Neon Lights 2015: Two days and six stages of music, arts, and a night with Damien Rice

The inaugural Neon Lights Music and Arts Festival in Singapore.

Several months back, the boyfriend and I created a list of musicians whom we would save up and spend for should they visit Asia.  Being the legit music geek, his list was waaaaaaay longer than mine which included Damien Rice.

Coincidentally, a few weeks after the talk, he found out that the Irish singer-songwriter was scheduled to perform at the first ever Neon Lights Music and Arts Festival in Singapore.  Boy, you should've seen his excitement!  He practically spent the whole night researching on festival tickets and searching for flights. As if he wasn't giddy with anticipation already, Rachael Yamagata was later on added to the festival lineup.

Needless to say, last November 2015, we found ourselves at the Fort Canning Park in Singapore, cozying up on the grounds along with 10,000 other enthusiasts, enjoying the massive celebration of music and arts at the weekend festival. 

It was my first time to attend a music festival abroad and what an experience!  We were just chilling and singing with a little bit of dancing--basically just enjoying the music and the crowd.

I left the writing of the review to the boyfriend since that's his arena.  (Read:  A man, is guitar, and his glass of wine, an article we co-wrote--well he mostly wrote--for MadHouseMNL.)  In the meantime, let me take you through the Neon Lights experience as captured by my lens with some quotes from him in between:

Jonathan Donahue and his 80's alternative group, Mercury Rev, giving the crowd quite a show with their psychedelic rock tunes.

Bassist Carlos Anthony Molino in full on rockstar persona.
American singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata obviously enjoying Mercury Rev's performance.

In between sets.  Chillin' and live tweetin'.
Rachael Yamagata takes the stage.

Like water down your spine, Rachael Yamagata's voice gives you the chills.  The good kind. -A

Be, Be, My Love.  A smitten fan holding up a sign quoting a line from one of Rachael Yamagata's more popular songs.
Another smitten fan in the crowd.
Immediately after Rachael Yamagata's set, our little group stood up for the most anticipated performance of the night:  Damien Rice's.

It was past 7:00pm and last sliver of light has faded. The stage was reduced to a microphone stand and some guitar pedals on the floor. 
Finally, a man in is familiar button-down long-sleeved shirt and suspenders, acoustic guitar in hand, stepped onto the stage and the crowd erupted in cheers and whistles. Without any intros, Damien Rice started uttering the words, I don’t know if I’m wrong 'cause she’s only just gone, and the crowd exploded even more as they recognized the first line of the song, “The Professor”. -A

The part where we all died a bit.  Damien Rice singing "The Blower's Daughter".

Damien Rice ended his set with a small gimmick, calling on a man and a woman to the stage, pouring them wine and drinking with them (Gahd, how I wish we were that couple!) while sharing a short love story which eventually led to his last song, "Cheers Darling".

It was an open park in the middle of a busy city. Yet for that hour-long set, all sound seemed to have ceased. -A

We were so high from Damien Rice's performance that we barely noticed the rest of the sets haha.

British rock band Ride in their reunion tour finale.

Though we did enjoy watching the crowd explode into party mode when Flight Facilities, the premiere captains of dance, took over the stage to conclude the inaugural Neon Lights Music and Arts Festival.

We had so much fun that we're thinking we might just find ourselves back in Singapore this year for another round of Neon high ;)


  1. Dear Koryn - Your photos of the artists and audience are so superb! I think I can understand how you enjoyed yourselves. I don’t have such interests and guts but my son and daughter went to Fuji Rock almost every year as young adults till their children were born. They told me how it was fun to visit stage to stage with backpack for their favorite artists. My daughter’s honeymoon was to Coachella Valley Music Festival including sightseeing in the vicinity.

    This is what I replied to your comment on my post. The photo is straight out from the camera, I photographed it a little over exposed. I don’t have any photo editing soft except windows photo gallery which allows me to do only a little outside my camera. Your photos are always beautiful. Do you take them raw and do some editing?


  2. Loving your photos as always mother!


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