#ThrowbackThursday: What I learned from watching Michael Learns To Rock live
Guilty pleasures 101
1. You don't have to try too hard.
2. Find other ways to appeal to your local audience, without just proclaiming your love to the country.
If you're a gig regular, you'll know the drill by now: the act comes on stage, sings a few songs before proclaiming how much they love Singapore. Little anecdotes of the weather ensue, as well as an attempt to say a greeting in Mandarin or Malay (why hasn't anyone attempted Tamil?). The crowd then laughs and nods in agreement. How adorable — but so very predictable.
3. Never underestimate the wide appeal of karaoke.
You know it — karaoke is (almost) every Asian's kryptonite. A karaoke session isn't complete without one of MLTR's hit songs, and the band sure knows this. From the first song Silent Times to the more popular hits Sleeping Child and The Actor, the audience was treated to trippy, Microsoft PowerPoint-engineered visuals, silent film takes and visuals of blooming flowers and dolphins — your typical karaoke look.
However, it wasn't until 25 Minutes that the actual lyrics came onto the screen — albeit 25 seconds later (yes, we went there) than Richter's vocals.
4. Always have a selfie stick on hand.
Everyone squealed when Richter suggested taking a selfie with the 5,000-strong crowd. Unfortunately, he didn't have a selfie stick on hand, and beckoned a stage assistant to snap a picture with a camera instead — such blasphemy to selfies.
5. The formula of a timeless love song is pretty simple.
There's a reason why some of us still know their lyrics by heart: they're simple, and they truly speak from the heart. Richter shared this secret to their success at the press conference prior to the show. They don't write about getting wasted with Dom Perignons or lusting after women in thongs (not that Sisqo's Thong Song isn't addictive). Instead, they inspire many a jaded souls with heartfelt sound bites such as "you give me wings to fly" in Forever And A Day — and when coupled with a delicate acoustic take, they truly soared.
Michael Learns To Rock played live in Singapore on 24 July at The Star Theatre, thanks to Warner Music Singapore.