Celine Dion’s “Taking Chances” Concert in Kuala Lumpur

Celine Dion's Taking Chance Kuala Lumpur 2008

The whole thing started about a month ago, when Your Highness send me an unexpected SMS, and asked me if I want to watch Celine Dion’s concert in KL, called “Taking Chances”.

To be honest, I am not really a fan of Celine Dion. I fancy some of her songs (those that I can identify as hers, anyway), but not to the extent of being a groupie. But I thought it will be a moment of history of Celine, as this will be her first (and most likely her last) concert at this part of the world. Also, I needed a break from the mundanity that is Singapore. Plus, a weekend with Your Highness can only be interesting. So after some consideration, I said yes and began to make the arrangement.

It was a decision I am very, very grateful to have made.

The concert was off to a bad start, when it got rescheduled as Celine fall ill during her tour in Australia. Nevertheless it was indeed a blessing in disguise, as I managed to be around during the visits of some big bosses, and Your Highness has an extra few days to do his thesis.

The concert was held at Stadium Merdeka – which, in my opinion, was a rundown, ill-maintained venue that will do little good for a world-renowned diva like Celine to have her concert. Nevertheless her fans turn up in drove! As I queued up to collect my tickets and then to the entrance to our seats (a process that took no less than two hours), I gathered that there were fans from Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines etc in attendance that night.

Once we got into the stadium, it was more than another hour of wait before the concert got started. The whole royal family was there too – but I was cringing in embarrassment as the crowd around me boo-ed loudly as the emcee announced the arrival of the king and queen. Obviously the tension from the recent Malaysian election was still very much in the mind of my fellow countrymen.

Not that I really care one way or another, but still…

Here’s a video to show how the stadium looked like before the concert.

And so the concert began. Celine lived out to her true diva reputation, dishing out twenty over crowd favorites that cemented her position as a true legend of her era. I recognised many songs which I loved but didn’t know were hers.

Needless to say, Your Highness was besides himself to be able to witness his life idol performing life. But I can understand his sentiment. If it was Michael Buble onstage, I would be cheering like crazy and jumping like mad too! Here’s another video of one of her more energetic songs.

The beginning concert was great, but my excitement waned a little as she start to sing some slower tempo songs. But as the concert drew to a close, things got upbeat again. I was on my feet along with his 10K+ of fans, clapping and dancing to her songs.

Celine Dion's Taking Chance Kuala Lumpur 2008

It was a great concert, but what finally caught my heart was the encore, final performance of the concert.

As the familiar tune of “My Heart Will Go On” started, excerpts from the iconic movie Titanic played on the big screen. Suddenly a flood of memory washed over me – I remembered with crystal clarity why I loved the movie and this song, and old emotions swelled in my heart.

Tears were flowing fast even before Celine sang the first verse. By the time she hit the high notes, I was so overwhelmed that I held my hands over my face, eyes blurring with tears of joy and sadness.

Joy, because I get to hear my favorite, favorite song of all time sang by the actual singer, live. Sadness because I remembered what the song represented – those years when I was naive, innocent and believed the world is all but a bed of roses.

It was a relief that Your Highness was not standing next to me to witness the outburst. Otherwise I will never hear the end of it!

And so, after an hour plus, the concert finally ended. As Your Highness and I exited the stadium, I rushed to the CD stall to purchase another album of Celine, taking some photos as momento of the memorable night.

Faisal at the end of the concert

Me at the end of the concert

Here are the remaining of the photo set for that night.

As of this moment, I proudly declare Celine Dion as the latest addition to my line up of idols, which also made up of Michael Buble, Diana Krall and Corrine May.

And thanks to Your Highness, for making this happens to me. My joy was abundant when I least expect it.

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