Dia Frampton Was In Hard Rock Cafe Singapore

Dia in Singapore!

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!

On This Day US Gained Independence

Today is US Independent Day.  Only when we went to Hard Rock Café did we realize it.

Okay, woke up late and didn’t feel very well.  Decided to see a doctor and ended up seeing one of the doctor in the apartment.  Interesting to know that even the doctor refuses to take the ice cube in the restaurant and he even suggested to wash the apple with warm water.

Took one day off and went out for shopping.  Spent most of the day watching MTV.

The best was yet to come.  That was our (Kenneth, CC, and I) first time visit to Hard Rock Café.  Had a delicious meal (the most decent place in Jakarta) and they left the place just when the live band appeared.  For me, I stayed on and danced till two in the morning.

Only when I stepped into the taxi did I feel scared.  I mean just me alone, and single and the driver (to me a small boy under eighteen) kept on telling me that the strip show is very exciting so on.

I am a decent guy right?  Must live up to my decent reputation.

Last Stop – Beverly Hills (Again)

Really don’t quite understand why Colin is so in love with Beverly Hills.  To be honest, today was the second time we visited Beverly Hills.  What’s in BH?  Well, a lot of expensive shops and a lot of beautifully dressed people. T his time, we wore a bit smarter than last time and we did feel a bit more comfortable.

How about the “Walk of Frame”?  I was kind of disappointed as the street looked really dirty and the stars on the floor just don’t look pleasant at all.  We had burgers at BH and I am certain Colin hated it.  What to do?  We are in America.

Throughout the whole day, Colin was very quiet.  Can’t really guess what’s go wrong.  Maybe my driving or maybe something else.  Actually, we had quite a lot of dangerous situation when we were driving.  Don’t think I am a good driver after all.

Spent quite some time to locate the Hard Rock Café and finally, we found it at the Beverly Centre.  Indeed, it is quite a big shopping centre.  Correction – it looks big but half of the building is car park.

Bought another deck of books and decided to watch the movie at the centre itself.  The movie is called “Volcano”.  What so special about this movie is that it was filmed in Los Angeles.  That is why we are.  And guess what, the eruption actually took place at the Beverly Hills.  Even more unbelievable, the ending of the film was filmed (well…) right in front of the Beverly Centre.  Isn’t that a very nice coincident?

Last day of the holiday already and the conclusion is that I have been very much enjoying myself.  And it is a very nice break for me.  I think I do learn a few lessons in terms of relating to other people.  Perhaps I am very spoilt and for that, I need to improve myself.  I do think it is kind of difficult to tolerate such a person like me.

Second thing is that I have been thinking of JP from time to time.  Thought I can forget about the whole thing during the trip but life doesn’t always turn out to be so predictable.  Guess Annie is right.  Forget about the fake Juliet and keep looking for the real one.

Oh, I just found about something quite interesting about the famous Route 66.  It started from Chicago and goes all the way across America and reaches Los Angeles on the other end.  Isn’t that amazing?  If you want to travel from the East Coast to the West Coast, all you need to do is follow the Route 66.  The whole road covers three time zones and eight states.  Which eight of them?  Well, that is IMKOTNAC.  That is how I remember.  To spell them out, we have Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Another interesting thing that I have discovered is that none of the American actually knows where exactly, i.e. in which beach, Bay Watch is being filmed.  Maybe as one said, they film it all over the places.

Okay, back to work.

Goodbye Autumn, Las Vegas Here I Come!

Hey, finally today was the beginning of my holiday.  Right now, I am in Las Vegas, the city of desert full of casinos and very gorgeous women.  Okay, let’s rewind a bit and talk about what happened yesterday.

In fact, I have to go back to two nights ago.  Thursday night that is.  Well, Colin slept early but I thought of going to the Social Centre for no one would be around the subsequent night.

