Last evening I had the opportunity to attend the David Tao Concert... sorry... Showcase that's held in the MBKS Indoor Stadium in Pending. The major sponsor of this event was Maxis Hotlink. The deal was: if you purchase a Hotlink startup SIM pack for RM30, you'll get 6 tickets to the Showcase, as well as 20% off the latest David Tao CD. The reason why its called 'Showcase' and not 'Concert' is an important one, as I found out why when the evening progressed.
I can't be bothered paying RM30 for six tickets as I have no plans of bringing 5 of my non-existent Kuching friends to come with me. All I want is one ticket for myself, so I showed up at the stadium hoping to do just that. I had no luck, as the Hotlink salesperson insisted that that I sign up for their prepaid card and get six tickets. Finally, someone with spare tickets offered to sell me one of his for RM10, so I obliged.
The first thing that caught my eye as soon as I arrived in the stadium is the presence of military personnel. I'm not talking about the 5 or 6 of them that's directing the traffic outside the stadium. I'm talking about a total of about 50 of them inside and outside the stadium! For a moment, I thought I was attending a concert by Mahathir.
The second thing that caught my eye was the crowd in attendance. There was nothing, NOTHING that can prepare me for the horror that I had to witness. This event shouldn't even be called a David Tao Showcase. It should be called the AhBeng-AhLian Fashion Showcase.
Behold, the latest in Kuching fashion...
The pink panthers!
The skinny-ass gangster-wannabe! (aka la-la zhai)
The Ayumi Hamasaki-wannabe! (aka la-la loui)
And my personal favourite...
The embroidered quarter-pants!
Faces have been pixelated or cropped to protect the 'innocent' (or was that the 'guilty') party.
The concert/showcase was supposed to start at 8pm. I went in there around 7:30pm hoping to get a good spot since its free-seating/standing, but alas, the stadium was already half-full. Nonetheless, with my handsome good looks, I managed to charm my way to the front, about 4 rows from the barricade.
Some teenage girls told me that they've been waiting since 6:30pm. If these kids go to school with the same enthusiasm they have coming to this event, their parents would be proud. The place was so packed and the air was so humid. As I waited among the crowd I was already sweating profusely. I thought I'd never complain about being surrounded by teenage girls, but mannnn... that night I was just hoping that those girls would leave me alone!
Looking at the above picture, you must be thinking that the fans were going wild because David Tao just came on stage. Well, you are wrong. The big-ass cardboard "hands" provided by Maxis were used to fan the fans (err..?) themselves.
The time was about 8:15pm but there were still no signs of the popular Taiwanese singer. Instead, we were treated to some monologue by a DJ from 98.8FM (which I never listen to), who tried to get the crowd going wild, with no success. Kuching people are made of wood I tell you.
Then came the stupidest, most time-wasting, most horrible part of the evening. The DJ tried to get people from the crowd to come on stage to play a game. After a good 20 minutes trying to get people with names like "Catherine", or "David" up on stage, she ended up with five guys. The game? Each of them must sing a 2-minute snippet of a song from David Tao's latest album, and the crowd will be the judge of their performance.
For obliterating our eardrums and causing us mental instability, the DJ rewarded the five of them with prizes from Maxis Hotlink. I managed to catch up with one of the contestants after the show (Vincent, the guy on the extreme right), and he showed me what he received. A cardboard hand, a poster, a Maxis writing pad, a Maxis brochure, another Maxis brochure, all in a crappy Maxis paper bag. Not a mobile phone, not a sim card, not even a bloody CD. Those tight-ass selfish wankers.
After another bout of trying to get us cheer David Tao's name, the famed artist himself appeared on stage. He wore a pink Abercombie & Fitch T-shirt, slim fit tattered jeans, and a white belt so feminine I reckon Nicole would look good in it. I'm sorry girls, I like his music as well, but I just don't see the physical appeal of this Taiwanese singer. You call him metrosexual, I call him a guy who had forgotten to pack his testicles from Taiwan.
David Tao's first song on stage was 'Ai Wo Hai Shi Ta?' (literally "Do you love me or him?"). Let's just say I was expecting a live band or something. The last two concerts I'd been to in Perth (Craig David and Vanessa Amorosi) both performed with live bands, and this one just disappoints. The vocal was good, but the background music was flat. It was just a glorified Karaoke show.
David Tao's second song on stage was 'Susan Said', which is one of my favourite songs on the new album. If you've heard the song before, you'd recognise that there's a falsetto portion of the song followed by a rap which was really well done. (A 'falsetto' is when a guy deliberately make his pitch higher than usual in singing). The song itself was good, but when it came to David Tao doing the falsetto, I could see him struggling when he smiled nervously. I heard two voices, which led me to believe that the falsetto portion of the song was recorded into the Karaoke track. I was disappointed. He did the rap pretty good though.
David Tao's third song... wait, that's it. That's the end of the singing. Two songs. Yes, my friends, and that's the difference between a 'Showcase' and a 'Concert'. After all that waiting, standing, squeezing with hundreds of sweaty teenage girls, and putting up with horrible singing from the five guys... what did I get? Two sucky Karaoke-fied songs. You know a concert is crap when the pre-show games lasted longer than the actual singing itself.
The rest of the evening was allocated for the autograph session. The DJ emphasised that only the outer cardboard cover of the latest CD or cassette will be signed. Nothing else. Clearly that's to promote his CD sales. But even if I have bought the CD and asked to have him sign the poster, the security... sorry, I meant military personnel wouldn't let me. I have no idea why, but I'm not stupid enough to argue with our army men. No cameras were allowed on stage as well, but I managed to snap a blurry picture of David Tao close-up before 5 soldiers tackled and escorted me away.
I did manage to get David Tao's autograph on the CD. I bought it for RM35 on the day of the event. Then I thought... why the hell am I putting myself through all the crap just to get this stupid CD? This is a concert... I mean, showcase that wasted a good 2.5 hours of my life with 2 bloody songs! Its an event I'd rather forget. Which is why I am now putting this CD for sale, RM50, registered postage included to all parts of Malaysia/Singapore. :)
Anyway, I actually lined up again after the crowd subsided. I was hoping that if I'm the last few person, David Tao might actually be so kind as to pose for a photo with me. No such luck. I asked him politely "Wo Ke Yi Gen Ni Pai Yi Zhang Zao Ma?" (Can I have a photo with you please?). He said "Dui Bu Chi, Wo Bu Neng" (Sorry, I can't). And before I knew it, I was tackled and escorted off stage again.
With nothing left to see or do, I went home. Meanwhile, I can sleep soundly, safe from the knowledge that in the event that my home country of Malaysia was invaded, the first thing our troops do would be to stage a live concert.
May God bless them.