Sunday 3 November 2013

by Akhilan Manivannan, Sophomore 2 Cempaka, Class of 2015

On the 31st of October 2013, Halloween wasn’t the only thing to celebrate, as One Republic fans all over Malaysia were treated to a rare delight when the Platinum record selling band came down to Surf Beach, Sunway Lagoon for their first time in Malaysia. The band came as part of their Native album tour, showcasing songs from their new bestseller. Tickets sold like wildfire, and there was much anticipation from everyone involved leading up to the day of the concert.

The few hours before the concert itself were pretty dampening; the pouring rain leaving doubts in concertgoers' minds. Surf Beach is an outdoor venue, and a typical Malaysian storm would have been more than enough to cancel or postpone the concert. Thankfully, Halloween luck was on our side, and the downpour stopped with plenty of time to go. The rain did leave us with other problems (like horrendous traffic), but these too subsided eventually.

The event was kicked off by one of our own female Malaysian DJs, given the task of amping up the crowd and getting everyone on their toes for One Republic. Sadly, while she did do her best, the crowd was quite dead and it was clear that everyone had already set their minds on the main attraction. She did provide fans with some much-needed entertainment while others were still filing into the venue.

“Are you READY for One Republic?" As the DJ left, a white screen was lowered in front of the stage, intriguing fans. In a stroke of well-planned genius, lights shone on the screen, silhouetting the shadows of the band members behind it. 

One Republic was here. The crowd went berserk and as the instruments started playing, the silhouette of Ryan Tedder’s unmistakable hair appeared. The band then performed 'Don’t Look Down' from their new album, perfectly building up anticipation for the opening of the show.

When the sheet finally dropped, the crowd once again lost control and there were some classic concert chants from our Malaysian ladies, particularly for beloved frontman Ryan Tedder. Tedder also sported a Halloween mask which he removed soon after, remarking on how hot it was. The band then performed some tracks from Native, starting off with 'Burning Bridges'. 

The song choices were in no particular order and there was a sense of unpredictability in the entire affair. There were the instrument-heavy show stealers like 'Life In Color', 'Can’t Stop', 'Light it Up' and 'Something I Need'. There were the mainly acoustic personal songs like 'Preacher', 'If I Lose Myself' and 'What You Wanted'. There were some of the band’s past mega hits like 'All the Right Moves', 'Secrets' and 'Good Life'. Ever the crowd-pleaser, they even pulled out some famous classics from other artists such as Coldplay’s 'Yellow', Kanye West’s 'Gold Digger'.

The finale was definitely a moment to remember. Lighting and special effects had been amazing throughout, making the concert feel like a really 'big night'. For the finale, these were taken one step further, and the moment we fans dreaded (the end of the show) turned out to be the best of the night. Every light glared on, pillars of smoke gushed upwards from the stage and confetti streamed out into the crowd, driving the fans completely insane. A wonderful ending to a wonderful night. Thank you One Republic!

[Special note to Ryan Tedder’s wonderful crowd interaction and charisma. His obsession with 'Asia’s best Attraction' (a signboard behind the performance area) will remain in every viewer’s memories.]
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