By ANGELIN YEOH and PHYLLIS HO
DURING a press interview at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Hot Chelle Rae guitarist Nash Overstreet said their first showcase in Malaysia is “going to be a crazy show.”
“We saw a lot of Malaysian fans on Twitter and that surprised us because we have never travelled internationally. We’ve been wanting to come here for a long time and now that we’re here, it’s really exciting,” said Overstreet, 26.
Oh, he was right about the show being crazy.
The American pop rock band performed to a crowd of over 500 screaming fans at Stage Club in Ampang, KL last weekend, and fans had already started queuing at the venue at 11am even though the showcase was only scheduled to start later in the evening.
The fans were extremely hyperactive that day. They even brought the house down as they sang in unison to some of the band’s songs while waiting for the boys to take the stage.
Then, when the Hot Chelle Rae boys appeared and performed their infectious hit single Whatever, vocalist Ryan Follesé had no problems leading the crowd into a sing-a-long session.
After the first song, they performed Downtown Girl and followed it with the “anti-heartbreak” anthem, Honestly.
The atmosphere in the venue was really energetic and the crowd gave a warm reception to the band formed in Nashville, Tennessee back in 2005.
Follesé, Overstreet, bassist Ian Keaggy and drummer Jamie Follesé were obviously feeling the positive vibes they were receiving from the fans throughout the showcase. In fact, Follesé sang every song with a smile on his face. Earlier, he had mentioned that his favourite part of performing on stage was having great crowd responses.
“It’s the most flattering, impressive, exciting and heartwarming experience ever. Especially when you’re in a country that doesn’t speak the language of your songs, yet they are able to sing every line.”
After the first three songs, Hot Chelle Rae peformed a new song, Girl Like You. It was different from the band’s usual offerings – singing about having fun, partying and getting over break-ups faster that you can spell the band’s name.
Follesé said that their upcoming single is about “meeting a girl or someone who changes the course of your life.”
Being the songwriter in the band, Follesé said that he gets inspiration to write from everywhere. “It could be something someone said in the past, or it could be something that pops in your head when you’re walking down the street. The beauty of travelling is that, you get inspired by the new and wonderful things you’re surrounded by. The swoonfest was nice while it lasted. Then Follesé addressed the crowd again before introducing the next song.
“We write love songs, (songs about) heartbreak, partying, a really really messed up week…” and then cheekily started singing the first line of Tonight Tonight.
Pandemonium ensued and fans were clearly delighted to be able to sing-along to one of the band’s most recognisable tracks.which incidentally, is about getting over a bad week.
They continued the showcase with the ballad Why Don’t You Love Me, the upbeat Radio and another hit single, I Like It Like That.
They left the stage for awhile and to no one’s surprise, the fans demanded an encore. It didn’t take long for the band to emerge on stage again.
“You want more? We thought you’d never ask,” teased Follesé. The band played their last song Beautiful Freaks, probably as an ode to the awesome fans.
The band is set to release their next album and Keaggy gave the fans a heads-up on what they could expect from it.
“It will have a more mature sound, but we’re definitely maintaining the pop genre. We’ve found our niche and we love that we play pop music. I think we’ll just continue in that direction,” said Keaggy.
Overstreet added: “We’ve been writing these materials since last year, and we’ve plenty of songs to be very excited about.”
He also said they learned a lot from doing live performances.
“We take so much more away from those shows for our lives, just experiencing different cultures and going to places we haven’t been before. So when we write songs for the next album, we’ve got all this sort of extra life that we’ve lived that we never had before in the other songs; and I think that will show in the new album.”