage, complete with rigorous head-banging while belting out fast-paced lyrics. And all this in leather pants, a metallic tank top and a long-sleeved fur jacket no less.
The whole band remained energetic throughout their set with songs like Fake and Crisis that segued into each other seamlessly. This is a brand of J-rock I’d like to hear more of.
Taiwanese songstress Zhang Yun Jing’s set was more subdued by comparison. The standout moment was when the winner of the singing competition Super Idol asked the crowd to “Raise your hands if you don’t know who I am.”
Singer Zhang Yun Jing at the Sundown Festival, Singapore
“Don’t be scared,” she coaxed as hands went up. “Tonight’s performance is for you to get to know me,” she said. The show of humility, coupled with her heart-wrenchingly sincere acoustic performance of Xiang Fan De Wo (The Opposite Of Me) definitely won her new fans.
Pretty Korean boy band Teen Top didn’t disappoint. The members, aged 16 to 19, looked as expected – perfectly coiffed and in coordinated black and white outfits.
They also performed as one would expect a Korean boy band to – perfectly in sync with slickly choreographed moves for songs like Supa Luv and No More Perfume On You, complete with the requisite professing of love for Singaporean fans in halted English.
Singer Hebe Tien of S.H.E. performs tracks from her solo debut album at Sundown Festival
S.H.E. member Hebe Tien who released her debut album To Hebe last year shone without theatrics or dance moves.
Dressed in an ethereal cream gown and executing songs like Hai Shi Yao Xin Fu (Still Be Happy) and Ji Mo Ji Mo Jiu Hao (Just Let Me Be Lonely) perfectly, the seasoned singer mesmerised the crowd. Her set seemed so intimate that it could have been set in a smoky bar, making it my favourite performance of the night.
Show Luo at the Sundown Festival. All photos: Sylvia Koh
Last to appear was Show Luo. I had thought the screaming before was loud, but it was incomparable when the Taiwanese heartthrob came on stage with Jing Wu Men (Dance Gate).
Having attended his full-length concert before (yes, this writer has to admit to being a fan), the multi-hyphenate seemed to have put as much energy into this half-hour performance as he did into his previous appearances – a treat for those who hadn’t seen him perform live before.
Luo’s more-than-a-decade experience in show business showed in the ease with which he interacted with the crowd. From joking about the five black pepper crabs he had downed before the show to how he cried while watching local film Money No Enough 2, he added a reminder to fans to be filial to their parents (the singer is famously loyal to his mum and late dad).
At one point while lamenting how his stylist put him in leather pants despite knowing about Singapore’s hot weather, Luo deftly brushed off calls to take them off. His dance hit Only U rounded off the concert on a high. And despite all they had been through, the fans cheered until the very end.
Vanessa is a freelance writer and can be found at thesewingwriter.tumblr.com.