Retrolicious 2012: A little more muted, but no less fun

Retrolicious, the event that proves Singaporeans can let their hair down. (Yahoo! photos)Retrolicious, the event that proves Singaporeans can let their hair down. (Yahoo! photos)

If there's one event that proves that Singaporeans know how to have fun, it's Retrolicious.

Back for its third edition this year, the annual blast-from-the-past concert triggers the transformation of serious grown-ups to hands-in-the-air party people for at least one night in the year.

Dubbed the most colourful party of the year, it sees 30-somethings and above shed serious office attire for bright pink afros, (modified) school uniforms, oversized glasses and larger-than-life personalities -- in most cases, with beer in hand.

[See pictures from Retrolicious 2012 in our slideshow here.]

Saturday night's concert saw 6,000 coming together at Fort Canning Green to celebrate their heady teenaged days of the 80s.

The nearly four-hour concert also came peppered with nostalgic slideshows of Singapore during that period, underscored by music from the day -- recapping Billboard toppers like Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, Queen's I Want To Break Free and even Kylie Minogue's rendition of The Loco-Motion, among many others.

And despite the crowd not being as familiar with the acts as they were in previous years, they still came very much alive when they recognised the songs being performed, jumping up and down, waving empty beer bottles and light sticks in the air, accompanied by lusty (mostly out-of-tune, but who cares?) public karaoke and sing-along sessions.

Minutes after English New Wave duo Wang Chung came on, fans were already calling for "Let's Go". (Yahoo! photos)Minutes after English New Wave duo Wang Chung came on, fans were already calling for "Let's Go". (Yahoo! photo …

Kicking off the show were English New Wave duo Wang Chung, which initially faced a lukewarm audience as they started with a couple of newer songs.

It was clear the thousands of fans were waiting for the pair's two main hits, Let's Go and Everybody Have Fun Tonight, and some started calling on vocalist Jack Hues to perform it, prompting him to reply, "We'll definitely get to that, but we've got some other business to get through first!"

Indeed, Hues and bassist Nick Feldman, the other half of the band, didn't disappoint when they did get to their 80s repertoire, and the ground shook as the crowd danced and sang along to Everybody Have Fun Tonight, roaring, "Everybody Wang Chung tonight!" in the song's chorus.

80s singer Tiffany rediscovered Singapore's love for "Love is Blind", as compared to her usual key hits. (Yahoo! photo)80s singer Tiffany rediscovered Singapore's love for "Love is Blind", as compared to her usual key hits. (Yahoo! …

Former teen sensation Tiffany was probably the highlight of the night for the Retrolicious crowd, delivering a pumped-up performance that included her signature Beatles rendition I Saw Him Standing There and even a cover of Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child of Mine, both of which got everyone dancing and singing along with their arms in the air.

[Read more about our headliners here.]

Clad in a loose sheer black top and knee-high leather boots, she showed she still possessed the same energy and powerful voice she had the last time she performed in Singapore as a teen in the late 1980s.

Her best-known ballads like Could've Been, All This Time and If Love Is Blind slowed down the pace for the crowd, prompting the light stick-waving, glassy-eyed expressions of the thousands who sang out her heartbreak lyrics.

A tear rolls down Tiffany's face as she waves to the crowd when a birthday cake was wheeled on-stage for her. (Yahoo! photo)A tear rolls down Tiffany's face as she waves to the crowd when a birthday cake was wheeled on-stage for her. (Yahoo! …

Tiffany's set was not about to end on a low note, though, bringing the crowd back up with I Think We're Alone Now, and she successfully got the crowd to (very audibly) sing the chorus without her.

With her 41st birthday passing on 2 October, she herself was surprised with a celebratory birthday cake wheeled on-stage by appropriately-dressed Class 95 deejays, who hosted the event.

Howard Jones displayed his keyboard-playing skills as he performed most of his songs. (Yahoo! photo)Howard Jones displayed his keyboard-playing skills as he performed most of his songs. (Yahoo! photo)

Next up was Howard Jones, who performed on keyboard while singing as his band accompanied his songs.

The crowd was visibly more muted, but still sang along to hits like No One Is To Blame and Everlasting Love, which he played on piano with a solo guitar accompaniment.

Despite not having the crowd jumping up and down cheering as loudly as they might have earlier, Jones still engaged the audience as friends, thanking them and saying how touched he was that they sang along with him.

Highlighting his set were undoubtedly his performances of New Song, which he sang playing a keytar, and which the crowd seemed to recognise and respond to much better.

He also got them singing along with Things Can Only Get Better, and thanked Singapore alongside his band, saying, "Please have us back!"

Thousands of fans stayed till the end of Alphaville's set to catch "Forever Young". (Yahoo! photo)Thousands of fans stayed till the end of Alphaville's set to catch "Forever Young". (Yahoo! photo)

Wrapping up the night was Alphaville, but apart from better-known songs like Big In Japan and Sounds Like A Melody, the crowd grew restless as some began leaving for home shortly after the band started its set.

Faithful fans stuck around for the group's climactic finale, Forever Young, however, and swayed happily to a ballad-style performance of the song, despite the show wearing quite late into the night.

Alphaville's set concluded what was a slightly less raucous Retrolicious than its previous editions, yet the entire night without doubt fulfilled what most were there to do -- relive the glory days of the 80s.

Watch our video coverage of the event here:

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