We were finally inside the Square and I didn’t know why we had to wait such a long time to get inside. It still was quite empty so we get the chance to pick our spots. Instead of standing close to the stage, we decided to stand near the media corner with the crowd control barriers on our back. We figured that it was safer there because we will not be pushed around much by the crowd and if something happens, we can call for help.
The concert started at 6 pm but not before the presenters, San Htut and Aye Myat Thu, annoyed us with small talks about human trafficking. I know the concert was aimed at raising awareness for human trafficking, but we were tired of waiting. Beside, AMT’s voice was quite annoying. I like her as a model, but I cringe whenever she spoke. Why can’t they find a better presenter?
Chan Chan first sang a Buddhist song she once sang on Fashion Music Festival TV program a couple of years ago. It was a nice performance to watch the Rakhine traditional dance with candle lights. For her second song, she chose to cover Shania Twain’s “You’re the Still the One”. When I first heard the music, I thought she was going to sing the Myanmar cover/copy version but instead she sang in English. Thank god. Chan Chan is a great singer but most of her songs are western or Chinese cover songs. I hope she will start singing original songs from now on.
Sai Sai came on next and performed two songs: “We are only Friends” and “We are Bachelors”. Again, Sai Sai avoided singing his popular hits because they contain samplings from western hip-hop songs. He really got the crowd going and made us all excited. Beside Jason Mraz, I have been wanting to see Sai Sai as well. I am not really that interested in other singers.
Chit Thu Wai sang two songs written by Linn Linn and then Linn Linn himself came on stage. Unfortunately, he only sang one song. The crew from the MTV EXIT standing behind us was talking to another person about how amazing he was. Even though it was just one song, he gave a powerful performance.
The rest of the local performers were Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein (PPKT), Phyo Gyi, and R Zarni. By the time these singers appear, I could only listen to them but couldn’t see them on the projector screens. As I wasn’t really interested, I didn’t bother to look at the screen after PPKT’s first performance. I only looked because I was curious about what kind of clothes she was going on. She was at first wearing a black wrapping covering her whole body, but she later removed it to show her white outfit, her usual trademark to match her name. FYI, Phyu means white in Myanmar.
PPKT’s latest album contains only original songs so she has no trouble picking non-cover songs for the concert. After singing two songs, she said there must be 50,000 people here right now, but her latest album only sold 5,000 copies. I understand what artists feel about people buying pirate copies instead of original songs, but I felt offended by what she said. It’s like she accused the audience of buying pirate copies or downloading from the internet. I do admit that I never really liked her from the start because of her personality. I have her albums in mp3 format but I’ve never really listened to them. Most of the times, I buy original albums if I really like the singers, but for those I don’t like, I don’t even bother to listen to them.
I also didn’t like Phyo Gyi’s performance. I didn’t know any of his songs. It’s hard to believe that I used to be his fan when he first started featuring in Sai Sai’s album.
R Zarni was the last local performer. I worried about him because he doesn’t have much original songs. He sang three songs at the concert and none of them were his own. The first one was an old song by Soe Paing. The second was originally sang by Soe Lwin Lwin and the last song was originally sang by Lay Phyu. But still, the crowd were crazy for him. I also had a great time singing to the “Classic Beauty”, which made him become extremely popular after the Soe Lwin Lwin commemoration live show was released. Before he sang this song, he said he’ll be singing a classic original song so I started wondering which classic song he was going to copy. A while ago, an online friend posted on his a wall a list of classic songs the Myanmar artists should sing at this concert not to embarrass themselves in front of the foreigners. I was wondering whether he was going to see songs like “Naga Ni” (Red Dragon), but instead he sang “Classic Beauty” lolz
Before each singer appeared, the annoying presenters kept appearing on stage and talking to the audience while we just wanted them to get off the stage. I don’t know remember exactly in order, but the Australian Ambassador and US Ambassador Derek Mitchell came on stage at separate time to talk to the audience about human trafficking. Sayar Atta Kyaw acted as an interpreter for the US Ambassador in case there are those who couldn’t understand English.
Some of the singers also kept asking “How are you all?” and we all replied “Not so good” because it was pretty crowded. Some guys even shouted “I’m hungry” or “I’m thirsty”. The Coca-Cola booth is too far away from us and it will be quite difficult to push through the crowd to get to the nearby exist. Thank god I didn’t feel the need to pee. In fact, I wasn’t even starving at all. I felt thirsty from time to time but I tried not to drink too much water.
credit photos: MTV EXIT