the moment i stepped into esplanade's dome, i knew i was in for a treat. this is a different hall from the one where sheila majid held her concert last year. the dome is smaller but gorgeously built. i sat in the 6th row, exactly the same row and distance from the stage as my last DFP concert where nah youn sun performed.

it was such a treat to listen to emi fujita in this kind of acoustic environment. i really have to thank my lucky stars that i got so many chances like this in my life to listen to world-class performances in a world-class halls.

emi's peformance was good, steady and sweet, without the technical supremacy of nah youn sun. it just goes to show all you need is a good song and a good voice; technicality may not be everything. you would never expect emi to do vocal acrobatics; she is the kind of singer who will sing a good song in a down-to-earth way. all the songs she chose for the night are golden classics - the rose, tears in heaven, annie's song, all my loving, daydream believer, somewhere over the rainbow etc etc. at times, emi's voice is just too flat to carry the song, like in the chirpy "daydream believer" but the audience just lapped it up. emi even did "singapura, singapura" much to the delight of singaporean fans.

to be absolutely frank, the dome's acoustics are not as great as DFP. the bass, from where i sat, is slightly boomy and a lot of details and nuances were lost in emi's voice, unlike my experience with nah youn sun where i could even hear her breathing. and the big speakers flanking the stage were too directional; one could not feel the sound coming from the centrestage. my anti-audiophile friend was complaining "see, there's no soundstage in live performance?? all the sound was coming from the two speakers!" i just couldn't rebutt him.

a little bird to me that emi's cds sold a whopping 30,000 copies in singapore alone. that's an incredible figure considering that most best-selling audiophile cds sold an average of 2,000 copies. (note: 2v1g sold close to 1,000 copies in sg) it speaks volume of emi's popularity in tiny dot.

the autograph session is overwhelming (as can be seen from the photo), the queue was building up fast as soon as the concert finished. the sales of emi's cds was brisk too with another long queue forming at a different counter. poor me had to wait for the autograph session to be over before i got to talk to emi.

i finally got to meet with emi at around 11:00pm at the backstage and all her crew were rushing to get out of esplanade by then. apparently, esplanade has to be closed by 11:00pm. emi looked tired and but nevertheless she is nice and sweet. her event organizer, ms shirleen jong, actually invited us for supper but we felt that we were intruding so we turned down their invitation.

this ranks as my best singapore trip in recent years.

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