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An “awww” U2 moment

Blind U2 fan teaches himself to play the guitar while listening to U2 music. He goes to a U2 concert in Nashville, carrying a sign that says “blind guitar player”. U2 plays encore and prepares to go off stage. But. Bono stops, and gets fan up on stage. Gives the fan his very own acoustic guitar (one of 13 in the world, no less) and performs “All I want is You” with fan. Band joins in. Song ends, Bono gives guitar to fan. Crowd goes wild.

This is why the world needs people like Bono. Amazing stuff, I had tears in my eyes.

I dreamed a dream

Maybe it’s all the hormones bubbling inside me but I was all teary eyed when listening to Lea Salonga’s rendition of I Dreamed A Dream at the 25th Anniversary concert at London’s O2 arena.

I love her, I’ve loved her since I watched Les Miserables and borrowed the CD and she was Eponine. I cried buckets when Eponine died in Marius’ arms. She was the perfect Eponine.

Her Fantine is very different from Ruthie Henshall’s. But they are both amazing singers – the notes that float out are so effortless and so crystal clear.

What would I have given to catch the 25th anniversary concert!

Sloshing in the mud

So despite the fact that it was pissing with rain yesterday, we had a brilliant time at the concert.

Hucks picked me up at 6pm promptly and we were bemoaning the downpour in the car. Bah. Thankfully, the rain subsided after dinner, although we were pelted with rain during the 45-minute queue to get into the grounds.

45 minutes!
Of waiting in the drizzle!

Am v patient.

Or not. Apparently I was grumbling at everything and anything during the wait. Well, you would too, if you had to put up with over-enthusiastic singing from kiddies behind you in the queue and intermittent buckets of water droplets from the skies above.

But it was all worth it. The moment we made our way into the grounds, we headed straight to the bar and grabbed a beer each. And you know what, that was actually one of the best things about being at an outdoor gig. Swigging beer, screaming the lyrics along with the band, jumping into the air, sloshing about in the mud and just being generally unglamorous.

There’s just no comparison when it comes to live concerts. The Script was marvelous live: they said the right things, had just the right amount of banter and were absolutely funny to boot. And Danny O’Donoghue was a livewire on stage, he was electrifying and bloody awesome.

We were a bit gutted that The Man Who Can’t be Moved wasn’t the last song as expected but the band did a fab job with Breakeven so it was still good.

Ahh. Fab night after a long day at work.

Next up: Sara Bareilles at the Esplanade!

I look like an auntie next to him, gah.

All photos stolen off of his Facebook.

No, it don’t breakeven

The past few days have been really, really rough but I am riding it out. Please don’t tell me to think positive, to appreciate what I have in life – I know all that. Sometimes, when you are free falling, you just got to hit rock bottom before you are able to claw your way back up into the fresh air.

I’m fine. I will be fine.

In the meantime, there are little milestones that I am looking forward to. For starters, there’s the The Script concert tonight at Fort Canning Park with Hucks, whom I haven’t seen in almost a year!

You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be playing these songs on repeat mode today until Hucksy picks me up. I’m so excited, I can’t wait!

Cos if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinkin maybe you’ll come back here to the place that we’d meet
And you’ll see me waiting for you on the corner of the street
So I’m not moving, I’m not moving

What am I supposed to do
When the best part of me was always you and
What am I supposed to say
When I’m all choked up and you’re okay

You won’t find faith or hope down a telescope
You won’t find heart and soul in the stars
You can break everything down to the chemicals
But you can’t explain a love like ours

Have a little faith

I believe in God – I just don’t share the same beliefs as organized religions.

For someone like me who is battling a medical challenge, the going can get really tough. Every time the needle pierces the skin, every time the cramps set in, every time I get poked and prodded. These little things add up.

Sometimes I wonder if I’d feel happier or more relieved if I belonged to a religious group. You know, the whole ‘someone to share your load’ thinking. Prayers can work miracles and maybe, just maybe, they can work on us too?

