a1 Here We Come.. Back – Live in Singapore

Decided to do up a post on the songlist quick in case the people in Philippines want to know what to expect for the concert!

The set was slightly less than 90 mins with almost no break and one occurrence of going backstage before the encore.

  1. Same Old Brand New You
  2. Be the First to Believe
  3. Forever in Love
  4. Hey You
  5. Summertime of our Lives
  6. Ready or Not
  7. Everytime
  8. In Love and I Hate it
  9. No More
  10. One More Try
  11. Walking in the Rain
  12. Don’t wanna Lose you Again
  13. Heaven by Your Side
  14. Make it Good
  15. Living the Dream (with video montage)
  16. When I’m missing you
  17. (Request) – I’ll take the tears (few verse)
  18. (Request) – Tomorrow (one line)
  19. (Request) – One Last Song (one verse)
  20. Caught in the Middle
  21. Take on Me
  22. Like a Rose

Post will be updated below for me to talk about my history with a1 and my concert experience..

I’m gonna walk down memory lane with a1 and post the comparisons between then and now. Can you believe it, their voices remain so pitch perfect in most songs!

1.Same Old Brand New You

They started the concert with this popular hit song from their second album! I recall watching this MTV in my younger days on TV, especially during the Top 20 MTV countdown show! The dance that they did caught me by surprise as I didn’t expect them to be dancing at their age but I was so wrong. Age is just a number. It’s kind of cool to see them doing those popular boyband moves back from the 90s and early 00s effortlessly. I guess these moves were designed to be not to complicated so they are able to maintain their voice quality when they sing and dance at the same time. These days, dance moves are so complicated that groups have to lipsync in order to put up a “perfect” show. Really miss the old days. 16 years ago, I remember trying to “learn” the dance moves but to not much success..

2. Be the first to Believe

As requested, they were performing many songs from their first album “Here we Come” and although I am quite familiar with this song, I’ve actually never seen the MV before! In fact, I didn’t even know that there was an MV for this song. I didn’t know about their existence back in 1999 and YouTube wasn’t around back then. Gosh, they look so young and refreshed in the MV! In the concert, you should follow their “seven” hand gesture and swing from left to right when they sing “Just one on one”.  It’s pretty fun to do it like an audience mass dance. Ben was really great in leading the crowd to join him in their dance moves. Heh.

3. Forever in Love

This was my favourite song in their first album (not Everytime or Like a Rose)! I really like the acappella in the song and they tried to tease up with like 5 seconds of it before stopping because they couldn’t create the harmonizing effect without Paul, who left the group abruptly back in 2002. Mark continued by playing a piano ballad version of it and it wasn’t too bad after all! Also, they said that the band had been inspired by vocal group Boyz II Men and that was why they had to put an acappella song into the album! If I’m not wrong, they have not performed this song in 15 years. Here’s a video of the new rendition:

4. Hey You

“Hey You!” was an unexpected song as it wasn’t that much of a popular track in their first album. I kind of struggled to remember the title of the song. Also, they mentioned that it was the first time they sang this song in front of an audience!! Unlike the CD version, the concert rendition was slower and with a bit more R&B style along with piano melody. It was a good addition to the setlist which was kind of like a prelude to the next song.

5. Summertime of our Lives

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For this song, they used the only prop they brought – sunglasses! Well, it was to make us feel like it is “summertime” in hot-all-year-round Singapore. I really enjoyed watching the MV of this song as it was such a happy and uplifting song with them dancing on a driftwood and interacting with the camera and dolphins. I guess this song will make it on my beach vacation playlist the next time I’m overseas ^_^

6. Ready or Not

They started Ready or Not by teaching the audience their simple 3-step dance moves which I obviously already know. It was fun to join in, which explains why I only took a 9 seconds snap for this song. I really love this song back then and I will chance upon it while watching MTV channel and feel delighted the whole day because I’ve seen them on TV. Cheesy Dance Moves for the win. Bring it on for the next ten, twenty, thirty years!

