Damien serenaded around 1500 fans with some of his best hits, including, the Blower’s Daughter.
Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice serenaded a whole hall of Malaysian fans last night on 7 June at Plenary Hall, KLCC.
Around 1,500 fans gathered to witness the indie folk genre extraordinaire, strumming his acoustic guitars and piano, entertaining them for a 2-hour show.
For those who don’t know him, he’s quite a big name in the UK. Even Ed Sheeran idolised him his whole life, initially starting to busk down the streets of Dublin singing a Damien Rice song before he himself became a pop star.
As a person who initially wasn’t familiar with his music repertoire, I thought his songs were quite nice to jam to when you’re feeling blue, lonely or just broken. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good mood to get into, especially when you have the right songs to feel to. In my personal opinion, his music is a combination of James Blunt and well, undoubtedly, Ed Sheeran.
Also present was Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil. Local artist Liesl-mae served as the opening act.
At 8.30 pm, Rice made an appearance and belted out the first song – The Professor which featured him singing fluently in French at the end of the song.
Without a doubt, Rice has a very powerful voice. He can go from a soul-stirring soothing voice to a course hard-rock vocal all in a blink of an eye.
You don’t need fancy visual effects or a stadium-sized crowd to have a good show. You just need some guitars, a spotlight and a passionate singer like Damien Rice.
What made the show even better was when Brazillian female singer and cellist, Francisca Barreto came in with her astounding cello skills and mellifluous voice. Barreto covered all the vocal parts of Rice’s previous duet partner, Lisa Hannigan.
Besides being a spirited singer, Rice is really amusingly sarcastic. There was even a part where he freestyles a song dedicated to those late-comers tip-toeing in the dark to find their seats. It had the whole hall laughing.
Some of my favourite performances that night were Delicate, Cannonball, Volcano, 9 Crimes, I Don’t Want To Change You and undoubtedly, Blower’s Daughter.
Initially seated, at one point, Rice asked his fans if they could come around together and gather in front of his stage for him to serenade his track closer. He didn’t need to ask twice – almost a third quarter of the audience rushed forward like ants swarming sugar.
Rice was going to stop the show with the 14th song, without even singing his best hit, Blower’s Daughter, but fans demand an encore shouting altogether, “We want more!”. When he came back to the stage, fans went berserk and shouted some of their other desired song titles like Amie, Elephant and Rootless Tree.
He sang 17 songs altogether that night with the encore being Amie, Rootless Tree and Blower’s Daughter. Check out the concert setlist here.
Honestly, what I’m impressed with the most is the fact that Rice supports human rights & humanitarian campaigns through his concerts worldwide.
He previously campaigned for Honduras indigenous activist, Berta Cáceres who was murdered by her government for defending her community’s land and river. He partnered with Amnesty International and wrote a song for Berta called Song For Berta.
This time around in Malaysia, he supports Chan Tonnamphet, an 18-year-old indigenous Karen community rights activist in Thailand who’s currently under police investigation. She violated emergency restrictions on a peaceful protest against the government taking her ancestral land in Kaeng Krachan National Park.
Even in between his performance, Rice highlighted that he’s trying his best to advocate for human rights campaigns, especially those indigenous communities fighting for their land.
Besides applauding his humanitarian efforts, I really enjoyed his intense and heartfelt concert that night. He might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you give him a chance, you’ll grow to like his hits. It grows on you. I promise.