Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NiN in Singapore

image Rob Sheridan. Wow! This is definitely one of the best concerts I've ever been to. Or not been to rather. Here's the best part. Both Ling and I did not buy the tickets. My many years of working in the music industry has thought me quite a lot of things and also, I've grown a little jaded with being in a squeeze among crowds. And lately I've also become a bit of a germ freak ( actually I've always been one but it has become a little worse now. COD?. Yes I guess. You didn't know that about me now, did you?) I know Fort Canning very well and I knew that it will be possible to watch the concert from a few locations. OK lah. You can call me a cheapo as well but I don't care. In fact, right where the stage was, was the field where I used to play football twice every week during my school days back in the 80's. You see, my plan was to do to NIN the same thing I did to Lewis Hamilton at last years F1 race. To be able to see NIN front man Trent Reznor in person and not just performing was something that most people don't see. And YES I DID IT!! Ling and I got to see him after the concert. As everyone else were still shouting 'We want more' , I already knew he wouldn't be giving anymore. In fact, he jumped into a white mini bus and headed up the hill to the Black Box building. He got off the van, we made eye contact and he actually gave me a smile before heading into the building! What really surprised Ling and I was the fact that there was no one else around. Except for a few of his minders and some organisers, it seemed that no one else took the initiative to stand by there! It was only a while later that a Caucasian man who must have seen us and those vehicles, especially the Bentley, added 1 plus 1 and realised that something was happening. We waited a short while and then we saw Trent again. I got as near as I could to him and called out to him but one of his minders got in my way. Still he turned around and gave me a little wave. I did too, then he got into the Bentley with a lady companion and left. No chance for autographs and the camera was a let down for me that night. All I got were a few blurry images. I think it needs fixing, again. Now here comes the bonus everybody. We saw Gene Simmons! Yes the legend from KISS was there at the concert and we were as close to him as you can imagine. I was shocked to see him there! Ling didn't know who he was and hell she didn't even know who Trent was. I did drag her along for this concert, remember? We saw Gene as he got off his big black vehicle and walked into the building. The only thing louder than his hair were his shoes. They were white cowboy boots, snakeskin I think. (Ling couldn't stop laughing at his hair.) Strangely he only had a few people around him too. And I got the feeling that the whole concert was delayed because of him. It was only after he arrived that it started. As for the concert itself, it was electrifying to say the least. The drummer especially as far as I'm concerned. I know from experience that it's very difficult to play live drums and keep up with recorded loops but what Ilan Rubin did was mind blowing. Robin Finch on guitar was awesome. And it was nice of him to keep throwing bottled water into the crowd. They definitely needed it. He is a mad man behind guitars. I especially liked the part Trent jumped into the crowd and offered his mic. My brother was among those lucky few who managed to touch his face at that point. I'd also like to give credit to those hidden heroes; the sound engineer and the lightman. Being one myself I know how often we get forgotten. So hats off to these guys cos I thought the sound and lighting was perfect. I truly love the way NiN left us with 'Hurt' as his final song. I thought it was rather appropriate. It is also one of my favourite songs from them. It's just so sad he didn't play 'That's What I Get'. That is my all time favourite. But like Gene Simmons said in his facebook, I too thought that the smoke was a little too overwhelming. Whether he meant 'smoke' with sarcasm or not I wouldn't know but for me I am really talking about the smoke machine. The two of them do have a little private war going on remember? Here's another thing. When Trent walked into the building, he was all smiley. But later, when he walked out he looked a little pissed off (even as he waved at us and quickly got into the car). I don't know if it was because Gene had already left. ( I know cos his car was already gone by the time we got there). Maybe Trent rushed up there for a courtesy call only to find him not there? Personally I did think it was rude of Gene to have left. I don't know. I may be wrong. It's just my observation.

So there you have it. The best concert and experience I've had in a long time. It was all so surreal that I still can't get a grasp of the night. Sitting there, away from the crowd, under the stars, with no one else around. And smelling the beautiful aromas from the herb garden around us, listening to Nine Inch Nails and then meeting Trent and Gene. And the best part? Having Ling next to me. I think I converted her again.

And here's the thing I'll never ever forget. He waved goodbye to us. And we waved back.

Goodbye NiN. And thank you for the memories.

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