7. Everytime

For this song, Christian shared the story behind the song on how he was running late for a date (apparently he is known to be always late) and he remembered a thought of “Everytime I kiss I feel your lips” where he thinks about his high school crush back in Norway everytime he kissed. The next day he shared the idea with Ben and Mark who already had a verse and a bridge and together with the chorus that he thought of, they wrote the song in 30 mins! We must really thank his high school crush for inspiring a1 for writing a chart-topper song with beautiful lyrics. Random, i got to admit that I’ve watched their MV for the first time last night. Don’t know why this never appeared on MTV Channel.. Did they really visit Sahara Dessert to film? I guess I can ask them next time.

After singing this song, Christian suddenly reminisced about their fan signing event in Singapore where 5000 fans turned up and sang to the chorus of this song without any cue. Awesome.

8. In Love and I Hate it

This was the first song they sang which did not belong to their first 2 albums. Mr Ben got the audience up on their feets and taught the “very difficult” dance moves which is simply punching your hand in the air when they sing “Hate it”. Although this song does not have an MV, it is sung quite frequently during their live performances. It’s really catchy and the style is really different since it was released in 2010. Although I still like the old-school ballads, it’s nice to see that they are adapting their style and keeping up with the trends in music.

9. No More

This is really a special song unique to Singapore as the MV was filmed here! Looking at the footage from the MV, it was probably filmed in the Tang Dynasty Village (which had been closed since 1999 and torn down in 2008). It was also filmed at some containers shipyard, waters of Sentosa. They also kept talking about their beautiful memories back in Sentosa in their visit 15/16 years ago. Looking at the MV now, the skyline of Singapore has changed significantly..

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10. One More Try

This was a requested song from their social media – twitter & facebook! I remember myself attempting to learn the guitar so I can play this song myself but it was too difficult for me and I never succeeded. I might still have the printed guitar chords somewhere in my room..

11. Walking in the Rain

This song was also requested from social media and it was one of their favourites from the first album. It was written by Ben and Christian when they were hanging out at Ben’s place while his family was out on vacation. A classic emo-ballad song accompanied by Mark’s beautiful piano melody. Found a really Low Quality video on youtube where they sang this song XX years ago. For a change, Christian was on the keyboard, not Mark. Maybe it was because he wrote the song..

12. Don’t wanna Lose you Again

Another new-er song (2010) from a1. Similar style with “In Love and I Hate it” and I think it was one of their “comeback” song after their absence.

As you can see.. I don’t really have much to talk about their newer hits as I’m pretty much still living in the past.. =p

13. Heaven by Your Side

Another emo-ballad which never fail to tug heartstrings. There was a member in the audience who said “I’ve got my girlfriend because of this song!” Aww.

14. Make it Good

Finally, we have moved on to the third album, the only album that I bought. How I wished they sang more from this album..

After this song, they did a group photo with the audience. Hope Mode Entertainment uploads the photo for us soon.

15. Living the Dream (with video montage)

Finally, it was time for them to take a short break and reminisce about the old days by watching the video montage put up together with photographs and memories from the fans. They were once at their peak 16 years ago and I’m sure they are really glad to still be relevant in today’s day and age where it is so much more competitive in the music industry. It’s really nice to know that they have “Lived the Dream” of becoming popular worldwide. There were many fans who traveled down to Singapore just to watch their concert and they are really grateful. It’s a pity that Paul left the group but at the same time, I’m glad that the 3 of them are still sticking together through the years. It was the only VCR footage shown in the concert.

16. When I’m missing you

Found a live performance of them many years back. Aww, ben still had his signature M-hairstyle. heh.

This guitar of this song is really awesome and I can remember the lyrics vividly as it was the third album and I have the lyrics book!

17. (Request) – I’ll take the tears (few verse)

There was a request of a less famous song (found a Low quality video on YouTube) and they belted out a few verses of this song from their second album. I guess this was really unplanned as they only sang like one verse of the song.

