Singaporeans kick off year of Golden Jubilee with BigBang and big local hits

SINGAPORE - The 25,000-strong crowd at the Float @ Marina Bay was in awe as fireworks illuminated the night sky to welcome 2015, the New Year which also marks Singapore's Golden Jubilee year of independence.

But it was not before long that fans started chanting for Korean pop sensation BigBang to make their appearance.

People started filling the aisles and moving towards the front in anticipation of the quintet's arrival on stage.

Many stood on their chairs, screaming in excitement.

The band finally came on at about 12.30am, after a medley that included performances by Siti Nurhaliza.

BigBang pumped up the crowd with hits such as Fantastic Baby and Gara Gara Go, as fans bounced to the beats, raised their hands and sang along with gusto.

In the lead-up to the countdown, home-grown Mandopop artist Stefanie Sun belted out her hits dressed in a dazzling sleeved tunic with sequins; as did the duo of Kit Chan and Dick Lee, singing unarguably the most popular National Day theme song, Home.

Among the revellers were President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Minister of Education Heng Swee Keat.

The night had a great start with performances by musical theatre favourites Dim Sum Dollies, who delivered an abridged tongue-in-cheek history of Singapore, and by The Noose cast, which warmed up the crowd with their local jokes, parody of foreign accents and 1970s-style bell-bottom pants.

The acts were complemented by mesmerising psychedelic light installations on the stage, even as the audience get into the groove, clapping and swaying along to tunes such as The Young Ones by The Quests, performed by Vernon Cornelius and The Pinholes; Jackson 5's ABC and The Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive, sung by singers Gareth Fernandez, Dru Chen, Nathan Hartono and Miguel Antonio.

rltan@sph.com.sg