But then, it’s not as if I don’t believe in God, a presence great than we can ever imagine. I look up into the sky and ask for some help and guidance too. It’s just that I believe there is one God for everyone, that the God that you look up to is the same as his, and his, and hers, even if you profess to be of a different religion. The difference lies in how we interpret Him.

Because ultimately, don’t all religions preach the same set of values? We need to be kind, to do no evil, to be tolerant, to have compassion, to love etc.

Maybe I should call myself a humanitarian instead.

I picked up a book one day at Books Kinokuniya. It was on sale and I hadn’t bought a book in a while. But the title drew my attention at a time when I needed a little positivity and hope in my life: it was the Friday before my surgery.

It was Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith.

I had never read his breakthrough book Tuesdays With Morrie but I did read his other work Five People You Meet in Heaven. I enjoyed it tremendously but not enough for me to want to buy his other books.

This non-fiction book, however, did fulfill its promise and I did end up with a little more faith than before. The story tells the tales of two clergymen with different faiths and how they inspire Albom to, well, have more faith. Inevitably, there is death, and fear, and loss. But at the same time, there’s also hope, and belief, and love and kindness.

What moved me were some of the thoughts shared by the rabbi as he and Albom connected over the promise of an eulogy. He too believed in the fact that there is One God, that the many religions that exist in the world is due to the many debates and discussions and interpretations that men have. That the differences are meant to create a harmony, even though we are all singing the same tune. (Read the excerpt here)

The road goes on and on and there is no end in sight. And there are times when I fall off the wagon and get really mad or sad. And while I can certainly pick myself up and trudge on (husband does a pretty good job of that too), I do feel a quiet sense of relief when I gaze up into the blue sky and think, tell me, what should I do now?

Maybe it’s psychological, maybe it’s delusional, but sometimes I do think that I get heard.

Reading the book somehow reminded me of this classic song by Joan Osborne.

Singing is for geeks

Oh, you know the stereotype: choristers are boring, geeky people who do nothing but sing screechy notes in strange languages. We are not cool, not like the athletes and the football players. Nobody except fellow choristers really appreciate the vocal gymnastics that we get up to. The staccatos and off-beat rhythms that gets us all worked up in a frenzy just bring a dull glaze to the eyes of the listeners.

But I think choir singers are pretty damn cool (absolutely not biased here). Whenever I hear groups singing in unison these days, I feel a sense of derision because, come on, it’s not difficult to sing in harmony, is it? Is it? And then I realize, well, I feel that way because I can do something that others can’t. Sometimes we just forget that not everyone sings the way we do, not everyone gets intricate rhythms the same way.

And if I were honest, I’d say that I think singing is cool because I’ve always had the biggest crushes on boys who can sing. Back in secondary school a long, long time ago, we used to go for choir performances of a certain boys school that always puts up fun and interesting musicals. And inevitably, the lead singer would be this cutie who has a voice that you would fall instantly for. Well, at least I did. It didn’t matter if he was really good looking or not, he would instantly ricochet up the HELLO GOOD LOOKING meter.

Well, I guess it’s of no surprise that I married a fellow warbler. Not that he has ever used his singing voice to proclaim his love for me, the one time that he did so was on our wedding night and that was an ONE NIGHT ONLY performance. It’s crazy that he thinks he cannot sing now because the dude can sing. And he hates karaoke. Weird. But he was lucky to be part of an a cappella group back in the days when we were dating because at that young, naive and extremely precocious age, I thought he was cute and he had a great voice. Even though he was Mr Thick(er) back then, thanks to his very wide girth.

(I’ve always maintained that meeting me was the BEST thing that ever happened to him. Now he is slimmer, cooler, more fashionable and has two cats.)

Watching this a cappella performance of Teenage Dream on Glee, I kinda think that Blaine is really, really cute. Too bad he’s too young for me to crush on, that would be nothing short of Mrs Robinson-esque.

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