ION Orchard's 3rd Anniversary - featuring David Cook

, 3:56 pm PT by |

I attended ION Orchard's 3rd Anniversary party today. It was a free party outside the mall at ION2 (ION Square). The party included a performance by a Singaporean band The Next Movement, a fashion show featuring 8 brands with outlets in the mall (including Armani Exchange, New Look, Lacoste L!ve, Bimba & Lola and TYAN) and last but not least, a performance by the winner of the 7th season of hit TV series American Idol.

The Next Movement

Local band The Next Movement kicked off the party with a cover of "Payphone" by Maroon 5. In my opinion, that's one of the most annoying songs in the world, but I still love it anyway. It's weird. I'm weird. The female vocalist of the band had a sweet voice, but she had an extremely puny vocal range. She couldn't even reach the supposedly high notes in the chorus of "Payphone" ("I'm at a payphone..."), which was appalling considering that she actually sings for a living. Throughout her performance, I realised that she was using her head voice for the entire song, and her voice was extremely airy and breathy. Two words, my dear: vocal lessons. Due to her constant reliance on her head voice, her vocal range was actually limited. When she eventually decided to get a grip on her voice, her voice was pretty good. If only she did that at least 75% of the time... She also covered songs like "Teenage Dreams" by Katy Perry, "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen and "Somebody I Used To Know" by Gotye. While the lead singer of the band is a total Carly Rae Jepsen wannabe, the rest of the band was good, I loved their arrangement of the songs. So yeah, Aarika (the lead singer - I just googled the band), heed my advice and get yourself some speech level singing lessons with the moolah you earned from this huge gig.

The fashion show was rather interesting. I've never been a fashionista - I have no sense of colour or fashion whatsoever, much to my mother's chagrin. So when it came to the fashion show segment, I had no idea what I was going to do. I was deciding whether to file my nails or to stare at my feet and pretend that they're the most interesting thing in the world. I've only seen one fashion show, and that was a televised Victoria's Secret fashion show. While everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the clothes, I was just looking at the models' faces and catwalk, and I realised that the models never smiled. On the other hand, the Victoria's Secret models were constantly smiling. I definitely preferred the Victoria's Secret models. The models at this fashion show looked like they were there just for the sake of being there. The catwalk for some of the models was rather sloppy as they turned and walked like prisoners being escorted to the gallows. Nice clothes, though.

David Cook

Then came the finale, which was the act everyone was waiting for - it was time for David Cook to take the stage. It was his first public show in Singapore (though he played a private show the night before at a corporate party), and fans have been waiting many years for this moment. I had the opportunity to interview the 29 year old singer 2 days before the show, and I can tell that he is a very down-to-earth man who genuinely loves making music. Unlike a blonde female British singer whose gig I have recently been to (not naming any names here), he was sincere in his performance and even took the time to interact with his fans. He performed hits such as "Paper Heart", "Come Back To Me", "This Last Song I'll Write For You", "From Here To Zero", "Always Be My Baby" and "Light Up" during his hour-long set. I can see why he won American Idol - his charming personality, great musicianship and a unique voice enchanted me and it was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. One major boo-boo for me was that we were very far from the stage. I was 4 rows away from the barricade, and the barricade was at least a couple of meters away from the end of the stage. Being the short kid that I am, I couldn't see much of David and had to resort to watching the entire gig on the screens set up beside the stage.

David brought along one of his best friends, Andy Skib, to the show to play as his guitarist and to sing backup & to harmonise with him when needed. During my 12-minute group interview with him, he said that he and Andy were like "brothers", and while they had their fights every now and then, they remained best friends and he felt that it was a privilege for him to bring his best friend along with him to experience all the amazing things he had the chance to experience after winning Idol. Andy has an amazing voice, his voice reminds me of Morgan Dorr from Boys Like Girls. Both of them have incredible voices and beautiful falsettos, but they're both singing backup. I heard from an extremely reliable source (okay fine, it's Wikipedia) that Andy is the lead singer of a rock band called Midwest Kings. I'll definitely have a listen to MWK when I have the time to!

After the show, the Australian host with the extremely adorable accent called David back onto the stage to ask him to try a durian pancake that a fan had bought for him. He crinkled his nose after taking a whiff of it. Oh come on David, it smells heavenly! After much encouragement from the host and the audience, he finally mustered the courage to put the pancake into his mouth - an action that he definitely regretted, judging from the look of his face when he tasted the durian pancake. He spit the pancake out and threw it away. Aww David, it doesn't taste that bad... I happen to love durian. A lot. I guess it's an acquired taste. Not many non-Asians like durian, so I understand.

Congratulations to ION Orchard - happy 3rd birthday! Here's to many more years of success for ION and I can't wait for next year's anniversary party!

ION Orchard will present POP! In the City II, and exhibition at the ION Art gallery (Oct 20-30, 2012) featuring the works of legendary POP artists Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst and Burton Morris. Sounds interesting - check it out! Personally, I'm not a huge fan of art, but I had the opportunity to have a look at the art in the gallery when I attended the press conference (which was held at the ION Art gallery) and the work looks amazing. Give it a try, you won't regret it!

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