While waiting in the wrong queue at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, I find out that a standing ticket to the concert that night was a cool $151. Still, as I would find out later, the standing area was packed to the brim and garnished with banner-toting, glowstick-waving girls. Feeling slightly unnerved by the fact that my general knowledge of The Script is on the low end and a little overwhelmed by the mega fans in the queue; the door security telling me I was in the wrong area felt more like an existential statement.
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Opening act Shirlyn & The UnXpected tried their best to warm up the crowd. No worries there, everyone was already pumped and ready to shout/scream/cheer when prompted. Although the unfamiliar original pieces meant no singalongs, the mannered audience, albeit holding back, gave their appreciation to the opening band. Especially when Simon Yong gave a mean guitar solo in the set, +10 skillz.
And when the time came for Danny O’Donoghue and co. to take the stage, this crowd was immediately activated. Right from the first song, he was doing all the right things: walking in the crowd, spinning on stage during anthemic choruses, being charming and Irish and all that, eye contact - a lot of eye contact with the fans. This frontman truly is a performer. And for a bit I thought “Hey I could get into this.”
Thing is, it really is easy to get into the formula of a pop concert. And this I say with immense fondness. Everything The Script has done here tonight has fulfilled the standards of a good pop gig. This is why:
With O’Donoghue on vocals, keyboards and charm patrol, Mike Sheehan on guitars and drummer Glen Power, this bunch are pretty cohesive. Who can complain if the crowd is singing along to every one of your songs at gig – you must’ve done something right.
Bag of songs
Their blend emotive soft-rock anthems with occasional rap were made for this crowd who could relate to everything. Everything. They’d sing a rousing song (‘For The First Time’) and the crowd would sing along all bright-eyed, then they would move on to break-up anthem (‘Breakeven’) and the crowd would sing along with clenched fists. Speaking to a fan after the show, she said, “Personally, I’ve never been through a break up before but when they sing about heartbreak, I feel it too. Everyone is entitled to feel.” #deep
Amount of energy
So much energy. The band members running up and down the stage and into the crowd, O’Donoghue even making one lap around the stadium at the encore, risking getting his leg tugged several times and hands being yanked. The audience in return was nothing less than lively for the whole duration of the gig.
A lot of talking, a lot of anecdotes and stories but there were off-Script moments as well that pleased the crowd the most. Before launching into (another) break-up anthem ‘Nothing’, Sheehan told the audience about the frontman’s penchant for drunk dialing which then prompted O’Donoghue to “try out something” – he encouraged the crowd to dial an ex while he sang the entire song into someone’s phone. Pretty cool. In another break between songs, the band dressed up in sarongs and straw hats for their mandatory daily picture on their tour. You can imagine the screaming and jousting when they threw into their crowd the borrowed garments post-picture.
But still, what a rollercoaster night. From the quiet moments during ‘I’m Yours’ when the crowd kept silent and waved their phone lights resulting in a firefly-ish effect to the crazy moments when O’Donoghue appeared on our aisle during the encore and ran around the stadium high-fiving everyone. Even in a seated area, I felt compelled to stand in solidarity with everyone.
Perhaps more than anything, a pop concert is the paradigm of a shared cultural experience. No irony, no judging, acceptance and definitely a lot of feelings in that contained room.