You treat me like a rose
You give me room to grow
You shone the light of love on me
And gave me air so I can breathe
You open doors that close
In a world where anything goes
You give me strength so I stand tall
Within this bed of earth
Just like a rose
If you don’t know by now, I am just one of 90s boy bands fans out there. And when I saw that A1 was coming to Singapore (and the ticket is much much more affordable than BSB’s!), I jumped on the opportunity!
Truth to be told, A1 is not my favorite boyband, but I like them enough that I am willing to fork my wallet for Cat 2 ticket :p. Unfortunately, Husband was not interested at all, so I went alone.
I learned my lesson, so I took my time to go to Star Theatre :P. Concert is supposed to start at 8 pm, but I knew it’s not going to be at 8. Lol.
When the blue night is over my face On the dark side of the world in space When I’m all alone with the stars above You are the one I love
To be honest, I don’t know much about Michael Learns To Rock (MLTR). Of course they are popular in Asia, but I only like few of the songs. And they are more like a romantic band and most teenagers (like me at that time) didn’t really listen to them.
Husband is a different case though. He loves their music a lot. Since he accompanied me to the Backstreet Boys concert, when he asked to go to MLTR concert, I immediately said yes. I knew I am going to be lost most of the time; not knowing the songs and everything, but it’s his favorite band so I figured it’s worth the effort x)
The concert was again held at The Star Vista, same place with BSB’s last time. Perfect place for acoustic concert if you asked me. The sound system is really nice. When we watched BSB one last time, I thought it’s a wrong place to hold such high energy concert. It’s supposed to be in Stadium or someplace where people can jump and dance around.
OK I digress.
Concert was supposed to start at 8 pm, but we reached quite late. We performed Maghrib prayer first before rushed to the concert hall. It was already 8.10 pm when we finally were at level 5. And then, there was this announcement that no food and drink bought outside can be brought to the hall. OH WHAT THE.
I always think this kind of rule is ridiculous. I won’t mind buying something from the stalls inside concert/theatre IF ONLY they are not pricey and most importantly, HALAL; which by the way is never the case.
We already bought some bread and water from Cheers, so we needed to sit down first and gulped everything in 5 minutes. So annoying.
We were finally inside, and gotta admit, our seats were much better than ours at BSB concert. But poor people can’t be choosey. BSB’s concert ticket price was ridiculously high compared with MLTR.
Here are the views from our seats before the concert began.
Some people took a lot of selfies. And I noticed most of them are quite old. Perhaps they’re about mid 40s. Some even brought their children along. Made me think to bring Zal to a concert like this when he’s old enough 🙂
Concert started around 8.20 pm. Hm. I start to think that there will always be a grace period for concerts at The Star Vista since BSB concert also started around the same time.
MLTR didn’t waste a lot of time and their opening was clearly straightforward. No big scenes, nothing. They just came out from the sides of the stage and started playing the instruments.
First song was “Silent Times”. Followed by “Sleeping Child” where Husband sang along to the song perfectly. I am quite proud of him x)
Next songs were “Love Will Never Lie” and “Call On Love”. Talk about romantic band… wow. I honestly never heard any band as romantic as MLTR.
Speaking of romantic, their next song was “Romantic Balcony”. Is it just me or does this song sorta remind you of Romeo & Juliet. Oh Romeo, where art thou Romeo?
After a string of their popular songs, the vocalist sang a short song with him having solo moment. The song was about environment and not making our Earth as naked as the Moon. Oh man, it was so heartbreaking :’( The lyrics, the song, the melody.. I couldn’t help but thinking of what kind of Earth we are giving to our children.
Concert went on with another one of crowd favorite songs, “I’m Gonna Be Around”. Oooh, I knew this song! So glad that I finally could sing along as well although it was only for the chorus.
I’m gonna love you till the end I’m gonna be your very true friend I wanna share your ups and downs I’m gonna be around
Next on the setlist was “Forever And A Day”. Honestly… I almost fell asleep when the song was just halfway. Perhaps this song is just not my cup of tea.
“Out Of The Blue” played afterwards. Again, I went “Ooohh, I knew this!”. Really, it’s so nice to get to sing to a song you know by heart.
