It wasn’t quite Fifth but ‘Fourth’ Harmony, but the group still managed to show ‘that’s how they roll’ at The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre (The Star PAC).
The group, which comprises of Dinah Jane, Normani Kordei, Lauren Jauregui and Ally Brooke, was missing a member, Camila Cabello. The 20-year-old recently left Fifth Harmony in December last year. The quartet let their remaining girl power shine by opening their 7/27 tour in Singapore with their single “That’s My Girl”.
Decked in skin-tight, fiery red outfits, the girls pushed through their choreography and flipped their hair like a shampoo commercial. The audience’s screams of joy were deafening, combined with the bass almost drowning out the girls, but their powerhouse voices managed to soar through eventually and they hit all the high notes.
Fifth Harmony seemed to have toned down their moves a little for the live performance, as their music videos usually seem to be more blatant at pushing their sex appeal. Not saying the girls cannot dance, but it was a breath of fresh air as this lets their bo$$ vocals shine while still showing that they could groove with a few moves.
The girls were grateful to finally be able to perform in Singapore after five years, having won third spot in the second season of The X Factor (US) in July 2012. They thanked their loyal fans, about 4,000 strong at the concert, for supporting them through trying times.
The group has faced quite a bit in recent years, from the most recent Camille’s departure to Normani Kordei opening up in August 2016 about struggling with cyberbullies. In 2015, they also disappointed fans when they cancelled their appearance on Billboard Music Awards. That further escalated when they took over Dancing With The Stars Twitter account in May 2015, and fans used it to project their rage at their idols. It was termed the “most tragic Twitter takeover”.
Not that any of this mattered to their fans, or “Harmonizers”, who danced, jumped and pumped their fists to the energy of songs like “Sledgehammer”, “That’s How We Roll”, and more from Fifth Harmony’s second studio album.
From where I was seated, The Star PAC’s seating structure made it possible to watch the concert even when audience members in rows in front of me decided to stand up and groove to the beat. I was glad to be given the option to be ‘old’ and sit down, and not stuck in overcrowded mosh pits with sweaty bodies brushing against you.
Singapore was the last show of Fifth Harmony’s Asia tour, and they were due to fly back to the United States. Regrettably, they did not have much time to explore our sunny island but the girl group promised to be back in two years.
Beneath the glamour hair twirls and hip shaking, Fifth Harmony seems sincerely appreciative and humble about their stardom. While crooning to “Squeeze”, the girls took gifts from their Harmonizers, some caps and plushies, and even a Singapore flag. They invited two lucky little girls onstage to sit on their laps while they sang an acoustic version of “Brave, Honest, Beautiful”. It was a (brave, honest) beautiful and raw moment.
The girls also took the time to read signs made by fans — one hilariously read, “Your notes are higher than my grades.” A testament to their vocals and the demographic of their fans.
The live crowd was made up of a large population of pre-teens and teenagers, with some of their supportive parents. This includes the Fifth Harmony girls and their mothers, who were also in the audience.
Dinah Jane took the time to thank the women, whom she said travelled with them throughout their Asia tour.
“We are great because of our mothers, honest because of our mothers, so damn beautiful because of our mothers,” Jane said in a tender moment on stage. She reminded the young crowd that she wants them to have a beautiful relationship with their parents, and that it’s important to be close to them.
“Listen closely to their teachings, they know what’s good for you,” she added. This lesson in filial piety probably has more impact on the teens than any other, coming straight from their idol’s mouth.
The group then closed the concert with their most iconic songs “Worth It” and “Work from Home”. Cabello’s distinct vocals were missed in the latter, but the others seemed to have taken over her part and adjusted just fine.
After the concert, it was a blessing not to get stuck with long lines for taxis or ride-hailing surcharges, as the crowd made their way to Buona Vista MRT station close by in an orderly fashion.
Photo credits: Alvin Ho / LAMC Productions