Went down there at eleven and met Kevin, Ciaran and their mates.  Decided to go downtown with them, we set off at eleven thirty.  There were altogether six of us.  James (American), Ciaran, Kevin, two Austrians and myself.  It was, later on, quite obvious that the two Austrians felt in love with each other.  The gorgeous little one is called Racheal and the guy is called Mack (?).  Anyway, we went to the pub called Scotland Yard and just in time for the last call (good timing, huh?).  We ordered one round of shots and each ordered their “main course”.  I ordered one beer.  In the end, we ended up having one more shot and I was basically pissed.

As it was kind of early, we decided to go the Cadelae Ranch (?).  The one I went for during my last trip (by the way, exactly one year minus two weeks ago).  We had some fun but the atmosphere was different. Last time we had (or more correctly I knew of) more nice babes. S tayed there till three thirty and had to get up at half six.

Okay, back to yesterday.  Obviously I was very tired the next day.  We finished the coding and busy doing documentation.  In the end, I think the presentation was pretty good with me doing the “keyboard man” and Ciaran be the Mr. Charm.  Autumn stopped me and examined my tie and she seemed to like my “tie of the day” as well.

Lunch time came and I felt very void.  Really missing those great guys I have meet.  I always have that kind of feeling.  One week is really too short to get to know anybody in depth.  It is just like another phase of life and one has to just move on.

Started packing up for a while and had to meet up with CH at two.  Three of us (Colin, CH and me) went to Charles Town Mall and “wasted” three and a half hours there.  If only we held the car key (which we didn’t).  CH wanted to buy toys for his kids.  What to do?

Headed off the Chicago at half five, caught in a traffic jam and for me, I just slept in the back seat of the car all the way.  Colin and I wanted Pizza but CH was the fussy one.  In the end, we ended up in the Hard Rock Café where the food was not really that fantastic.  Returned to the Centre at half past twelve, packed up my stuffs, sent a fax to Jennifer as I haven’t filled in my time report (and I can’t because the floppy drive of this notebook doesn’t work).

Hence (wrapped the long story), slept at two o’clock and have to wake up at half past five this morning.  Not enough!

The flight was at nine in the morning and arrived at Las Vegas sometime in the late afternoon (another 2 hours different).  At a first glaze, the place really looks like a desert to me (yet to find some cactuses).  But seriously, really amazed in how wonderful this place is.  Took a lot of photographs and hope they all turn out fine.

Sorting out the accommodation and the rental of the car was really a headache; but in the end, we have got it all sorted out.  The motel (called “Comfort Inn”) really looks like the one in Pulp Fiction but it is not as bad I hope.

Went out and had a very nice (and inexpensive) dinner.  We had the main course – Steak and Lobster – for just seven bucks each.  Colin gambled a few times.  The first time, he put in twenty bucks and got back the original amount (he could have more if he pulled out earlier).  The second time he walked in, he lost thirty bucks.  His favourite is the Roulette and as for me, I just don’t want to get into gambling.

Called up my Dad this afternoon and it is always a pleasure talking to my old folks.  The whole street (called the ‘Strip’) was full of neon light attraction and of course, with a lot of people.  The way that the casinos spend building those wonders is just unbelievable.  My favourite one is the Treasure Island.  At around ten, we saw a large group of people gathering outside the Treasure Island.  First I must (try to) describe this hotel.  On the right hand side of the Hotel, there was a large ship (later on found out that it is a fleet from the British Navy).  On the left hand side, there was yet another smaller one (the pirate ship).  These two ships are separated by a bridge and the ‘sea’.

At ten, music began to play.  Two pirates in a small boat rowed towards the pirate ship and the play started.  True as I predicted, the one on the right moved towards the centre of the ‘sea’ and a quarrel started.

They fired at each other and got to say that the effort was very realistic.  Water shooting off from the ‘sea’ (as cannon missed the target), building on fire (again, missed) and ship on fire.  The effort was just great and really can’t find any other words to describe it.  Anyway, in the end, the British ship sank (partially) into the sea.  Really worth the fifteen minutes wait. Mirage Hotel is great as well.  A lot of decent waterfalls and they simulated a volcano eruption.  Using a lot of fire and lighting effect.  I just love the place.

What will we do tomorrow?  You will see.