I am not the most punctual person when it comes to attending press conferences or even interviews.. but in my 15 years or so as a journalist, i could barely recall I've ever missed an entire event..
But I did it today.. for Rain's press conference!! I arrived at the hotel at 1:40pm and the PC just ended minutes ago.
I tell you, I seldom felt so stupid and so angry with myself, and at the same time I also cursed the horrendous Saturday afternoon KL traffic!
It was my fault really. I had all the time to get ready for it. Knowing that the invitation says 1pm, I actually `dilee-deli' and ended up leaving home at 12:50pm. At that time I thought i was still ok as it normally takes less than 30 mins to reach town and press conferences for celebrities NEVER starts on time.
But guess what, this one started pretty on time because Rain was hardpress for time.
It was the longest 50 minutes drive where I had to abandoned the normal way (as the road was sooo jammed) to seek alternative routes and maneauver my car as quickly as possible in the middle of maddening traffic situation.
And when I finally reached the ballroom entrance, everyone was happily having refreshments. The girls at the media registration table gave me an incredulous look and said: `it's just over'.
Great! I actually MISSED Rain's PC and I had no one to blame but my lackadaisical attitude to timing. :((
Being the (ahem) competent journalist as i am, i got all the relavant details from fellow reporters and even dug up stuff like what Rain was wearing, how did he speak, was he friendly etc.. Ok, i think i managed to savage the assignment but I was upset for myself.. I missed seeing Rain face to face and a chance to ask him questions!
Oh, but I managed to catch a glimpse of him as he walked from one room to another for other group interviews, but the media I represented weren't selected for such `privilege'.
So what about the concert itself?
Well, because of the incident earlier, I actually reached Bukit Jalil by 7:30pm - very early by my standard. And spent some time loitering outside chatting with fellow journalists and even `camwhore' with a poster of Rain! (well, that would be the nearest I could get close to him!)
Found out that the editorial coordinator fo the magazine I was freelancing with is Reta the blogger - we also have a mutual friend Jess Tan who works with World Vision (which Rain is now an ambassador of) Such a small world..
Here is a pix of Reta and myself at our seat, me, holding a poster of Rain.
Ok, back to Rain's concert. Just as what I read.. it was a top class production. A beautiful stage design, stunning visual effects and top rate performances. Rain can REALLY dance, and the choreography was nothing short of brilliant and innovative. And he has such good stamina!
I tried to be absorbed into this great visual experience but somehow after a while, the sensation began to numb as the music and songs seemed to be more or less the same. And worse of all, we have no idea what he was singing. There were were English lyrics for a few of the songs. And to be honest, such pop fare was not really my cup of tea..
But you can't deny his enormous popularity.. his fans' response was simply thunderous anad overwelming. Every move he made there were more screams and yelling and he wasn't even taking off his shirt! Speaking of that, I heard our censor had laid out the rules and Malaysian audience won't be privileged enough to see Rain strip.
Yes, he kept his shirt on throughout the concert - the sexiest part must be when he was drenched in rain. And when he wore a singlet to review well-toned biceps, his fans went wild as well!
He teased by shaking his booties and for one of the songs, he did some rather crude pelvic trusting move that again sent his fans into delirium!
From where the media sat, it was hard to get any good photos with a digicam. This one was lifted from the organiser's website - taken in his earlier concert. Here, he was wearing a white shirt - buttoned up.
He may dance like a sex symbol, but when he spoke, he couldn't be more mushy!
"Don't forget I will always be with you my baby. I love you my babies!" He called the audience his `baby'
"I love your face, I love your heart, I love your body", he cooed at one point in his broken American English.. Argghhh, even as a woman, I was cringing. And whatever he said sounded so rehearsed and mechanical.
One thing came through from the show. Rain really tried very hard. He put in a lot of effort to make his show `the best' as he hoped it to be.
But to be honest, I was a little disspointed. I was expecting more - the kind of charisma and appeal and showmanship that exudes from the music and the performer himself.. like Leehom, like David Tao, like Eason and yes, like Alan Tam even...
But Rain? He is still so fresh and he lacks that X-factor. And his music doesn't have soul.
Sure, he is one mean dance machine.. but I don't see more beyond that.. even his vocal was nothing superb.
Now, Rain's fans can kill me but that's how I felt after watching 2 hours of him on stage.. But I guess I couldn't be this honest in my reviews for the publications..