Gig review: Michael Learns To Rock '25 Live' in KL
After their last visit back in 2012, THE multi-platinum selling Danish band, Michael Learns to Rock had returned to Malaysia for their latest album “25” which marks the band’s 25 years in the music industry.
Initially just scheduled for Saturday, 15 August at Mega Star Arena, the band which consists of members Jascha Richter, Mikkel Lentz and Kåre Wanscher – had to add on a second show date on 14 August, for their tickets were selling fast like hotcakes!
With a strong fan base in Asia, MLTR was certainly pleased to be back in Malaysia as they regard Kuala Lumpur to be one of their favourite cities, and as Mikkel said, “it was like coming home.”
On both nights of the concert, the Mega Star Arena hall was packed with people from all ages and races, and you would have thought that since the band is from the late 80s, most of their fans would be those in the 50s, but as it turns out - there are quite a number of young adults and teenagers present as well.
The concert started at 8.15pm and MLTR began the show with one of their new songs from the “25” album titled “Silent Times”.
Although the crowd cheered quietly for the opening number it wasn’t until the band started playing their hits from the 90s that really got a response from the fans.
They led on their show with their second song, “Sleeping Child” from their 1993 album “Colours” where the crowd began to go wild and sang along loudly to the ballad.
After Jascha’s heart-warming rendition, lead guitarist Mikkel joined him on stage and both of them performed another one of the crowd’s all-time favourites “I’m Gonna Be Around” from the 1997 “Nothing to Lose” album.
Since the song was performed acoustically with only Mikkel playing the guitar, the audience sang along to the soft-tempo song and their voices took over the arena whenever Jascha pointed the mic towards them.
|Jascha pointing his mic towards the audience.|
Things got even more exciting when Jascha went off stage and strolled along the middle aisle of the seats. Fans that were seated near the passageway immediately stood up to record, selfie and take pictures of the 52-year-old lead singer.
Jascha then picked one lucky lady from the audience and sang a verse of the song to her before going back on stage.
The two members were later joined by their drummer Kåre Wanscher on stage where he played the percussions and the band performed two more acoustic songs; “Forever and a Day” and “Out of the Blue”.
|Kåre on drums.|
In between the songs, Jascha took some time to talk about the band, he said, “We started as a band in high school and we initially wanted to be a rock band, but who knew that we would end up being a ballad band instead.”
The crowd then laughed at the hilarious reveal, but Jascha went on and said that they were glad that they eventually turned out this way as they don’t need to jump around and throw their guitars on stage.
After the acoustic performances, Jascha went back stage for a breather leaving Mikkel to rock out on his guitar solo accompanied by Kåre’s drums.
|Mikkel playing his acoustic guitar.|
After the 2-minute instrumental session, Jascha returned on stage and performed a medley of “Hot to Handle”, “Animals” and “Blue Night”.
After performing another slow song “You Took My Heart Away”, MLTR lifted up the mood inside the hall with “Take Me to Your Heart”, an adaptation of the famous Chinese hit "Goodbye Kiss" (吻别) by famous Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung. The crowd – especially the Chinese crowd – definitely took a liking to the song as the original version itself was already quite a hit.
MLTR then went on with two more of their famous hits; “The Actor”, the band’s very first single – and “25 Minutes”, the song which led MLTR to receive The Best Performing Act of the Year award in 1994 at SEA Grammy Awards in Singapore – and then continued with three more songs; “Wild Women”, “Watch Your Back” and “Someday”.
Before going on to another one of their wonderful hits, Jascha requested for the audience to turn on the flashlights of their smartphones as they sang “Paint My Love”. The entire hall was then filled with beautiful lights that looked like fireflies, waving along to the song.
|Audience turn on the flashlights of their phones and waved along to the melody.|
The 25-year-old band then teased the fans saying that they ran out of songs to perform, to which the audience laughed and asked for more. In order to keep the hearts of their fans intact, MLTR went on and performed “Breaking My Heart”.
To conclude the show, MLTR played “That's Why (You Go Away)” – a sad farewell song that perfectly summed up the night.
|MLTR thanked their fans for the night!|