We've now come to the second part of our recap of one of 2014 biggest's events: the Skechers Sundown Festival
in Singapore. Read about part 1 here
where we raved about Japan's WEAVER
, South Korea's CROSS GENE
and other noted acts from Indonesia, Taiwan, China and of course, Singapore.
Midway through the night, the audience was treated to the sultry beats of India courtesy of Kanika Kapoor
. The London-based diva immediately charmed the crowd with one of her earlier hits, "Jugni Ji
". She kept on encouraging everyone to dance and was brimming with high energy all throughout her performance. "Are you ready to party with Bollywood?
" she asked before launching to the catchy beats of "Balam Pichkari
" and "Lovely
". Kapoor ended her set with one of the top-rated hits in India last year, "Babydoll
" off the soundtrack of the erotic horror film "Ragini MMS 2
Post-punk revival band PUPIL
from the Philippines kept the event rolling. After a long intro, the quartet launched into "Disconnection Notice
". The vibe was eclectic cool and contrary to convention, lead vocalist Ely Buendia
positioned himself at the left instead of front and center. After performing "20/20
" and "Low End
", PUPIL surprised their Filipino fans in the audience by doing a cover of the Eraserheads
". Then they concluded with their latest song, "Out of Control
of Hong Kong's set slowed things down with a number of heartfelt ballads. Her fans were also eye-catching as they brought light boards spelling out their support to the actress-singer. They also sang along faithfully as Tsui crooned "Qin Mi Ai Ren
" and "Drenched
". Tsui's interpretation of "Wo De Ge Sheng li
" was compelling but it was her take on David Tao
's signature song "I Love You
" which was the highlight of her segment.
By this time, the event was around its sixth hour. Some people in the audience had been understandably tired. But whatever lethargy they were feeling were surely expelled by the dynamic performance of Thailand's BIG ASS
. The five members took to the stage like they own it. Their entrance was dramatic - the careful coordination of intense instrumentals and mood lighting that hinted at the intense performance succeeding it. The ebullient mood was compelling right off the drum-heavy first song, "Tow Tee Mee
". It was solid all throughout and it was apparent that each member fed off the energy of one another. In "Arb nam ron
" and "Don tree
", BIG ASS proved that their music was unapologetic, their beat a constant dare for the heart to keep up. Special credit must also be bestowed to vocalist Daycha Konarlo
who turned the stage into his playground. He ran around and jumped at speakers without missing a note. As the band wrapped up their set with "Dan nae ra mit
", it was without a doubt that if BIG ASS' performance could only be summarized with one word, it could only be this: ferocious.
After the heady rock concoction by BIG ASS, Olivia Ong
's part acoustic set was certainly a breath of fresh air. The Singaporean songstress was charming in her understated performance of the dainty "Yao Ni Guan
". Ong even enhanced her appeal by playing the xylophone. She followed it up with a piano driven "Bu Bian
" in which she effectively conveyed pain and fragility. Ong shared that she was better at expressing her emotions when she has a guitar on hand. This was why in "Xing Fu Ji Hao
", she brought her own guitar to the stage and sang while 'pretending' to play the instrument. Ong also showed her tambourine playing skills in "A Love Theme
". Her set was rounded off with the emotional "Tong Hua
Malaysia's pride Shila Amzah
was predictably one of the most anticipated acts in the night. Even though she was second to the last to perform, the audience seemed to have swelled when it was her time on stage. She burst into the spotlight like a hijab-wearing Red Riding Hood and was immediately welcomed with thunderous cheers. She opened her set with "zui zhang de dian ying
" which had the audience swaying their hands in the air while singing along. The second song "Cinta Hati
" had Amzah showing off her rapping skills. She had established great rapport with the audience via her affecting spiels. She confided that her third song was something she had never performed live before. Turned out it was a cover of John Legend
's "All of Me
". She followed it up with another cover, only this time it was the danceable "Overdose
" first made famous by South Korean boyband EXO
. As a finale, Amzah performed "Xiang Ni De Ye
" which gained her immense popularity in the hit Chinese talent show “I’m A Singer
”. The song clearly showcased her strengths as a vocalist and the audience lapped it up stanza by stanza.
Finally, veteran Taiwanese rock star Chang Chen-yue
hit the stage. As the final act of the night, his performance was generally light and easy starting with the melodious strains of "Po Ji Ta
" and "Lu Kou
". The slow song "Si Nian Shi Yi Zhong Bing
" definitely struck a familiar chord with the crowd as they found themselves singing along. The succeeding songs "Ai The Chu Ti Yan
" and "Zi You
" were more upbeat and the reception turned much warmer. For the most part of his set, A-yue just stayed in one place and closed his eyes. He addressed the audience only a few times too. Yet his performance was also a lesson on showmanship. He proved that bombastic moves and a grandiose stage set-up were not the only tricks a performer could yield in order to gain a connection with the audience. Sometimes, it's best to just the let the music itself speak and appeal more to heart.
As a fitting end to the incredible night, all artists lined up on stage. It was truly a grand sight - different nationalities, different genres but all proudly Asian. They all took their bows. The lights dimmed. The grand unveiling of a phenomenal musical tapestry was complete. Next year, the Skechers Sundown Festival
will roll it out once again to make way for the next roster of Asian talent powerhouses.
Shared by: kenryoku