Well she is now ready to be back. That is Dato' Siti Nurhaliza - arguably Malaysia's most successful entertainer and pop icon to date. She is making a comeback appearance at the prestigious Esplanade of Singapore.
Her concert is titled Diari Hati (A Diary Of Her Heart).
I can still remember the time Siti burst into the music scene some 11 years back. Yes, she literally 'burst' into the scene. Petite, young and beautiful - with a great voice and popular music. Her video clips were aired on TV so often.
A new icon was born, and this icon continue to stay on up till today - an achievement lauded by many as unbelievable. Not many artistes can hang on that long - usually 3-5 years at their peak. But for Siti or CT for short, she held it for years to come. And till today, no one seems to be in second seat waiting to take over the 'throne' of this pop princess.
I've never been to any of her concerts and in fact, have hardly watched any of her performances on TV. But I've heard a few of her songs and find them pretty good. And there was once when I was in a concert for another performer, and in she walked in. Guess what - the whole auditorium went quiet or in whispers "Eh, that one Siti lah..". What an awe-stricking moment. Never had any star had such strong presence - not even the overseas performers on stage that night.
Ok, on with the show in Singapore on 21st March 2008. From petite, Siti has definitely put on some weight based on her pictures on TV and the magazines. So it was my first time seeing her since. In the concert, she herself mentioned about it before she sang Beyonce's Flaws & All. Jovially, she mentions in Bahasa Malaysia "last time S, now from M going to L" - mentioning don't expect her to dance like Beyonce.
Spotting her now image, she comes in dressed in the tudung, albeit a more modern version that doesn't wrap round the neck. She sang both slow and fast tunes, mainly songs from her new album. These were quite new to me, but were quite nice especially the one penned by Singapore's composer - Dick Lee. It sort of have a Chinese 'tune' to it. One of the new songs that I like is Sutramaya which has a fusion of traditional and modern feel to it. I believe it is only Siti who can pull off such a song.
Of course, Siti did not miss out on some of her favourite hits like the all time popular Cindai. However, I was expecting her to sing 2 songs which I know her for Aku Cinta Padamu and Bukan Cinta Biasa. Maybe I should have shouted my request out, as Siti was very friendly and warm throughout the concert, listening to the audience and talking to them in between songs.
And that was where I could see why she is so liked by many. It's her down-to-earth personality. She connects well with the crowd, and talks to the crowd allowing them to connect with her. It's her humble attitude that makes her so likable, and only enhances her star power.
In between she gives some presents she has for the crowd - like photo frames and diaries. These items were placed at the side of the stage on a sofa and side table. She jokingly mentioned who would want to the sofa as well. She sure knows how to joke with all sincerity. Very Malaysian, and it ticks with the crowd. Lots of people wanted her presents, and she managed well to give the last one to a makcik who is a big fan of hers.
The most heart warming moment in her concert was when a handicapped person who was in the audience was called out by Siti to be by her side while performing a song. It was a very touching moment when Siti actually noticed and actually called her. Just imagine what wonders did Siti do to the lady, who will have a long lasting sweet memory of being with her idol. And to the rest of the crowd as well. Like I said, that's why she is so likable!
People from Singapore, Malaysia and some even Indonesia (Medan) came to watch their idol. The seats were not cheap especially those from abroad, but were well worth it. I'm sure many left with a greater sense of happiness of connecting to the 'diaries from this Malaysian star's heart'.