This January has seen a spate of unseasonal showers (and wet laundry) but it wasn’t just water falling last Wednesday. Over at *SCAPE The Ground Theatre, stage divers were falling off the stage at a rate of one every ten seconds, goaded by their friends and the music as they moshed. We lost count of how many people dived or surfed (or for a few, failed to dive or surf), we just know it was a lot of fans.
Such was the intensity of the moshing at Neck Deep‘s very first performance in Singapore during the 2016 World Tour. Even vocalist Ben Barlow delivered a “sagely” word of caution, jokingly claiming that he had found a lost contact lens on stage. Though, he did indeed find someone’s wallet on stage post the owner’s stage dive and someone else had “managed to lose an entire shirt” within the moshpit.
The crowd having been more or less dormant through the opening acts; broke out into a full-on riot the moment the UK Pop Punk band set foot on stage. Emulating the fans’ tireless energy, the band seemed to be all over the stage as they played their hearts out.
They wasted little time between songs, ripping through crowd favourites like “Losing Teeth” and “Serpents” in quick order, inciting the crowd to ever increasing ferocity. The crowd lapped up every single second, bouncing on their toes, pumping fists and screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs: the air was thick with sweat and exertion.
The sea of people moved as one chaotic whole, being shoved every which way in a giant, glorious mess with no lack of crowd surfers. At some points, the crowd even overwhelmed the band themselves. The bouncers got to do plenty of work that night escorting over-enthusiastic divers off stage lest they hurt themselves or someone.
Ben didn’t ask for much (and didn’t need to ask for much) besides hand clapping but this writer is sure the crowd would have obliged to circle pits or even wall of deaths if egged on. The energy was not lost until the closer, the much more subtle and mellow tune: “A Part of Me“
And alas, with one last resounding chorus, the band took their leave and announced that it was their “last song”. As Ben said, “This is our last song, wink wink. We’ve been Neck Deep, wink wink.” After a quick refresher and a much needed glug of water, the boys were back on stage, ready to blow fans away.
The fans still pleaded fervently for an encore though. Feverishly chanting “Kali Ma”, the title of the band’s latest music video, it unfortunately sounded as though they were cursing the band in Hokkien (no, we won’t translate this for you).
The fans wishes were fulfilled as Neck Deep re-emerged on stage with another 2 songs, presenting “Kali Ma” (did you know Kali Ma’s music video was filmed during this world tour?) and “Can’t Kick up the Roots”. Even through their frantic and frankly brief time on stage, Neck Deep looked as though they were having the time of their lives and the fans certainly did as well.
A proverb parents love to use comes to mind: “short but sweet”. Here’s to hoping it won’t be long before we can chant their name again.
Photos Courtesy of Nor Asyraf