Last night, I attended F.I.R.’s concert at the Max Pavilion.
It was unreal.
F.I.R. 光合之旅 – apparently it’s photosynthesis, where they are air, water, and light, and we are their growing sprouts.
I used to be a huge fan of theirs when I was in secondary school and junior college. I had their debut album on repeat, and would come home and sing my lungs out every damn day. Faye (the lead vocalist) was and still remains as one of my favourite singers ever.
This probably comes as a surprise to many who think that I jiak kantang (westernized), but I went to a Chinese secondary school, so listening to Chinese music was inevitable (but to be frank, the only other Chinese artist that I was really into was Jay Chou).
Anyway, back to my past obsession with F.I.R.
During a time when mandopop princesses ruled and my friends were all crazy over S.H.E., Jolin Tsai, Rainie Yang, etc etc, F.I.R.’s presence in the Chinese music scene was something new and fresh to me, and it certainly appealed to my Linkin Park, Evanescence loving teenage self. I was especially drawn in by the fact that Faye was influenced by western music and was really good at English, and that Real阿沁 and Ian建宁老师 were truly talented musicians. Each of their songs had such deep meaning and sometimes made reference to historical or mythical people, places, and things that intrigued me. It’s also needless to say that I liked them because they weren’t cutesy in the least bit.
Fast forward to today, where I have since stopped following their music. In fact, my interest tapered off around the time they released their third album, though their earlier works have stuck with me till now (proof: i sang LOVE*3 at my friend’s wedding last year). When my friend Grace asked if I wanted to go for the concert just 2 days before, I was slightly hesitant but OMG I’m so glad I agreed!
Lydia – First song & outfits for the night.
That concert last night totally renewed my love for F.I.R. Their musicianship and sincerity on stage reminded me of why I admired them so much in the first place. They have no airs, their live show wasn’t so produced to the point where it seemed fake (which i really like because it just shows how real and down to earth they are behind the sparkly, slightly tacky outfits) and it was so cute how they candidly interacted with the audience and each other.
I felt that Faye was slightly awkward on stage at first because she kept facing either side of the stage most of the time, but it could have been due to an injury she had sustained close to a month ago, or maybe she really is just an awkward turtle (which makes me look up to her even more)? Her voice was flawless and I can’t get over the fact that she also covered Adele’s version of Someone Like You, just her and a pianist, and she sang the original version of the chorus instead of the alternate lower melody that Adele sings in her unplugged version. I wanted to die of admiration.
[edit: OMG THEY HAVE POSTED IT UP ON YOUKU!!!!
阿沁 showed everyone that he’s not just a guitarist, but a crazily skilled one who can also sing and has the most stage presence out of the 3. I have to gush about how one of his guitars had blue led lights installed in the fretboard. So tacky, but to me, that’s what a guitar freak would do and hence <3. He even took on music director duties which I’m guessing used to be the responsibility of 建宁老师. Speaking of 建宁老师, I have mad respect for this guy that I actually know little about. Apart from knowing that he was already a renowned music producer before the band’s formation, and he has that instantly recognizable Roland keytar, I don’t know much about who he is. However, I’m very sure that he is the band’s foundation, and the mastermind behind their amazing musical arrangements.
The most impressive part of their show to me wasn’t their high energy songs (which were really HIGH btw), but the more toned-down, acoustic set that they did in the middle and subsequent vocal solos by 建宁老师 and 阿沁. It felt really intimate despite being in a venue so big, and the 3 of them took turns explaining the story behind their songs and the concert theme.
The lights made it really hard to get remotely decent pics, but here are 2 from the acoustic set.
Last but not least, I have to give mad props to their backing musicians. They were so professional, so tight, and when they each took their solos at the end, I was waving my lightstick like a crazy person.
This has been a really long post, and probably a very incoherent one at that, but I have to post it. I have to put it out there that I am once again a fan. <3