Speak up! The official anthem for all Asians around the Western world!
“Hey babe, I’ve bought us tickets to Dami Im’s ‘Dreamer’ concert,” were the nervous words which came out of my wife’s mouth, but hearing those words made me so happy! Why? Is it because I’m a massive Dami Im fan? No, no, it was because my wife bought the tickets as she obviously wanted to see the show, but my joy was due to the fact that she justified the purchase of the tickets, so that I would have more material for our Blog Touch Smell Taste Sound!!!! As to date, my wife has been a very reluctant passenger on this blogging journey of ours. Haaha.
So last night, strolling the half block to the Metro Theatre, we watched our very first live concert together in a very long time. Woot Woot!
Dami Im ‘Dreamer’ tour- supporting acts Brittany Maggs and Jayesslee!
We’d never been to the Metro Theatre before; we’ve walked past it a billion times but never set foot inside. It’s a surprisingly large yet intimate venue, perhaps seats around 200 (no standing room), and you know that plenty of people have had some good times here in the past, by the state of the floor (can you say, uber sticky?). Seated almost dead centre, I had originally anticipated a majority Korean crowd, you know…. 66.6% of the acts tonight were Korean – I was even quizzing my wife when we were getting ready, “What should I wear if I want to look more Korean?” And when I made it up to the top landing of the venue, I shouted out a pretty hearty (for my standards) Annyeong Haseyo! But no need, surprisingly the Korean-Asian fan base was almost non-present. An ‘older’ Australian audience seemed to be Dami’s most supportive fan base in ol’ Sydney town.
And as the lights dimmed, the tones went up! Like The Chefs’ Line, the concert was structured in the same way, i.e. the opening act, Brittany Maggs, was the least experienced, young and relatively unknown (to us at least), but she was good! On stage alone with only her guitarist as live accompaniment, she belted out 6 tracks- 5 of which were originals from her EP. And being quite familiar with the standards of your run-of-the-mill street buskers, Brittany was clearly a step above those talents, but still a little unknown if she’ll go on to achieve commercial success. And in my opinion, if she was the only act I was going to see that night. Oh yeah! It was good enough, I would have gone home happy enough. Loud claps all around!
But after Brittany packed up, Sydney-Korean twins Janice & Sonia Lee came onto the stage, one behind the piano, the other with a guitar on her lap – and they belted out their fan favourite covers! From The Greatest Showman’s ‘This Is Me’, to Maroon 5’s ‘Sunday Morning’, their harmonies were tight, their acoustic-covers selections were crowd pleasers, and in the end they left us wanting more! Encore! Encore ladies! Encore! And just when my wife thought she’d reached nirvana – seeing her favourite cover band in the flesh, and my hands smarting from clapping too enthusiastically…it was Dami Time!
You know when the big guns are coming, when the stage is cleared out, to make room for the full band- a complement of drums, electric guitar, keys, and the base player alternated between bass guitar, double bass, and synths. And holy sh*t! When they played their first chord, the ground and my chest cavity literally vibrated from the violence of the low tones! The electric guitar riffs, the bass clef of the synths, it brought the Metro to life! No thoughts of sleep anymore! And Dami? What can I say? Her voice was absolutely pitch perfect! Her ability to belt out the high notes, to leave it all on the stage! It was actually amazing to watch live! An artist giving it their all, she was literally breathless after each song when she attempted to interact with the audience.
Dami performed a collection of her most successful original hits from her now 6 year career, tracks from her jazzy second album, tracks from her 3rd and most recent album (latest single Crying Underwater), and of course she performed some of her most memorable performances from her 2013 X-Factor days! Roar, anyone?
The most memorable performance of the night for me was ‘Speak Up’, explained by Dami herself – she had spent most of her life a wallflower, fearful of being singled out, fearful of being asked for her opinion and to be unmasked as a fraud. Dami said the inspiration behind the song was her feelings of ‘enough is enough’, not wanting to spend the rest of her life being the “quiet Asian”, and it was time for her to ‘Speak Up’! And for me, it struck a chord, as being an introverted Asian male, I too suffer from this same affliction – hence this track ought to be every Asian’s pump-up song before going into a work meeting, or before presenting in front of a room full of colleagues. The ultimate Asian hype-up song! Speak up!!!!!
So as the decibels faded away, and everyone made their bee-line for the doors- yeah, it was a good night, a good night indeed! Each act built on the momentum put out by the previous act, and just when you thought the performances couldn’t get any better? A singer in the shape and form of Dami Im stepped out onto the stage! Wham! A gut punch of a performance!
Unfortunately last night was Dami’s one and only ‘Dreamer’ Sydney show, but if you ever get a chance to see her live? Take it! Take it! She’s amazing in person!!!