Top Image: Ronald Woan / Wikicommons
Singaporeans are rejoicing as famous artists descend upon the Little Red Dot to grace us with their presence. The validation of being deemed a worthy stop in a global tour is indeed sweet.
In the last three weeks, Coldplay added a sixth show at the National Stadium after overwhelming demand. The British rock band, famous for earworms such as ‘Yellow’ and ‘Viva La Vida’, was initially scheduled for four shows.
The excitement for Coldplay and their euphoric live performances had barely died down when Taylor Swift announced that she too was heading for Singapore; the Lion City would be Taylor Swift’s only stop in Southeast Asia as part of ‘The Eras’ tour.
Music icons from the East are singing the same tune as their Western counterparts when it comes to Singapore. Jacky Cheung, affectionately dubbed the God of Songs, added two more shows in Singapore, bringing his total number of shows to a mind-boggling eleven.
Concert mania has well and truly taken over Singaporeans. Singaporeans jostle their way to the nearest SingPost every few weeks, line their fully-charged mobile devices up, and pray that a ticket falls into their hands before it does a scalper.
For those of us content to stay home and avoid the crowd, the concert craze presents a peek into the complexities of human behaviour in the regular concert-goer, especially when they’re vying for a chance to be sweat on by Chris Martin or serenaded by Taylor Swift.
They were in hibernation during the throes of the pandemic, but now, they’ve resurfaced in frenzied droves. Let’s dive deep into perhaps the most perplexing of all species: the concert-goer.
– Local fans turn to social media to broadcast their misfortune when their online queue number resembles their handphone digits. They blame the internet and broadcast PSAs to foreigners begging them to consider other tour stops. If this isn’t a first-world problem, I don’t know what is.
– Scrupulous scalpers rush to their computers, purchasing the maximum number of tickets allowed. What’s better than hearing Taylor Swift’s melodic voice belting the catchy tune ‘Shake It Off’ against a backdrop of twerking dancers? The notification jingles your bank app after a desperate fan agrees to pay for a ticket $200 above market price.
– SingPost outlets, once considered redundant since the introduction of the e-mail, have become relevant again when it comes to concert tickets. This is the battleground of the typical concert-goer. They plant themselves in front of SingPost. An unnerving tension courses through the queue. Singaporeans love to queue for sport. When it comes to concert tickets, it becomes a war.
– Fans from neighbouring countries berate the Singapore Tourism Board’s chokehold on world-dominating pop stars. After all, Southeast Asia is much bigger than Singapore. Questions about this air of exclusivity are bound to bubble into mainstream conversation.
– A mysterious bug infects many Singaporeans on the day of the concert. For some reason, the bug seems more virulent on weekdays. It also only affects school-going youngsters and those with full-time jobs.
– People (the smart ones) vibe outside the venue for free. Getting roughly the same audio experience as someone who forked out hundreds of dollars is probably more satisfying than the music itself.
– Fans spam concert Instagram Stories like half the country isn’t at the same concert.
– Almost as reliable as the shutter-happy concert-goer is the one who is steadfastly anti-device. They’re all about being in the moment, except that they spend the entire concert glowering at their phone-toting fellow concert-goers and the next day crafting their online rant about the dismal concert culture in Singapore.
– The star professes their love for chicken rice and chilli crab, and everyone in attendance responds with wild cheers and simping.
– Before the last concert-goer clears out from Stadium MRT station, complaints surface on social media about the lazy dancing, or lacklustre vocals, or poor sound quality, or all of the above.