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Monday, March 21, 2005

90's Mega-Stars Reunion a.k.a Tsunami Concert

i'm making a habit of writing reports on special events happening in my life. since my normal life can be quite boring at times, excuse me if i get excited over these kinda things. but like i said, it's my blog and this review might come in handy should Rolling Stone magazine calls me for an interview. i'm talking about the Force of Nature concert last Friday at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil. i along with a few friends were lucky enough to be part of what turned out to be a memorable night.
to tell u the truth, i didn't expect the concert to be that great. going thru the list of performers reads like a who's who list of hitmakers of the 90's. the only band to remind u that we're in the 21st century is the Black Eyed Peas. u could see that the theme was geared more towards hip hop and R n' B. these weren't really the people i was dying to see, but i went so more of because i felt that this was something special and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. fund-raising concerts are always a special occasion and having grown up reading about Band-Aid and Live Aid, i knew i had to get my ass down to this concert. and besides...how often can u get the likes Lauryn Hill, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men and Wyclef to perform together, in Malaysia? i think u stand a better chance of getting killed by a terrorist than seeing an event like this happening in our own backyard.
i went straight to Bukit Jalil after work on that Friday afternoon. arrived there earlier than expected as i was expecting traffic jams along the way, but maybe due to the school holidays the traffic was pretty smooth. that wasn't really a good thing though, because it meant that i had to wait for my friends to arrive (and i hate waiting). turned out that arriving early was a good thing after all, as i helped myself to some freebies from the Hitz.fm cruiser and got a glimpse of the red-carpet (or should i say orange) arrival of the stars.
as usual for any event in Malaysia, the show started an hour later than scheduled at 8 pm. we settled down in our seats which was on the Upper Tier and got to see Lauryn Hill who was the opening act of the night. from my aerial view, i could see that the stadium was quite full and people were still arriving by the minute. what kinda dissapointed me was that the centre area of the arena (directly in front of the stage), everyone was seated nicely. sitting?? in the front row of a concert? are we watching the Philharmonic Orchestra here or something?? as i was about to find out, it took a little time and the right performer to get this crowd going. some highlights of the evening, according to performer:

Lauryn Hill
i don't know much of her songs from her solo career, so i only got going upon hearing her final number, which was the hit single, Doo Wop (That Thing). teringat zaman Banting laks...

Innuendo + V.E., Sheila Majid, Anuar Zain & Dayang Nurfaizah
nothing much here, but i guess the local artists did themselves proud with good performances from everyone. though i didn't quite enjoy Innuendo's performance, even with their signature Belaian Jiwa which was quite good, i might say. Sheila Majid was her normal exceptional self, being so composed and comfortable in such a big event. she's pretty hot too, i might add for a 30+ year old mother. i really enjoyed it when all of them sang 'Ikhlas Tapi Jauh', one of my all-time favourites. and hearing it live for the first time was really a special moment. sad to say though, that both Anuar Zain and Dayang had hardly 3 minutes of singing time of their own, just being one of the vocals in the 'Ikhlas Tapi Jauh' performance.

Boyz II Men
i never thought the magnitude of seeing Boyz II Men live was a whole different experience altogether. with only 3 members left, they were still the king and defined what vocal groups are supposed to sound like. this was certainly one of THE performance of the night. though i had to wait 12 years to finally hear End of the Road 'live', it certainly was worth the wait. add to that, other Boyz II Men classics such as On Bended Knee and A Song for Mama, it was certainly one of those 'It's-so-good-i-could-jerk-off' moment. hell yeah, it was. no wonder Jeg was like an obsessed lunatic...hehe.

Wyclef Jean
if an award for Best Performance was to be given out that evening, my vote would go to this man. he got to whole crowd on its feet with him saying, "I travelled 26 hours on an airplane to be in Malaysia....so I don't what anyone here tonight sitting." with him doing covers on familiar hits such as Jump Around and No Woman No Cry, it was certainly a performance worth remembering. he did everything he could to thrill the crowd, from using his tongue for a guitar solo, getting everyone to light their handphones and even inviting his so-called bodyguard to dance along with him. this guy seriously knows how to entertain. Wyclef rawks!

Backstreet Boys
eyes would roll upon hearing this group's name, but i would have to admit their show was certainly enjoyable. i never, ever would have dreamt in my life of going to a Backstreet Boys concert, but after seeing their performance these guys were pretty good. they're true professionals, jumping here and there even though some of them are in the mid-30's range. they even performed some songs from their upcoming album which included the 1st single, Incomplete (i think that's the title of the song). i honestly think this song will be a hit. i could sing along just after a few minutes of the chorus...hehe. pop hits are something, aren't they? i almost got up and danced myself, but ego got the better of me for me to just sit and enjoy the show. alaaaaa...mengaku je laaaa...u sing 'I want it thaaatt waaaayyyyy...' when no one's around. :)

Black Eyed Peas
by the time these guys got on stage, it was past 1 am. i wasn't really in the mood so i just sat and watched them perform. it was a great performance, given the fact that people like me were already tired so they had to be lively to wake up the crowd. they certainly were lively, and u could have been forgiven to think that the show just started from the way they were all over the place. hip hop isn't really my taste, but these guys were pretty good. the crowd responded along with them and it was fun to watch.

Money Can't Buy Moment
Wyclef teaming up with Lauryn Hill for a Fugees reunion singing 'Killing Me Softly.' i used to love the Fugees and since they disbanded, i never thought of seeing them perform together live. this one is certainly the highlight of the evening. and the fact that it wasn't scheduled made it more meaningful. i love suprises, don't u?

as expected, food was quite expensive...with a crappy hot dog going for 5 bucks. i should have gotten cheaper tickets coz in Malaysia, i forgot that there are no rules and we ended up at the RM 500+ seats along with the people who just paid 82 bucks. lucky but unlucky at the same time....

At the end of the day..
it was a great....ehh..make that superb night. and why shouldn't it be? 6+ hours of live music, great crowd, more than a dozen of Billboard hits, great performers and performances alike, it was a great way to start what would turn out to be a star-studded weekend in Malaysia. add to that it was for a noble cause, i think the Force of Nature concert was a success. and oh yeahh..the memorablia was great too. i had a field day collecting free t-shirts, rubber bands, stickers and such. The strongest force of nature is the strength of the human spirit. very true, but we all know how powerful it can be, especially when nature calls...

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