The New Paper
Jul 24, 2016
It turned out to be an emotional night for The Sam Willows at their first concert as headliners in Singapore last night.
The youngest member of the indie pop band, Narelle Kheng, 22, cried while singing Nightlight - a song from their self-titled EP during their Take Heart Tour show at the Hard Rock Hotel's The Coliseum, Resorts World Sentosa.
"I can't imagine that all of you are here today... You all are about to make me cry," said the bassist and vocalist, before the tears began to roll.
She said the song was "very close to our hearts" and she could not stop the tears as she tried to continue.
Her brother, Benjamin, 25, then hugged her and the show continued.
After the encores, the band - made up of the Kheng siblings and Sandra Riley Tang, 25, and Jonathan Chua, 26 - had a group hug and there were more tears.
The members had predicted this would happen as Tang revealed on stage that she and Narelle had made a pact not to cry as one person's tears would trigger the other's.
It was an entertaining and heartwarming show. The band played 18 of their songs and two covers of songs by British girl band Little Mix, whom they have previously opened for.
Local rapper Shigga Shay joined in for Taking All His Time, a song from their Take Heart album.
The concert, which was scheduled to start at 7pm, saw some fans queueing at 11.30am.
Temasek Polytechnic student Sarrah Tay, 18, was the first in the queue. She even skipped her meals just to keep her spot.
Adding that she has been a fan since Aug 13, 2014, Miss Tay said: "I just wanted to hear their soundcheck and spend more time with the band.
"I'm not that concerned that I don't get to watch them as they practise, hearing them is good enough."
Narelle Kheng was in tears while singing Nightlight, a song about her late mum from their self-titled EP.
She thanked the crowd for making their dreams come true and the tears started.
Benjamin and Narelle's mother died of Stage 2 breast cancer when he was 12 and she was eight.
As the crowd chanted 'Narelle! Narelle!', Benjamin embraced her.
THE DANCING WILLOWS
The Sam Willows performed a choreographed dance on stage for the first time. They were joined by contemporary dancers and ballerinas in four songs - Riverdance, Stay, All Time High and Taking All His Time.
Even Jonathan Chua, who is known to be quieter than the others, let loose and immersed himself in the music.
SHIGGA SHAY SURPRISE
Local rapper Shigga Shay made a sudden appearance.
The crowd had expected the band to start singing when the intro of Taking All His Time came on, but it was Shigga Shay who launched into song, or rather, rap.
His performance was welcomed by the audience as they cheered, jumped and fished out their phones to capture the moment.
GAME FOR THE WILLOWS
The quartet had a competition to see who could throw a Take Heart Tour T-shirt the furthest into the audience.
Screams of "Me! Me! Me!" echoed.
Benjamin threw it directly at fans in front, about 3m away.
Jonathan emerged the winner, flinging the T-shirt almost 30m away.
BENJAMIN'S SPOKEN WORD
Benjamin recited a poem he specifically wrote for the concert.
The five-minute monologue featured issues like racism, grades, Instagram followers and personal identity, and was well-received.
He told younger fans to not be defined by their grades or number of followers on social media.
He ended by pointing to members of the audience, saying: "You are brilliant."