Published on February 25th, 2013 | by porninja0
miss A Independent Showcase Singapore 2013: A class above the rest
After Jay Park’s successful concert here last month, it looks like The Star Theatre and The Star Performing Arts Centre might just be the new, hip place to hold a K-pop showcase. With its glitzy exterior yet intimate setting, miss A’s Independent Showcase 2013 seemed set to beat their previous one back in September 2011.
And it did – in every possible way. The group’s discography had expanded since, their solo stages were a notch better, and the girls – Jia, Min, Fei and Suzy – were even more personable than I remembered.
They kicked off their performance with their latest single, ‘I Don’t Need A Man’, and followed up with ‘Breathe’, a hit from their second single album ‘Step Up’. The girls didn’t stop there though and blew through another two songs from their repertoire, ‘Over You’ and ‘Time’s Up’, with Jia briefly teaching Say As (what miss A fans are called) in the audience the fan-chant for the former. I had to give it to her; the girl was a pro at rousing a response from the crowd.
After performing four songs consecutively, the group finally took a breather to introduce themselves to the few thousand or so fans in the expansive theatre.
Introduction and games
One of the things I like about miss A is how right at how home they are in Singapore, since Chinese members Jia and Fei can converse in their native language, and Min is fluent in English, having trained in the US for an extended period of time. With the language barrier essentially nonexistent, the girls seemed to be enjoying themselves onstage, joking around with the host and the fans – even maknae Suzy’s personality shone through, as she spoke cutely in broken Mandarin: “Today, we prepared a lot to meet with you guys. We’re so happy. I love you!”
A few fans were then picked from the crowd to dance to ‘I Don’t Need A Man’, and all of them were not only granted some face time with the girls onstage, but each also walked away with a personal polaroid picture to eternalise the experience. How lucky!
But it was time for the rest of the audience to get personal with the girls as they shared a little about what they liked about Singapore, their ideal dates and whether they saw themselves as independent women.
Suzy racked up brownie points for her fan-service, gleefully expressing her love for the people, the rain and the chilli crabs in Singapore, even going so far as to describe her ideal type as “someone who screams really loudly when miss A performs”. And true enough, deep-toned roars from the audience confirmed that everyone was vying for a shot at the 1.68m beauty’s heart.
As for Jia’s ideal date, she said: “I’d like to be able to hold hands with my boyfriend, and be able to shop along the streets without hiding myself.” Calling “Fei Fei” a chef-level cook, Jia also bragged that she wasn’t far off herself either.
Soft-spoken and demure, Fei similarly expressed her love for cooking, as well as a guy who can make her happy and give in to her. “It’s simple as that!”
Min was then asked the million-dollar question, “Do you need a man?” causing the 22-year-old to giggle and go, “I do… my fans!” But she continued, “Honestly… We need a man, ‘cause we’re women too, you know?” Although she was initially stumped on how to answer what her ideal type was, she finally settled on “someone with a beautiful heart”. Aww – our favourite answer so far, hands down. And as if the girl couldn’t get any more perfect, she went on to describe her ideal Valentine’s date as playing video games together and eating chocolates.
Wrapping up the talk segment, Min summed up what being an ‘independent woman’ meant to her: “I think you gotta have great self-esteem. And you have to love yourself, because I know a lot of women who are not very proud of themselves because of how they look, or how they grew up, so I just want everyone to be proud of themselves, be happy and love themselves.” Someone pass this queen her crown, already.
These are always a highlight at concerts for me because it’s the time for each individual member to get their own spotlight and to really showcase what they’re capable of.
Suzy was first up with a sensual dance performance. Clad in tights and a loose knit top, she tossed her hair about with each dance move (half of which were done against a table) and very likely body waved the boys in the audience into a pleasure-induced coma. But as much as she oozed sexiness onstage and successfully showed off a more grown-up image, I had to admit that part of me did wish she’d sung instead. I still feel that she’s often overlooked as a singer, despite having the vocal chops to pull of ballads beautifully, and the performance could have been the perfect opportunity to prove that.
Now, as for Fei’s solo stage, I absolutely loved. It hit every nail right on the head for me, starting from her confident strut down the aisle through the theatre, making the crowd – me, included – go crazy from surprise. Her English was surprisingly spot-on as she did a cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’, her lilting voice a perfect match. And when it came time for the dub-step breakdown, the miss A leader whipped off her skirt, revealing a pair of short shorts underneath, and danced her butt off. Was this the same sweet girl from a few moments ago? I couldn’t be sure. But I definitely knew I liked it.
All eyes then turned to Min as a single spotlight shone down on her for her dance solo. Dressed in a gold jacket, she literally poured gold dust everywhere with each hard-hitting move, a truly magnificent sight as the dust lifted and danced around her. As the music picked up pace, she removed and tossed her jacket to the audience and danced to Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Pound the Alarm’.
Jia’s solo stage was simpler in comparison – but still impressive in every way. Although most expected her to dance, she instead started out her performance seated and singing to an acoustic rendition of Justin Bieber‘s ‘As Long As You Love Me’ before getting up and rapping to Big Sean‘s part. Just… swag – this girl’s got it by the truckload.
Jia’s birthday surprise
After an outfit change, Min, Suzy and Fei came out with a birthday cake and started singing ‘Happy Birthday’ when Jia walked out onstage, before following up with the Mandarin version of the song. After making her wish, Jia pulled in the rest of the members so that they could blow out the candles together. When asked what one of her wishes were, she said that she wished this year would be miss A’s year. Fei then admitted that even though it wasn’t her birthday, she had a request for Jia: to change the ‘Happy Birthday’ song into a rap!
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Thank you everybody, come here
Happy birthday to me
After her brief impromptu rap in English, she laughed and hugged Fei in embarrassment, playfully telling her in Mandarin that she hated her for putting her on the spot like that.
miss A then switched up the mood a little as they remained seated while singing ‘If I Were A Boy’ from their latest mini album. Although they’re not particularly known for their ballads, I thought that their sweet, clear voices really meshed well together and it was definitely one of the highlight performances of the night.
After following it up with ‘Touch’, the girls finally said their first round of goodbyes with ‘Goodbye Baby’. (We all knew an encore was coming since they hadn’t yet performed their debut hit!)
True enough, the girls came out once again and put up an impressive performance of ‘Bad Girl Good Girl’, with resident mood-maker Jia getting the audience to put their hands up midway through. Before they left, they expressed their gratitude towards the crowd’s warm reception. Min: “Thank you guys for coming tonight. We love you!” Ah, looks like we could finally call it a night.
But wait – it’s still not over yet. Surprisingly, the girls came out for yet another encore stage, getting gifts from the audience and waving at everyone throughout their performance of ‘Ma Style’.
But what was even more exhilarating though, was that all four actually stepped off the stage and walked through the various aisles of the theatre – just like how Fei had done earlier – getting excited Say As out of their seats for a better glimpse of the girls. When they returned to the stage and said their last goodbyes, it was a bittersweet feeling since it finally sunk in that the night was really over. But still, what a completely satisfying concert experience. And I’m pretty certain that even though the almost two-hour showcase had finally come to a close, Fei’s promise to return to our shores again still rang clear in everyone’s heads.
Finally, we’d like to thank Launch Group for organizing the miss A Independent Showcase Singapore 2013 as well as extending the media invitation to Dinoseoul.