The Big F1 Rocks Weekend ComedownPosted September 29th, 2009 At 5:34 am By MTV ASIA
TEXT: LENNAT MAK
I am suffering from tinnitus.
Since last Thursday, I’ve been under the mercy of huge sound systems every single night, reveling and enjoying the F1 festivities. You must admit, the past weekend was a pretty awesome time to be a Singaporean. World class racers and A list celebrities came in throngs. Samantha Ronson at Ion? Korean superstar Rain at Chinese Garden? I mean, I could invite him up my flat for a cup of tea!
But quite frankly, I am not a huge F1 fan. I don’t even have a driver’s license and the last time I tried to race in a Go-Kart, I crashed. Which was why I thought it was a brilliant idea for the organizers to host all those gigs leading up to the big night race on Sunday. My high revelry kicked of with Underworld at the Fuel Festival 2009 on Thursday night. A better-than-CD live version of “Born Slippy” and huge air balloons bouncing about in the warehouse-like Suntec Convention Center made me feel like I was at one of those “Madchester” rave parties.
But of course, eyes were mostly on F1 Rocks over at Fort Canning Park.
The inaugural three-day event saw Asian pop luminaries like Jacky Cheung, A-Mei, Da Mouth and Sodagreen blowing the roof off on Thursday night. Though marred by a power trip, I haven’t seen Fort Canning so fully packed before. I am not a Canto/Mando-pop expert, so go check out our Thursday gig review for a blow-by-blow account of what went down.
On Friday however, it was rock ‘n’ roll all the way. N.E.R.D. brought full fire power as compared to their gig earlier this year at the Mosaic Music Festival. Double drum kits, high energy and lots of Pharrell sweat made their opening slot a hard one to top. Being a huge White Stripes fan, I really dug their sampling of “Seven Nation Army” too.
Up next, Scotland new-wave rockers Simple Minds proved that age is definitely not an issue as they brought their A-game on stage. Vocalist Jim Kerr seemed to have a penchant kneeling down at the front of the stage extension though. But hey, if it brings the band closer to the audience, why not right? Hearing the crowd singing along to “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” best known as THE song for the late John Hughes movie, The Breakfast Club, was definitely a moment for all the ’80s kid in us.
And then, Lindsay Lohan made her appearance. I’m not sure if it’s the heat and the humidity. Lindsay seemed slightly off form, messing up her lines and all. On the televised version of F1 Rocks, her hosting didn’t look all that great on TV either. But what do you know? Having a Hollywood starlet bestowing her presence at the event was still a thrill. Scenes of The Parent Trap flashed through my mind. We have all come a long way indeed.
After Lindsay’s brief moment, ZZ Top turned Fort Canning Park into a huge Texan smokehouse with their killer blues riffs, synchronized guitar moves and a lot of beard. With 40 years of hard rock behind them, the trio simply blasted through their set with ease.
And a bit of waiting later, Gwen and co. finally gave us the great performance that we’ve all been waiting for. “Spiderwebs” sounded as fresh as ever in 1996. And Gwen, oh, Gwen. So lean, so toned and so fabulous. Have you seen her abs? It’s ridiculous. I need a gym membership. Like, RIGHT NOW.
I ended off Friday night a great supper with all my jolly friends. Seeing No Doubt live and putting up a good show has that kind of effect on anyone. Went home at 5am, crashed, and it’s time for another night, again!
On Saturday, I unceremoniously missed Havana Brown’s DJ set due to the ridiculous traffic. Heard it was pretty entertaining though. Let me give Havana some props with a photo:
A couple of years ago, I caught Black Eyed Peas at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Now, I’m a full-pledged indie music lover and I’ve seen a lot of bands live in my life time. But no one has ever quite managed to entertain me as much as the Peas did. Watching them do their thang again years later, I’m quite taken to say none of the magic was lost. The Peas are great showbiz entertainers and they make sure you know, boom boom pow style.
Then came a two-hour wait for Beyonce. Luckily, DJ Seb Fontaine kept the party going. I love his mixes. Particularly, the “Seven Nation Army” one. (Yup, here we go again. The White Stripes were well represented at the F1 Rocks gig, like it or not.)
And cue darkness, lights and action! Beyonce appeared right in front of us, looking slightly like the American heroine, Wonder Woman. It was all grand and bling. Audience stunned and awed into silence.
And she did all her hits and a medley of Destiny’s Child tunes. I am amazed that I could sing along to most of the song despite not being a fan. And Beyonce’s all-girl backing band kicked so much ass. Look at how drummers Kim Thompson and Nikki Glaspie rail on the kit. Now, I have a new ambition. I want to be a drummer for Beyonce too. I mean, dreams do come true right?
So much grace and thigh power. Beyonce totally slayed the night especially with “Single Ladies.” Best video of all-time? No kidding, Kanye.
And there you go for the madness that was the F1 Rocks concert. The organizers promised a bigger act next year. I can’t wait.
On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton crossed the finishing line. Today, the F1 circus left town. Tomorrow, Singapore returns to the small, tranquil city that it is. Beyonce, come again, pretty please?