Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Free Fallin' At The Colombo Music Festival 2012

As some of you may know, I took part in the Spirit singing competition which was part of the Colombo Music Festival 2012. The finals were last Sunday, for Rock, Pop & RnB, Gospel, Fusion and Instrumentals. While there were a few technical glitches, the show was, in my opinion, of very high standard. I myself was extremely entertained with the talent that was on offer, on that day and even the day prior when the finals for Musical Theatre, Jazz and Classical was held.

There have been several poor reviews of this Colombo Music Festival, and most of them have been more than justified, but I must say that the singing competition went off pretty well. The show opened with Gospel and Rock, with some very memorable performances. One of the competitors for Rock solo opened with a great acoustic rendition of The Police's "Message in a bottle". Another played a soulful piano rendition of Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing". I had decided (rather quickly I must add) to go with "Adrienne" by The Calling and "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty for my song choices, and in hindsight with more time I probably would have picked a more popular song than "Adrienne". However, limited time and a rushed schedule meant I had to stick with my choices. We went with The Calling first, and sat back in the audience to listen to the other categories as they all finished their first song choices in sequence.

Those of you that came for the show will know that there were a few people that really stood out from the pack, showing some amazing soul and character vocally. Dave, Mayanthi, Dominic and recent Onstage winner Melissa were to me the cream of the crop, far outdistancing themselves from the rest, despite the high standard exhibited by the contestants overall.

There were some performances that were not so great as well, but not because of a lack of talent. Despite years of reality singing shows, the simple rule eludes most of us, myself included: pick the right songs! I felt that a few contestants in the pop category really suffered here, choosing songs that were a little too old fashioned (honestly, no one sings Bonnie Tyler's "I Need A Hero" voluntarily). On top of that, some people  ended up incorporating a huge band, complete with backup singers, drums, lead guitars and a horrendous keyboard player who seemed determined to drown out everyone and everything all by himself. This was really unfortunate, because I had heard their previous performances, and they have some serious talent. However I am not at all surprised that the eventual winners of the genre were accompanied by a maximum of two instruments.

Speaking of instruments, I can't say enough about the two contestants in the Contemporary Instrumental category. You couldn't find two more contrasting styles for such a category, yet they both blew the roof off the place. Joshua is a young piano maestro, putting together an entire composition made up of popular movie themes, while Nisal is a guitar genius, playing John Petrucci with ease. Their combined four pieces were a treat to the ears, and the judges decided to award them as joint winners, and deservedly so. 

Anyway, by the time I sang my second song, I somehow had a sense that this was probably the last time I was going to step on a stage like this with a full band behind me for a while, and so I decided to really soak in the atmosphere while I could. "Free Fallin'" went of pretty well, if I do say so myself, and I was quite proud of the way we had engineered it despite the limited hours we had to rehearse. Many thanks to Nishan and the band for that!

Unfortunately, the judges decided not to place me when the results came out, and so I remained simply a 'finalist'. I'll admit, I was pretty disappointed, but at the same time I had learned so much about myself musically, as well as pushed myself to sing songs that I normally would have been hesitant to. My main learning though? I need vocal training; pronto!

Without much further ado, here's "Free Fallin'" - probably one of my better live performances (narrowly edging out "Roxanne"). I hope you enjoy it.

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