18. (Request) – Tomorrow (one line)

They swore that this song was unplanned and they haven’t sang it since year 2000; which explains why there was only one line =p

19. (Request) – One Last Song (one verse)

Sang one verse from this track.

20. Caught in the Middle

I remember watching this MTV countless times on TV a it was definitely a chart-topper on MTV channel! If I were talking to myself 14 years ago, it must have been an accomplishment to attend an a1 concert right now..

21. Take on Me

Apparently this is a Norwegian song and Christian said that every a1 concert needs to end with a Norwegian song. hmm? I don’t understand the hype with this song (their only cover song to date) and the MV is truly ridiculous but their live dance performance was highly amusing.  Christian has this trying not to laugh face throughout.

22. Like a Rose

After “Take on Me” performance, they went backstage. The fans, probably seasoned concert goers, did not move and continud shouting “encore” and within 30 seconds, you can hear ben’s voice singing the first verse of ‘Like a Rose”. He paused at several intervals to allow the audience to sing out loud without him and after the first chorus, they appeared again on stage and sang the whole song again! Anyone who knows a1 should know this song. They teased the audience at least twice with the song’s introduction chords and they obviously had to sing this song right? Ben even took a selfie with someone from the audience and presented a rose too! Fan service at its best but sadly I wasn’t sitting near the sides to run out comfortably. I was just stuck at my seat area the entire concert.

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It has been less than 24 hours since the concert ended and I spent an entire night reminiscing a1 through their MVs, articles and catching up with their daily lives via social media.

Just some thoughts of the concert which I haven’t talked about above..
Unlike the usual C/K-pop concert, a1’s performance was only 90 minutes! It was pretty much a fuss free set-up with 1 VCR footage, 0 change of clothes, 1 prop introduction – the sunglasses and few dance routines for – Same old Brand New You, Ready or Not and Take on Me. It’s fun to see these guys in their mid and late 30s trying to goof around the same way when they were in their 20s. The dance steps are so uniquely boyband style which is pretty cheesy buy I like it just the way it is. They shared many song writing memories and their personal life which was something that I had been rather unfamiliar with. I’m thankful that they are still sticking together after all these years, even if it just the three of them.
Sometimes, I also wonder too, how are they feeling when they see their fans are no longer in the large numbers as compared to their peak days. Most of the fans that remain are fans that have been through their peak back in the 90s/00s and not the newer ones that caught on them during the 2010s. Which only means that many of these fans are also growing older (in fact I felt that I was among the younger ones at the concert yesterday) and some of them no longer have the time and dedication to continue to “chase” them anymore. From the 5000 fans who appeared at the fan sign event at Junction 8 15 years ago, there were barely 200 at the Meet & Greet event before the concert. I was pretty shocked at the ‘poor’ turnout but on their faces there were no signs of disappointment. I was pretty sad for a while as it was seriously a far cry from 15 years ago but then again, they should be feeling thankful that after 15 years, they can still attract almost 2000 paid fans  to attend their solo concert. The concert back in 2012 was a combined one with Blue and 98 degrees but this time round, it was a solo showcase for them (a1) and for the fans which was an ‘intimate’ affair as how they would put it.
To be honest, I felt that the publicity for the concert was a little weak. I only found out about the concert after seeing a flyer at Bugis Plus after a dinner that day. By then, the early bird promotion was over and the remaining tickets were not very ideal. I took the risk of “waiting it out” and eventually found really good seats on Carousell! Also, a1 gave me another ‘first’ in my life – watching concert alone. The only friend I knew which would be willing to fork out money for their concert is residing in the states and the remaining of my other friends are not willing to pay. I know if I offered or begged more, I should be able to find someone but then again, I thought that I would be fine alone. It felt lonely, but it made me more connected to the show. Since I had no one to discuss anything with, no one to judge me and no one to spazz with, it felt comfortable to be overly enthusiastic about everything, anything. On hindsight, if I had a choice, I would still prefer to attend concerts with a like-minded fan. Oh wells.

