At 7:45 AM, I left KL for Singapore en route to see Niall Horan performing live there as part of his Flicker World Tour. I was excited, nay over the moon, knowing that I’m about to see this Irish sweetheart again after 3 years since his One Direction OTRA tour in Singapore, except this time he’s doing it solo with all eyes on him!
Here at The Star Performing Arts Centre thanks to AEG Presents, I had the opportunity to check out the SOLD OUT Soundcheck Experience with 300 fans ahead of the concert. Niall and his band played On The Loose, Fire Away, and You And Me; firing away for the fans and they sounded so good. You know that it would be 10 times better when he performs during the concert with all the lights and roaring atmosphere on point!
You could just feel the ease & proximity between him and the fans; it was just Niall being himself – jokes and all. As a fan, you would really appreciate this kind of experience. I can vouch for that!
(Scroll to the end for the Soundcheck Experience: Q&A session)
After Singaporean act, Ming Bridges opened the show with her Alanis Morissette vibe, an explosion of screams filled the centre as the man of the hour strode onto the stage with his band. It became louder and louder as Niall strummed his guitar to the first song of the night, On The Loose!
Keeping the momentum, he followed with The Tide which had stellar stage lightings with bright colourful lights moving in unison to the beat of the song.
He then brought the beat down and took it slow with a performance of his debut solo single, This Town, which is certified platinum.
Afterwards, he played Paper House which created a very sombre effect as the crowd lit up handmade paper houses which his die-hard dedicated fans had given out prior to the show. Niall also commented that “It (hand-made paper house) looks beautiful,” The crowd swayed (some shed a few tears) in sync to this song and continued as Niall performed You & Me.
A fan of Bruce Springsteen himself, Niall did a fantastic cover of Dancing in the Dark, starting off with an acoustic version before the tempo went higher with drums and tambourine.
He then performed his duet folk-pop tuned single Seeing Blind sans Maren Morris, American country singer-songwriter, who is the featured artist on the track.
“If everyone could just put their phones away for this next performance, we can could create quite a moment here,” Niall said before performing his acoustic version of Flicker. The crowd was in silent mode to give way to Niall’s voice echoing across the theatre as he serenaded to the crowd. This moment really emphasised Niall’s impressive vocals which undoubtedly charmed the crowd (including me!)
He also performed a throwback song from his former group One Direction with an acoustic version of Fools Gold, which made the crowd go wild.
Too Much To Ask was up next and he also performed a So Long on keyboards which was a track that didn’t make it to the album (it totally should’ve been).
After that Since We’re Alone and Fire Away was played where fans swayed to Niall’s sweet voice.
Time to switch things up; what followed after were energetic songs like On My Own, another One Direction cover – Drag Me Down, a cheeky chart topping hit Slow Hands until he finished his show with Mirrors.
You can tell the crowd had a total blast from swaying in tune to the slower songs to jumping and dancing later on all while they sang their hearts.
All I can say is that Niall Horan can definitely put on a live show. I would totally do it all over again!
20 Minutes with Niall Horan
1. Would you rather win the Grammy Award or the Masters Tournament?
Niall Horan: 100 per cent, the Grammys! This morning I managed to play a bit of golf here and I would definitely say that my Masters Tournament would be ruined the minute the sun is high up at 95 degrees and I’m dripping in sweats. I felt like I got a heat-stroke or something *he laughs*.
2. How many faces can you recognise in the crowd during concerts?
NH: I would say the first two to three rows? I would usually recognise fans who attends multiple of my shows but otherwise it doesn’t happen often.
3. Do you prefer the Gibson or Fender guitars?
NH: Oh, that’s tough! I actually use both brands but I love them for different reasons. I love my cherry Gibson 1961 ES-335 which I got in the States. There’s something about them that has a bit more feel when played. On the other hand, the Fender Telecasters are great for touring. There’s also this authentic Irish guitar company called Lowden, that I like which hand makes acoustic guitars. Fun fact, Ed Sheeran uses their guitars as well.
4. You love performing covers in your shows, which song is your favourite to cover?
NH: Another tough question! *he chuckles* I’m going to go with Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen. It’s my old time favourite song!
5. What’s your next plan after the tour?
NH: I’m going to be chilling for awhile, working on writing some songs. I’m definitely not rushing to come out with an album, I’m going to take my time in writing them, making sure they’re really good and ready before they’re released.