Perhaps to wake some people up (including me!), the guys played some guitar while the vocalist went backstage to change clothes and perhaps to take some water. When he was back, he was already changed to a very metallic blue shirt that Husband commented, “He looks like he’s going for Raya…”
“Hot To Handle” was something unexpected came out. It was quite an up tempo song and I kinda enjoyed it; although I didn’t remember this one either ^^;
It turned out the blue shirt was some kind of a code, cause soon it was “Blue Night’’s turn. Then, the concert hall turned like this:
So many flashes!
When it ended, the band played one of my favorite songs! “You Took My Heart Away”. Ooohh, suddenly I remember when I sang along to this song whenever it was played on the radio 🙂 For the sake of memories, I am gonna throw in the MV here as well.
Apparently, MLTR was aware that Singapore is going to celebrate SG50 next month. As an early birthday present, they are going to sing one of the Chinese songs that they really liked they made an adaptation out of it. I was kinda curious until they played “Take Me To Your Heart”. Oh this is an interesting fact! Never knew that it’s originally a Chinese song, but I thought it’s somehow familiar to my ears (blame my Chinese . That explained a lot!
Next on the list was “The Actor”. They said it’s a song that started everything for them back then. I wasn’t that aware with the title of the song so I started googling (lol). It was released back in 1991 when I was only 4 years old. But then the song played; when it reached the chorus, I instantly knew.
I’m not an actor I’m not a star and I don’t even have my own car But I’m hoping so much you’ll stay that you will love me anyway
I remember this! When I was perhaps 7 or 8, I remember this song was being played soo many times on the radio.
Meanwhile, Husband was singing so passionately beside me x)
“25 Minutes” was the next present from the band. Followed by “Wild Women” and “Watch Your Back”. I started to get pump for the concert after a series of super mellow numbers x)
“Someday” was up and the screen played a very nice mash up from fans all around the world singing the song!
Time was almost 9.45 pm then. After this song, the guys took a bow and went to the backstage. Everyone started chanting for encore; and soon afterwards the band was back on stage.
“We forgot one thing. It’s about taking a selfie.”
The crowd went nuts, especially them who are sitting on front row seats :). Here is the selfie I took from their Facebook page.
And the encore stage started! “Paint My Love” was first, and whooo, it was like a choir inside! I even saw some (old) couples dancing on their seat!
Following after that was “That’s Why (You Go Away)”. Husband would probably kill me for this, but I always thought this is a song from Aerosmith! I didn’t know why, but somehow the song has that rock aura that doesn’t match MLTR at all (imo, though).
Last song was “Breaking My Heart”. I guess people were ready to say goodbye then; Flashes were again everywhere and choir ensued.
The band finished the song with extra chorus, and I couldn’t help but notice how people were smiling bitterly around me. It was almost 10.10 pm, and the curtain would soon closed. Such a nice ending.
The guys didn’t say much for their closing stage. But I could see how they enjoyed the audience and the stage as well. They bowed and waved goodbye. It’s short and sweet.
MLTR may not be my favorite band, but they are part of me growing up. Their songs were regulars on local radio stations and I bet a lot of my peers know their music by heart.
This concert of them was quite alright in my opinion. The sound was good, the band was awesome, not a hint of tiredness although they are currently touring across Asia. They are professionals indeed. But I kinda wish that there were some intimate moments between them and the fans. More small talks and interactions would be very much appreciated. It felt like it was really rushed instead; song after song, not giving fans time to really ‘feel’ the moment.
But again, perhaps it’s due to time constraint. They could only give so much with the time they were given. Hopefully it would be better next time. And considering they have been coming to Singapore annually, I could see we’re coming to their concert again next year, haha.
Closing this post with this one below; my ultimate favorite song from MLTR that unfortunately they didn’t play last night. Oh well ^^;
PS. And here is the Spotify playlist of the concert!
(Please beware that this post is going to be super long and wordy, you have been warned :p)
The first concert that I attended with Husband, and we truly truly enjoyed it. Although, being a rabid mom, of course, I had an episode of heart-wrenching drama when I left the house and Zal cried his eyes out (later my helper told me that he was so angry he slapped her repeatedly. Sigh, seems like terrible two is coming earlier for him).
The ticket said that the concert would start at 8 pm. Being a kiasu, of course I came 30 minutes before the concert, lol. Ok, not exactly 30 minutes. We came FORTY FIVE minutes before. HAHA.
