19 – “just like an open book, a couple of words, that’s all it took”
So I went to Neonlights 2016.
It has been a while since I last went to a gig (last time was.. Rolling Stones? oh Jesus, that was friggin’ 2014!), plus I nearly ditched the idea due to last-minute travel plan changes, plus the amazing rainstorm that welcomed me back in SG Friday afternoon. But you know what? I’m glad I decided to still go anyway.
First of all, I’ve always heard that Fort Canning is infamous for its terrain problems whenever it rains. I came to the Saturday leg already not bothering with my Toms since it would be easier to clean my flipflops and scrub my feet instead of cleaning espadrilles. BUT COME ON, that mud was ridonkolous. Nevertheless, Foals was great fun. I’m not a big fan of them, but when else would I get to dance my cares away barefoot in the midst of a mud pit to Foals? Neonlights 1, Wina 0, and I did not mind one tiny bit. Walking to PoMo and Little India half-covered in mud, however, was a completely different adventure in itself and the face of the reception officer when I dropped off my pants to the laundry was something out of a horror story.
I came to the Sunday leg, both prepared and unprepared. Prepared in the sense that I learned what I did wrong the night before, and I stepped in the venue with extra flippies in tow, a fresh pack of wet wipes etc. Unprepared in the sense that I was alone. Whereas I had Ferdi and Ochie with me on Saturday, I was all by myself that Sunday afternoon. Granted, I spent a good amount of time with Dani and Fahmy, but when you split with your friends in such a huge venue with so much people, your chances of ever tracking them again when you split is pretty much zilch. The mud also somehow decided to step up their game, cos I could swear that on Sunday it felt like we were stepping in diarrhea. Well, it smelt like it at least.. Within 5 minutes, my slip-ons were pretty much ruined. However, I played along because friends or not, mud or flood, I was a girl on a mission. I had to see The Tallest Man On Earth and José González live. Of course, not even reaching 5 feet tall, it was front row or bust.
I pretty much did my Jamie Lidell-Java Jazz 2011 trick, which was to hang around the stage as soon as the previous performer finished. An hour or so of waiting was very royally paid off, being able to see The Tallest Man On Earth comfortably right behind the security barrier. Kristian, bless his heart, was exactly like how I’ve predicted he would be on stage. Did I feel smart? Yes. But now thinking back of it, I don’t think TTMOE had that much audience anyway (or not, IDK, it’s not like I could see the crowd behind me anyways..). The problem was that after the perfomance, I had to leave to refuel and meet up with Ferdi and Ochie, which ultimately backfired as within less half an hour of actually being together, we were soon split up again and I was, again, all by myself. And of course, with José González coming next, of course someone else has taken my spot. Of course. Random luck, I came across this bunch of 2 tall guys and 1 petite girl. Little did I know, the best part of the night was only about to ensue.
picture credit to the lovely Indra Cepeda herself
Lucas, Ben, Indra and me. Four complete strangers who bonded over the collective love for José González and Sigur Rós.. and mud.
Having hung around early for José González’ set, we managed to enjoy front row during José González and a battle plan for also getting front stage for Sigur Rós was meticulously planned. That one didn’t go so well, but we settled in a nice spot nevertheless. And just somehow, just somehow, Indra who got separated during Sigur Rós tracked us back down going out of Fort Canning. One thing led to another, and after loitering around for a bit, we ended up at Ben’s AirBnB (with a real sweet view of the Singaporean skyline), rolling around on the floor just chatting about whatever random stuff from politics to weed. Mind you, we were all people who went to a music festival by ourselves, not knowing how things were going to be. To be quite honest, I haven’t had an enjoyable conversation as much as I did with these guys in quite a while.
I’m not sure how most people think, but I’ve always found more comfort in strangers. Being the cursed INTJ that I am, of course this doesn’t happen often as I usually just don’t bother at all. But then again, every once in a while (esp. when you travel all alone with absolutely no agenda) these things happen and if anything, it’s a good reminder that there are, indeed, still some good people left in this world, and The Universe will just bring them to you when you least expect it. I guess another good thing about having absolutely no expectation on anything is that when good things like this happen, it just leaves you absolutely content.
So yeah, if any of you three are reading this, I know I’ve said this before but really. Thanks, guys. ‘Twas a great night indeed. Hopefully we’ll cross each other’s paths again soonish, yes? 🙂
All in all, it was indeed a great trip. Definitely one for the memory book.
P.S: I originally didn’t plan on seeing Sigur Rós, and just as I thought, it got way personal and emotional for me, it will come in a different post later on.