Music

Six-month wait for Gentles Bones gig worth it, say fans

Local singer Gentle Bones finally performs first solo concert here after it was axed last year.

It was a show that fans had waited six months for.

Local singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, whose real name is Joel Tan, played his first ticketed solo show at the Esplanade Concert Hall last night.

All 1,500 ticketsto the gig, which featured an opening set by electronic music duo .gif, were sold out within 10 days. The tickets cost $25, $35 and $45.

The 22-year-old will stage a second sold-out show tonight at the same venue.

While Tan has had many successes during the past six months, it has been a roller-coaster ride.

His first solo concert, which was supposed to have taken place on Dec 10 here, was axed.

In September last year, he opened for US singer-songwriter Kina Grannis during her Elements concert tour in Asia.

HAPPY: (Above) Fan Nur Farhana Pa'at (extreme right) felt last night's show was worth the wait. PHOTOS: NUR FARHANA PA'AT, NATASHA MEAH

At the first stop in Jakarta, the crew faced issues with their performance permit, which led to a 3½-month detention in Indonesia for him and 13 others.

He was finally allowed to return home on Dec 23.

It did not take long for things to start looking up again. Tan, who is also a business studies undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University, became the first Singaporean artist to be listed in the inaugural Forbes 30 Under 30 list for entertainment and sports personalities in Asia earlier this year.

More recently, his new five-track EP Geniuses & Thieves, released on June 3, charted at No. 1 on Singapore iTunes within an hour of its release.

HAPPY:(Above) Miss Nur Syafiza Shahrin Shan (second from left) was in the front row at last night's show and felt it was amazing. PHOTOS: NUR FARHANA PA'AT, NATASHA MEAH

At last night's concert, where fans sang along to every one of the 12 songs Tan sang during his hour-long set, he addressed the matter.

"How many of you bought tickets for my December show last year?" he asked as fans raised their hands and cheered.

"There was a reason we needed to cancel it... So for those of you who don't know I'm going to fill you in real quick. I'm not trying to pull a sob story or anything but there's a reason why everything including the EP was delayed.

"All along this show was supposed to be an EP launch and nothing else as after the whole Indonesia thing we didn't want to make any promises," he said before telling the audience what had happened last year.

"Thank you guys for buying tickets again," he ended.

LOVE

Not that the fans minded the wait - they showed Tan much love as he serenaded the crowd with his smooth vocals, backed by a band.

They held their phone flashlights in the air and cheered song after song. Tan was just as warm as accommodating, asking everyone to get to the front right from the start of the concert.

He sang a mix of songs from his debut EP Gentle Bones (2014) and Geniuses & Thieves, even asking the fans what they thought of his new music.

"You guys like the new music? The old songs are quite different to the new ones. And this will bid a farewell to some of the old songs and also an official welcome to all the new songs," he said, much to the disappointment of fans who aww-ed in unision as his old songs seemed to be fan favourites.

Student Nur Farhana Pa'at, 21, who was with friends, was one of those who had bought tickets to last year's show.

"I loved the whole atmosphere of it. What surprised me the most was the sing-along from the audience. It really warms my heart," she said.

Polytechnic student Nur Syafiza Shahrin Shan, 18, brought her laptop to school the day the concert tickets went on sale, for fear of not getting seats.

It paid off as she sat in the front row.

She said: "I found the show amazing. It was beyond my expectations. He sounds the same live as he does on the recorded version.

"I loved that he was super interactive with the crowd. Even though he didn't reach down to touch our hands, we were super close and I wanted it to last longer."

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