Singer-songwriter Joe Brooks promised at a press conference on May 22 at the Copthorne Waterfront Hotel “lots of nudity, many fireworks, and free cupcakes for everyone…” for his third show in Singapore.
“It’s going to be louder and a lot longer. There’s no plan, there’s no set list, just to go on stage and call out the songs as we go. There’s going to be a lot of spontaneity.”
One can dream that the British performer, who began his career 9 years ago at 17, will indeed have a show with everything he imagined. However on stage at Timbre @ Gillman later that day, dressed in a preppy white shirt, dark grey trousers and a skinny tie, Brooks felt the reality of his first outdoor performance in Singapore and commented, “I’ve never played at such humidity before. It’s absolutely hot as balls.”
To kick-start the 1 and a half hour show, Brooks played “The Island” and “Six String Soldier”, fresh off his upcoming album The Boy & The Broken Machine due for release on Jun 1. Both are his favourite songs from the new album and talk about the fight to get where he wants to go and how he’s “working [his] ass off” for it.
After serenading us with “Someday (OK)” and “I Find The Light In You” in his beautiful falsetto coupled with the Brit accent thousands have come to love, Brooks brought out 1 of the fans’ top favourites, “Holes Inside”. Everyone was more than eager to join in, and the sweet voices of the crowd blended perfectly with the Briton’s strong vocals, especially during the chorus. It must have brought goose bumps and perhaps even tears to those in the audience as Brooks’s heartfelt lyrics – “If we hold tight, shadows will be lost in the light. Oh cos’ sometimes, fate and your dreams can collide. When all that you’ve tried, leaves nothing but holes inside.” –of hope and a better day have a way of worming into your heart and soul.
That’s the thing about Brooks. His honesty and flair for placing his true emotions into lyrics and melodies make it very hard for you not to love him and his music. “It’s very difficult to be respected when you’re not honest in your songs… People pick up on it. They’re not stupid. Even the 14 year-old girls that may come to the show tonight will know…” said the bright-eyed singer at the press conference earlier that day.
Having his friends performing with him certainly brought a different feel to the stage. There were jokes thrown around with Brooks’ “brother from another mother” keyboardist Clinton Babers, intense acoustic and electric guitar duets with guitarist Braden Lyle, and sweet harmonisation sung by the 3 of them. Particularly drummer Matt ’s de la Garza whose impeccable harmony could be heard the clearest and melded exquisitely with Brooks.
Coming back to Brooks’ a**, a flurry of panic ran through the hearts of the over 100 fans present when he ended off the show by falling on his butt. Nothing was damaged, except maybe his pride, as he quickly ducked away behind the stage, only to return later when a birthday cake was brought out to celebrate his 26th birthday. Although it was 3 days late, Brooks was so touched he gave the girl who brought the cake up a big kiss on her cheek, stunning her and making all his fans scream with surprise and jealousy.
He was so touched by the mini birthday celebration, that he decided to really end off the show by playing a few more tracks like his top hit “Superman” and “Till My Heart Stops Beating”, Joe Brooks and his band gave his fans something to remember; and having played 4 new pieces, something to look forward to as well.
Laurel Lim, 18, who only became a fan of Joe Brooks a year ago, was captivated by the performance and couldn’t help but sway to the music during the show. “He was even nice enough to thank every one who went for his concert personally during the fan signing after,” said Laurel, who was utterly speechless with awe when the beloved idol shook her hand.
Photos By: Sony Music Singapore