According to the official website, SingaPOP ‘concert pays tribute to 50 years of pop music development in Singapore, in parallel with 50 years of Singapore’s economic development.’ Conceptualized by Dick Lee, this is the largest gathering of past and present home-grown pop music talents performing on stage in Singapore. There are 130 artists, and the concert is only 2 hours long. So, each artist was only allowed only one song.
The concert tickets were given free in an online ballot. Surprisingly, many of my friends and relatives managed to secure them, giving us the false impression that no one wanted to attend. My Aunt C and I, both contest freaks, first received the tickets, followed by my brother, mom, uncle and Bee. So, there were many of us there last night. It was also the first time I attended a concert with my mother, her two sisters and their husbands.
As it was free seating and standing, we were there as soon as the gate opened at 6pm to ‘chope’ seats. Dark clouds threatened but the very light drizzle did not dampen our mood. DJ Daniel Ong and Actress Belinda did a great job rousing the crowd. People started streaming in, each clutching a bottle of ‘New Water’ at 7pm.
The concert started right on the dot. It was history lessons of pop music in Singapore, starting with the 60’s with Veronica Young, still vibrant and energetic, gave us a lovely rendition of ‘My Boy Lollipop’. I remember listening to her as a child and her voice is still the same. Sakura, singing in the same genre, remised her yodeling, much to the delight of her fans sitting around us. Yes, we were surrounded by aunties and uncles who were obviously not comfortable in concert and had tissues stuffed in their ears.
We were very quickly ushered into the 70’s. I was eagerly awaiting Mathew and the Mandarins. He did not disappoint with ‘Singapore Cowboy’.
The 80’s were more my genre and one reason for attending this concert was to reminize my time at NUS where we were often entertained by Tokyo Square during the Jam and Hop. I was happy to be listening to the song ‘Within you’ll remain’ with the same people now as in twenty over years ago – June and Mike.
Like me, fans of different singers were waiting for their favourites to appear. Olivia Ong, singing the theme song from ‘Little Nonya’ had fans waving lighted banners with her name. Ah Du sang too. Kit Chan’s appearance drew a loud response. The largest applause was for Dick Lee, accompanied by Najip and Sheikh Haikel and their rousing rendition of ‘Rasa Sayang.’ They had the audience singing lustily at the top of our voice.
The new century singers were lost to many in the audience, about 40% who were over 40 years’ old. All too soon, it was the finale and all the artists came on stage to sing ‘Home’. We left the concert on a high, each carrying our own special memories of how we grew up with 50 years of Singapore Pop.