If you’re still interested to read more about the history of me and a1 you can continue reading below but it’s gonna be really long. To be honest, no one reads them anyway but I still write so that I can reminisce these moments years later when I’m older..

 

 

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It’s really a childhood dream come true to see a1, or rather Ben Adams, up close (even an across the table hug during meet and greet) and talked to him for 5 seconds? I wouldn’t have imagined this were to happen to be 14 years ago, when they were my first and only pop group that I was interested in.
Gosh, it has been 16/17 years when these 4 teenage idols captured the hearts and minds of many. To be honest, I can’t recall why and when I was attracted to them (though my friend will insist that I was probably attracted to ben’s hair). But oh wells, they were part of my growing up years when I was going through the “tough time” of studying for examinations. (The only stress you probably had at that age was school). I remember printing lyrics of their songs (www.azlyrics.com) for the albums that I didn’t have money to purchase, watching MTV channel whenever i had the chance and pray hard that their MVs appear. The top few MVs that I recall watching the most was “Same old Brand New You”, the one with the cowboy concept and “No More” which was filmed in some container shipyard, “Ready or Not” the black and white one with cheesy hand actions and “Caught in the Middle”, the one that was filmed in Winter.
Also, a1’s “Make it Good” 3rd album was the first album I bought with my own money, sneakily after school from the CD-Rama at Marine Parade’s “Popular Book Store”. It came with this free a4-size line-less notebook which I kept it under my table (still there now) and took it out to doodle things that were important to me. Stupid it might sound but there were doodles of my new-er favourite idols in the years ahead in that book. I originally wanted that book to be an autograph book (still do) just that there’s 0 autographs in it to date. I mean, it doesn’t make sense to bring such a huge book out for idol-chasing and I hardly get a chance at autograph sessions too. Even if there were sessions, you could only sign on the official poster/CDs. I was too optimistic back then. Heh.
Anyway, as “Make it Good” was the first album I bought with my own money, it sure was a darling to me. I remember holding on and bringing the lyrics book with me wherever I went. I’m pretty sure I brought it to school and blah and I know the lyrics of most songs from their third album! Back then, I played their CD via the Discman or my radio (where the CD function occasionally works). The song that I was attracted most to was “Cherish this Love”. What a pity they didn’t sing it at the concert but it was a really good track.
The concert made me realise how awesome my memory was. I could recall the lyrics to most songs despite spotify and iTunes not existing back in the days. There was no YouTube to re-watch videos but I could remember the hand actions from “Ready or Not” and the dance moves from Same Old Brand New You. I even recall making a card full of a1 pictures which I printed from my super-pixelated printer and sending the card in for a dedication request to a music show called “Say it with Music” which was on FM 98.7, then known as Perfect 10. My letter was never picked but I guess it was still a memory. Even though there were many other popular boybands like Westlife and Backstreet Boys, I only had eyes for a1. I tested myself and I realised that I cannot even remember the names of all the other members in the other boybands. Like I only know there’s Justin Timberlake from N Sync, Shayne from Westlife and Nick Carter from BSB, I don’t know the others which means that.. a1 was my only love back then. HA.
It was a pity they stopped performing and releasing albums after Paul left the group somewhat abruptly. It was only after then where I had more allowances to splurge on entertainment but they were no longer active by then. After which, the other bands/idols that entered my life were Simple Plan, Jay Chou, Fahrenheit, Kangta (from H.O.T.), Yoga Lin, SHINee & Nichkhun from 2PM. So much for my loyalty to a1.. oh wells. I think I’m still more loyal compared to my other friends who give up on their old loves once they found their new ones. I still like my favourites from the yesteryear.
2016 – is really a special year for me and my idol-chasing life. In this year, I saw concerts for SHINee, Jay Chou, Simple Plan and a1. That’s almost all my listed idols. Gosh. I must be really blessed this year (though at the back of my mind I hope I don’t see them too often as it means I’ll be pretty broke more).
‘Till next time 🙂

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