Text: Joyce J. Chansingh
Videos: Fiona Lin
Photos: Dominic Phua
A full dose of nostalgia swaddled Fort Canning Park on Saturday night as popular ‘80s singing sensations - Wang Chung, Tiffany, Howard Jones and Alphaville - performed to a crowd of approximately 6,500 people.
On the outside, it had all the makings of a distinctive retro-themed concert. From former pop icons, and fans donning colourful ‘80s do to video snippets of old-school music clips, as well as the dynamic crew of Class 95 DJs who were, of course, all dressed in theme - like Freddie Mercury (Mike Kasem) and Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ (Vernetta Lopez) and her infamous cone bra costume (Jean Danker).
But despite the anticipation, Saturday’s retro-themed concert at Fort Canning Park did not live up to its hype. The jollity of '80s indulgence was somewhat absent - it was like a certain magic was missing throughout a good part of the three-hour gig.
Wang Chung kicked off the night with “Space Junk” and “Wait” but failed to garner excitement from a rather subdued crowd. Things only improved when the duo brought out their timeless hits like “Let’s Go”, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” and “Dance Hall Days” and got fans singing to a blissful nostalgia of the good old times.
Former teen idol, Tiffany took to the stage next, belting out her classic hits such as “Radio Romance”, “Could’ve Been” and “I Saw Him Standing There” to screaming fans and thunderous applause. Undoubtedly the crowd’s favourite, the singer, who turned 41 on October 2, also received a surprise birthday celebration when the DJs presented her with a cake and got everyone into a birthday song sing-along.
Howard Jones came on next with "Pearl In The Shell", "No One Is To Blame" and crowd’s favourite "What Is Love". At one point, his voice was disappointingly drowned out by the music a couple of times.
Just when we thought German band, Alphaville would finally heat things up with their popular pop hits like “Big in Japan” or “Forever Young” and get the crowd grooving in synchronized manner, we were wrong. Everyone was just happy doing their own thang, I supposed.
Sadly, the overall performances albeit reminiscent, were predictable and lacked oomph. Having attended the past two immensely fun Retrolicious gigs, and I’m not even a big retro fan to begin with, I must admit I was looking forward to enjoying the same “retro-mania” merriment of electrifying performances and synchronized dancing from the past years.
Back for the third year and once again organised by Class 95 FM and Running Into The Sun, Retrolicious 2012 was touted as “bigger and better than before”. But unlike last year’s sold-out concert, yesterday's gig failed to get the night swinging in full force.
Perhaps,bigger and better isn’t always a good thing.
VIDEOS: Watch concert highligts from Wang Chung and Howard Jones