Until the last minute, I still wasn’t sure if I should attend – the crowd, the wait, the weather…all these were daunting factors to why I should not go. But, this year I had a goal to get out of my comfort zone and this was a good test. The fact that my dear hubby and BFF P was going was a nudge factor as well.
We arrived early to get parking, which thankfully we did for friends who came later had to park all the way at Bugis. After lunch, we had an hour to wait for the event at 3pm, but since there was already a small crowd sitting in front of the stage, I decided to join them, armed with magazines, novel, water bottle and poncho. It was a sunny afternoon and we huddled in the shaded area. It was breezy but sitting crossed legged was uncomfortable, no matter that I do yoga and meditate in half lotus nightly.
Close to three pm, the sky decided to test our patience and unleashed buckets of water. Mike and I had our poncho, much to the amazement of our neighbours. We were well prepared for the weather, a left-over syndrome from our recent mountain expedition. Colourful umbrellas went up around us, blocking the stage.
MC Huang Wenhong from 100.3 tried to allay the situation by asking making jokes and the crowd were supporting. At the corner, staff were praying to the rain to stop. Co MC was Xu Nan Sheng, who brought along his children, perhaps now older than he was when he first performed here at the complex. The rest of the performers were Liang Wen Foo, Dawn Gan, Eric Moo, Liu Rui Zheng, Hong Shao Xuan, Chen Zhi Chun, Pan Yin, Roy Li and two others that were not familiar to me.
I had never attended any Xinyao event when they were the rage in the 80s, except for one in Sentosa where we were introduced to Jiang Hu 姜鄠 whom my visiting German pen pal promptly fell in love and bought his cassette. Coincidentally, Eric Moo mentioned during the event that he had always been compared to him, something he couldn’t fathom.
All the singers had their supporters in the crowd, mostly consisting of middle-aged folks, or even older aunties. But you can’t tell by the enthusiasm and whistles. It’s as if we were all teenagers again.
Roy Li’s appearance jacked up the atmosphere. He was told his looks young and he attributed it to his mop of black hair versus someone with white hair (Eric Moo), or worse with no hair (Billy Koh). Someone shouted that it was nice for him to drop in and he rebutted him, I didn’t drop in, my office is just upstairs. Eric Moo came on promptly with Roy’s singing school’s advertising pamphlets and threw it to the audience.
These two together were hilarious in their banter, their partnership on stage natural and effortless as they sang and played the guitar, as if they have been doing that for decades.
The best part of the concert was when everyone sang along. The audience was given lyric booklets but I suspect most didn’t need it as they sang with gusto. Despite running past schedule, we were reluctant to leave and shouts of encore (Roy : We think this is a concert is it?) was rewarded with 太傻.
We all left Bras Basah Complex in a high, glad to be a part of a historical documentary in the making (this event was to be filmed for a documentary on Xin Yao).