And we were there, thanks to our Google+ buddy Kevin‘s friendly alert. Kevin all the way in US heard about the concert. We in Singapore didn’t. Recently, Cynthia and I have started watching The Voice. We love how this singing competition invites semi-pros to participate. Since we have missed the first two seasons, together with our buddy TK, three of us put our heads together day-and-night analyzing Dia Frampton’s music album in depth, trying to see if the S$25 ticket price (and S$10 booking fee!) was worth it. We love her music. I love her sultry voice. It was three yes’es.
Hard Rock Cafe Singapore – the one in town – is a rather small venue. But it has a great atmosphere. There is a small stage and behind the stage, three large Gothic multicolored glass panels immortalizing Elvis the King in the middle, a dude on a piano singing Great Ball of Fire on the right, and on the left, a legendary guitarist whose name I am unable to pinpoint. He could well be the Boss.
In front of the stage is a rather large dancing area. Much larger than the one in Hong Kong. But here lies the challenge of seeing the artist if you are standing a few rows from the front. We reached the venue at 6.45 pm and there was a queue forming. Hardcore fans were determined to get to the front row. TK, Cynthia, and I were the pragmatic one. We needed a good meal and some good beer. I have reserved a table on the second floor in advance. Time for some quality fajitas and beer and a great time guaranteed every time we visit a Hard Rock Cafe, wherever in this world.
At nine-ish, Dia Frampton entered the stage, with her guitarist Daniel from UK. She is – I would say – petite and in a beautiful pastel colored bareback dress with her hair tied up. A perfect outfit for the Singapore weather. I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be an acoustic set with she occasionally played the guitar and the piano. Daniel was her temporary guitarist and the entire performance seemed a bit like them jamming on stage. At times, it wasn’t entirely clear who should pluck the ending notes, a song was restarted because the starting notes weren’t that entirely right, or some of the rhythms seemed a bit strange. However, none of these matters because it was so easy to lose in the moment when all I saw was two artists creating music on stage. Dia has made the effort to change the arrangement and delivery of her songs making them fresh to listen to.
It was Dia’s first visit to Singapore and she has cracked some good jokes on stage. Like how she came to know more about Singapore in the last minute through reading Wikipedia during her 24 hours plane ride. How visiting Singapore is not exactly helping on her new year resolution of trying to shop less. She and Daniel had American food for lunch and she has promised to try out Singapore’s chicken rice before she left. Because it is famous according to Wikipedia. Dia and Daniel took turn to tease each other on stage. Like how Dia is unable to understand Daniel’s British accent most of the time. And Daniel was surprised that Dia cries a lot, even when watching Wreck-It Ralph. There is a girly side to Dia that I found charming. She talked a little about The Voice too. I am pretty sure I would have been a fan had I watched the first season.
I was expecting her to perform some cover songs. True enough, she did a few (which I presume that some of these numbers were taken from The Voice). Cynthia loves Dia’s rendition of Losing My Religion. Dia sang Inventing Shadows, which signifies an important milestone in her competition. That was a solid delivery. I love the last song of the set most – Heartless – when she performed by the piano. So full of emotion and commitment. Watching Dia on stage was like watching The Voice. TK said that she sang much better live than in her studio recording. I felt that her falsetto was a bit weak. But when she attacked those big notes with commitment, it was glorious.
We had a great time. It was a fun evening. And thanks to Kelvin for the alert!