Culture, Live Reviews — November 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Inspired: An Evening with Yuna


If there’s any lesson to be learnt from Yuna’s concert in Singapore last Wednesday night at the Kallang Theatre, it’s this: chase your dreams. Cliché as that may sound, one would be hard-pressed to have left the concert hall without feeling at least a spark of inspiration from the 3 different musical acts that had performed that night. 

The evening kicked off with an onslaught of warm nostalgia incited by the laid-back grooves of The Stoned Revivals, long-time favourites of the Singapore indie scene whom, back in their heyday, even enjoyed local radio airplay. Reuniting for the special performance after a long hiatus, The Stoned Revivals was backed by a full band inclusive of tinkling keyboards and a lively horns section. Bright, psychedelic visuals on the massive screens provided an apt accompaniment to the set, which comprised of new tunes and old gems such as ‘Stoned Alleycat’ and ‘Goodil’ to the delight of their ardent fans. The conclusion of their set was followed by an eye-opening presentation by a sand artist, whose metamorphosing images were created over a lightbox covered with sand – most definitely an unconventional interlude at a musical concert, but one that was well-received by the crowd all the same. 

Countering the earlier nostalgia with a fresh face, the night’s next supporting act Diandra Arjunaidi won over many hearts with her sweet, sparkling vocals and understated edge. It is clear to see why Yuna had signed her onto her very own label Yuna Room Records – the 21-year-old showed plenty of promise and will undoubtedly continue to make a mark onto the regional music scene with her honest songwriting and stunning good looks.

The audience’s loudest cheers were reserved for Yuna, whose appearance marked her first-ever headlining concert in Singapore. Despite having made a splash all over the United States of America, including prime appearances in New York’s Times Square and massive festivals such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, the Malaysian starlet displayed a refreshingly down-to-earth and charming demeanor, joking around with the audience and cheekily replying to the various declarations of love from the crowd. Sharply dressed in black, accentuated with vibrant accessories and her trademark colourful headgear, Yuna oozed class and sophistication as she performed a wide repertoire of numbers from her self-titled album and her 2011 EP ‘Decorate’, along with surprise covers of Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ and a live-looping experiment of Frank Ocean’s hit ‘Thinkin’ ‘Bout You’. With her dulcet tones, unfaltering vocal performance and idiosyncratic style, it is no mystery how Yuna has managed to achieve success both abroad and at home. Her ability to connect with the audience through her music and her affable nature has deservingly gained her the title of Malaysia’s foremost indie darling and cemented her as a trailblazing inspiration to artists, musicians and fans alike.

Missed Yuna’s amazing concert? Be sure to catch her at Urbanscapes Festival on the 24th of November at Padang Astaka, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.