Before I left the house, of course, I made sure I had some milk ready for Zal. Was able to pump 180 ml, not bad.
When we reached The Star Vista around 7.20 pm, we immediately looked for a place for Maghrib prayer. There is this post on Facebook group saying that there is a small mushalla near the lift exit at 2nd level, but when we checked, there was none 🙁
So we made do with what’s available. We looked for quiet corner outside and did our prayer there. Good thing that we already took our ablution at home.
After we finished our prayer, we headed to The Star Performing Art Centre at level 4. We grabbed the lift to level 3 first, and soon we found the escalator to level 4.
(On our way up, we spotted some girls listening to Backstreet’s Boys hits, maybe it’s for warming up. The sight made me smile a bit, imagining that it’s perhaps something that I would do as well if I were here with my junior high school friends)
Please excuse the blurry pictures. Our camera is bad for a night shoot.
Our seats were actually not bad. They were in the back of course, but we can still see the stage clearly from where we were seated. One thing that we didn’t really count is how people stood from their seat at some points of the concert. Oh well. Who can blame them when they’re back as teenagers again? 🙂
One thing that I didn’t predict as well is… the concert started late *side eyeing the promotor*. It’s supposed to start at 8 pm, but it only started around 8.20 pm *another side eye to the promotor*. If I were a teenager, I wouldn’t mind this kind of delay, but I am a Mom leaving my son at home with my helper, and as much as I wanted to enjoy the concert, I wanted it to end on time so I could go back home on time as well. Time is precious for mothers!
Around 8.20 pm, without any warning, suddenly the lights went off. And the stage lights were on. PEOPLE LITERALLY SCREAMED THEIR LUNGS OFF (including me *shy*)
Then there’s part of the chorus that all BSB fans know too well, “Backstreet’s Back!”
If the screams from the theatre were not defined as grand scream, I don’t know what grand scream is. Even Husband was literally jumping from his seat!
After that short chorus, “The Call” was next. Ughhh, I have a major crush on this song cause it was slick, fast, and yet so catchy. I super love the music video as well, cause it was dark and different. Although, Howie with long hair was kinda “eeehhhh” :p
Came right away after that was “Don’t You Back”. Oh, wait, what is this song? A bit unfamiliar to me, but I was guessing it came from their 90s album as well.
Next song was “Incomplete”. I think that was the only song coming from their albums in ‘00 era. And I just noticed as well that they didn’t sing any song from their albums that were out after Kevin left. I felt an amount of happiness. They indeed really love Kevin. Not wanting him to be left out during their concert.
After that, there was an opening talk. I think that was Nick (or Brian?), while the other four went behind the stage (perhaps in order to prepare for their next songs).
HELL YES. Nick, that was such a tease. Oh, I was so ready to be 15 again. His words actually sent me to a nostalgia mode. It was 2002 when I was 15. But I was their fan since I was 10 (yes, 1997 during “As Long As You Love Me”), and was a BIG FAN when their ‘I Want It That Way’ was out. When was it? 1999? So I was like 12 years old. So yes, I was ready to be 12 again!
Then they sang a song from their latest album, “Permanent Stain”. It was a good song, but I was pretty sure half of the audience don’t even know about the song. During this song, Nick was super super hyper! A.J and Brian goofed around with each other it was so endearing and adorable.
And then, “All I Have To Give”. The audience was wayyy beyond crazy. I don’t think the boys even needed to sing at all, lol. And at this point of the concert, I just realized that almost all songs were all in minus one mode. Kinda disappointing since I was hoping they would sing with real instruments.
But ok, this way I could relive my teenage era even more with the original music I first fell in love with. And I almost couldn’t believe that they are now way beyond their 30s cause they still sounded so good, especially A.J. Whoa, man. And to think that he still smokes? Dunno what he’s been doing to maintain his voice.
Two minutes costume change, and during that intermission, the screen showed a short video about what they know about each other; who do they think is the sexiest, or who do they think is the coolest, and so on. That was a very playful video and again, one of those things I adore so much.
After that, out came the ultimate weapon of 1997, “As Long As You Love Me”. It was again so chaotic cause the crowd sang like crazy. As for me? The song is so nostalgic and dear to my heart I almost cried. At this point of the song, I couldn’t hold it in anymore so yeah, I stood up and sang with all my voice. Btw, Husband did the same as well, muahahaha.
