I HAVE a confession to make: Your Abang was sceptical of Mr Big‘s concert at Fort Canning Park on Sunday. Oh yes, I know that as musicians bassist Billy Sheehan, guitarist Paul Gilbert and drummer Pat Torpey all extraordinarily gifted players, but nothing short of stunning would sway me.
Plus, Fort Canning is always unpredictable. Sometimes the sound is good, othertimes it’s crap. Similarly, the lighting is in equal parts great and grotty. And Mr Big didn’t have anything new on offer – this would be a nostalgia show like how – dare we say it – Air Supply concerts are nostalgia shows.
The stage setup – the barest minimum requirement, it seemed – didn’t assuage my doubt. But then, the band came on and as the Black Eyed Peas would say, I had a feeling that the night was going to be a good night. Here’s why:
Reason #1: The band.
I’m talking about duelling guitar and bass solos – at one point with drills, at another, with doubled-necked instruments – and great harmony singing, and the fact that the band looked like they were really enjoying themselves more than made up for any lack in the staging.
Reason #2: The crowd.
Speaking of crowd, it seemed like more than half of those present couldn’t have been more than 10 years old when Mr Big first burst on the scene back in 1988. But they gave as good as they got, responding to singer Eric Martin’s calls on cue.
Reason #3: Mr Big’s ability to surprise.
Frankly, I get a little bored by long guitar, bass and drum solos. But Their version of the song It’s For You, that old John Lennon and Paul McCartney number, first given to Cilla Black in 1964, then borrowed by Three Dog Night in 1970, copied by Mr Big in 2009, with Sheehan, Gilbert and Torpey doing the three-part harmonies brilliantly. Thanks guys, definitely the highlight of the night.
Reason #4: To Be With You.
Even though I can’t listen to this song now without thinking of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles (thanks for that insight, Billy), and even though I’ve heard that song mauled to death at karaoke clubs, the live version was pure and simple and it worked.
Reason #5: Mr Big keep their promises.
When I spoke to Billy, he said that the show would have great music, that it would a great singalong and that everybody would have a good time. Guess what, we did.
What can I say: Went there a sceptic, went home a believer. Anyway, here are more pictures, hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.