AU ABROAD

Hello Asia! Live Review: Skechers Sundown Festival - Marina Promenade, Singapore (22.11.14)

A massive crowd was on hand to cheer for their favorite performing artists at the Skechers Sundown Festival 2014 at Marina Promenade. This happened on the 22nd November this year and even though this was my first time attending the event, I have to say that this music festival was a success.

Festival and concert goers from all over Asia, especially the fans of Japanese rock group WEAVER and Korean boy band CROSS GENE started queuing to enter the event venue at 3pm despite showers earlier in the day. Everyone was jittery and excited and at times, fan girl squeal could be heard as they actively engaged in small talks. Whilst waiting, they kept themselves busy by doing up their fan boards and making new friends with the other fans around them. The gates to the festival grounds only opened at 4pm and an hour later, the venue was already filled with people who were anticipating the start of the festival.

The event organizer, Red Spade Entertainment, managed to bring in rising artistes from all over Asia and even shocked the audience with surprise appearance from the good-looking rookie Mandopop singer, James Yang. Artistes from Singapore, Malaysia and India also joined the line-up for the first time this year making the Sundown festival one to remember.

Besides being able to enjoy different music cultures from all over Asia, everyone at the festival also got to enjoy a spread of delicious Asian street food such as the spicy rice cakes from Korea, Laksa from Singapore and refreshing Halo Halo from the Philippines.

Singapore’s homegrown rapper ShiGGa Shay kicked started the whole event with a bang by rapping to three of his own singles. This was followed by some deafening screams for Jeremy Teng, Indonesian girl act S.O.S, Chinese DJ and singer REGINA, CROSS GENE, James Yang, WEAVER, Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, Filipino band PUPIL, Hong Kong actress and singer Kate Tsui, Thai band Big Ass, Singapore's own Olivia Ong, Malaysia's Shila Amzah as well as Taiwan's Chang Chen Yue who took turns to perform respectively.

Every single performance by all the performers was stunning. Besides having some awesome giveaways, chief sponsor Skechers also included the idea of having the performers throw small rubber balls to the audience. This not only hyped everyone up, everyone who caught the ball also went home with a special Skechers free gift.

16 of the artistes, from 11 different countries, on a singular platform.

I have got to admit, there were some tough competition to choose the best act of the night. However, the winner was clear, not because of the popularity of the band, but because this band was the only act that managed to get every single audience, including the media and crew of the festival, on their feet, jumping along with the music.

It was about 10pm and the event was overrunning, some fans were getting tired and even I was getting restless. But all the fatigue disappeared the second Japanese rock band, WEAVER, took the stage. There was no doubt at all that these boys were the show stealers of the night.

WEAVER started their segment by singing one of their hit singles – "Time Will Find a Way". By the time this song ended, all three members were already drenched in their perspiration. Nonetheless, the smiley trio continued to interact with the audience in simple English. However, just when I thought the performance was already at its peak, things got even better.

WEAVER also did a mash up of a few popular songs, which showcased their incredible instrumental abilities. However, there was this particularly familiar song they played that left the audience roaring. The band performed their specially arranged instrumental rendition of Singapore’s favourite national day song, "Home". It was beautiful. Almost all the Singaporeans in the crowd were singing along, even the foreign fans were bobbing their heads along to the melody. I almost believed that National day had come early.

WEAVER’s Vocal & Pianist Sugimoto Yuji also taught the audience a new word – Saiko – that means awesome in Japanese before performing their final two songs.

Other highlights of the night included Asia’s sweetheart, Shila Amzah, who made a name for herself in China after winning the first season of Mainland singing competition, Asian Wave. The Malaysian born singer wowed the crowd with her flawless rendition of ‘Miss You Tonight’ (想你的夜) as well as her cover of popular Korean Boy group EXO’s 'Overdose'. To make her first performance in Singapore a memorable one, Shila also dedicated John Legend's ‘All of Me’ to her fans who were present.

Multinational South Korea based boy band, CROSS GENE got all the fan girls in the crowd screaming their names. Performing their latest single titled “I’m Not a Boy, Not Yet a Man”, the boys slayed their performance with their sexy dances and non-stop fan service. Besides sending flying winks to the their fans, the six member boy band who appeared to be a little shy during the interview with the media on Friday, exploded with charisma during their performance.

The night’s celebration of Asian music and culture ended more quickly then I expected it to. Time spent having fun, indeed, passes fast. Everyone was all smiles and was cheering loudly with their last bit of energy despite the exhaustion. Undeniably, the unity amongst the diversity of the Asia region was definitely represented.

I finally understand why people would say that music is a universal language itself. Sundown festival 2014 was good fun and a superb experience; I would give two thumbs up to it and I cannot wait for Sundown festival 2015!