Shortly after the song ended, it was Kevin who teased the crowd. Talking about how we should go back to 1999 again, and I really really thought they were going to sing “I Want It That Way”.
Instead of singing it, they presented “Show ‘Em What You Made Of”. They said they wrote this song for their children. Aww yes, sometimes I forgot almost all of them are fathers now :’)
Next on the list was “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”. And I was a train wreck. This song is so personal for me for several reasons, and yes I used to cry a bit whenever I heard this song.
Before the next song, A.J took the stage and asked the audience to turn their phone’s backlight on. And his hilarious comment was,
“If u guys have Blackberry, we gotta talk”.
When all audience turned on their backlight, they started the next song, “Breathe”, from their latest album. I was indifferent cause well, I really don’t know about this song at all.
“I’ll Never Break Your Heart” was next. Wow, this concert was really like a trip down the memory lane! I remember the first time I knew this song, I think I was still in primary school? But I was already fluent in singing, “I’ll never break your heaartttt” X)
Then we went even further down the lain with their debut song! “We’ve Got It Going On”! To be honest, I wasn’t that familiar with the song, but it’s just so damn catchy I found myself kept singing along the chorus!
Shortly after that, some of VVIPs went up to the stage while the boys prepared some instruments. Ooh, interesting. Were they going to play the rest of the concert with instruments?
They proceed with playing some acoustic versions of some of their popular songs. A short version of “I Want It That Way” (ggrhh, another teasing!), “Drowning”, and “10,000 Promises”.
I really appreciate that they calmed down the concert atmosphere by playing some of their slower songs cause I really needed to catch my breath lol (and I suspect so did they)
Nick then took the stage with “Madelaine”. Am not quite sure why this song is like his solo, hmm. Audience died down a bit, and it’s understandable cause this song is so soft.
After a string of acoustic songs, time to get back on our feet!
“Quit Playing Games With My Heart”, yeah! The audience was back on karaoke mode, and again I suspect the boys didn’t even need to sing at all, lol.
Then it’s time for another break. The screen showed some clips from their younger days. Damn, they were so young back then! Nick was the cutest of course. Now he’s like the most buffed in the group. And he looks like he gained the most weight (aside from A.J). But yeah, he mentioned that he had an overweight problem a few years back. I was actually kinda surprised since I thought he exercised a lot.
After the break, it’s “The One”! This song is also one of my favorites! Too bad the background music was too loud 🙁
“Love Somebody” from their latest album was next. Again, I am not familiar with this song at all. But during this song, A.J and Howie were jumping around like crazy. Kinda adorable, if you asked me!
Guess what was the song after that?
“Shape Of My Heart”
Oh bless my heart, I felt like I was 13 again! I will always love this song, especially that part where Nick sings,
I’m here with my confession
Got nothing to hide no more
I don’t know where to start
But to show you the shape of my heart
*melts like a puddle*
“In A World Like This” came up afterward. I love this song, and A.J was really the life of the show! He jumped around non-stop and since he took the center stage most of the time, it’s so easy to spot him. By the way, at this moment, Husband told me that the screensaver played in the background look like something from Windows Media Player, and it was true indeed :O.
And for the ultimate song?
“I WANT IT THAT WAY”
(capslock is needed)
Believe me that I almost cried hearing the opening note. All the memories rushed back, and I felt so happy. Do you guys remember that there were fans in the music video calling for Backstreet Boys? Yep, I finally felt like I was part of them. No shame yo!
And as the encore, “Backstreet’s Back” and “Larger Than Life” of course! The zombie dance is forever theirs 🙂
The concert ended around 10.30 pm, and Backstreet Boys said their goodbyes and see you next time to Singapore. I smiled from ear to ear.
I rushed back home cause I had a toddler waiting for me at home. But during our walk home, I kept thinking about how my teenage self back then.
Sixteen years ago, I could only dream to listen and watching Backstreet Boys performing in front of my eyes. Then someway along the road, I fell out of love.
But now, seeing them singing their heart out in front of the crowd LIVE, how they still sound more or less the same like the way I remember them, and how they told the stories of their 22 years of journey, I am back on the train!
Next concert, I am definitely buying closer seats :p