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STARTWO, MONDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2008

MUSIC

T23

Sing it again,
Sheila
It takes two:
Sheila Majid
having a great
time on stage with
her husband and
musical director
Acis during her
show last Friday.
Pics by KAMAL
SALLEHUDDIN/
The Star

By NIKI CHEONG
niki@thestar.com.my
T HAS been eight years since she
took to the stage in a major concert, and almost three years after
celebrating her 20th year in the
music industry, but local jazz queen
Sheila Majid now a mother of four
showed that she still has what it
takes to entertain a crowd... and do
a fantastic job at it.
Keep in mind that Sheilas heyday was back in the 1980s, when
musicians including the late
Sudirman Arshad and Anita
Sarawak, and bands like Freedom
and Gersang dominated the
Malaysian music landscape.
So, it was no surprise to see such
a diverse bunch of people attend
the Sheila Majid In Concert show
on Friday night (the first of two
shows) held at the Kuala Lumpur
Convention Centre in aid of the
National Heart Institute (IJN)
Foundation. From kebaya/batik-clad
ladies and gentlemen, to much
younger T-shirt and tattered jeans
youth, everyone was there. And
Sheila acknowledged this diversity.
How many of you grew up with
my music? she asked. Half of the
2,500 crowd raised their hands.
The others? Above 35, is it? she
continued, drawing laughs from the
audience.
However old they were, it was
evident that many were huge fans
of the songbird. As much as the
night was about raising funds for
IJN, you could tell that these fans
would have paid as much just to
see the star in action. Several wellknown personalities were spotted
too including former Prime
Minister Tun Dr Mahathir
Mohamad and wife Tun Dr Siti

Sheila Majid's concert on Friday night


reminded those present why she is one
of the nation's most loved artistes.
Hasmah, Chef Wan, Anuar Zain,
Dayang Nurfaizah and Atilia among
others.
The show began with a video
presentation of the singers recent
visit to hospital where she spoke to
ailing heart patients and their loved
ones.
Tonight, were not only here to
have a good time but its for a good
cause. Im ecstatic that we have
managed to raise enough funds, if
not more, she said, referring to the
goal of raising RM1.5mil.
If the crowd was initially concerned that sentimentality was
going to hang over the concert like
dark cloud, they had nothing to
worry about. The show ran for
more than two hours with Sheila
belting out over 30 songs from
seven albums spanning two
decades.
The first half, however, got off to
a rather worrying start. The crowd
seemed ready to party with Sheila
when she first appeared singing one
of her oldest hits, Warna, if their
applause and wolf-whistles were
anything to go by. However, they
soon simmered down and were
strangely passive.
Even Sheila noticed. After she
sang the popular Patung, she had to
ask the audience if they recognised
the song. Naturally, the crowd
responded affirmatively, prompting
a reply: For a moment, I thought
that you didnt because you looked
a bit dazed.
That proved to be the much
needed wake up call as everyone

perked up in the following medley,


which featured songs from the rerelease of her biggest selling album
Legenda Malam Ku Bermimpi,
Jeritan Batinku and Engkau Laksana
Bulan.
But it was the song after; the last
in the first set with which Sheila
mesmerised the audience.
She had already proven her mettle as a first-class entertainer, pausing at all the right moments and
building up the intended drama.
But it was at the end of Embun as
she reached the pinnacle of the
song when Sheila and her band
froze for over 45 seconds prompting whistling and thunderous
applause before a stage lift slowly
lowered her, and she disappeared
from view.
Yes, there was no doubt that
Sheila, the diva, was in her element.
At this juncture, Sheilas band
led by her musical director my
man, Acis took turns to entertain
the crowd while Sheila had a
wardrobe change. She reappeared
singing the ever-popular Antara
Anyir dan Jakarta.
From that point, there was no
stopping her. Sheila had sung 15 of
her hit songs in the first set already.
But as always, she had more up her
sleeve and the second set was one
big hit after another Aku Cinta
Padamu, Percayalah, Mengapa Kasih,
Emosi, Bunyi Gitar, Tiru Macam Saya.
And the audience lapped it up.
For the next hour, they sang along
on every song, leading Sheila to
turn to her backup singers during

Bila Larut Malam, and say, Okay,


you can take off.
When Sheila first announced the
show had come to an end, the
crowd responded with a resounding NO, and chants of We want
more!
Of course, the hardcore
concertgoers knew it wasnt over
yet. After all, there were still a few
of her biggest hits (yes, there were
more!) that hadnt been performed.
And screams were deafening when
she reappeared to sing Ku Mohon
following which she performed Dia,
which she dedicated to Dr
Mahathir.
Tun, this (the concert) is your
brainchild. I would like to extend
our gratitude to you, she said, and
the crowds were up on their feet in

a standing ovation.
Right to the end, the audience
kept asking for more, and Sheila
kept teasing them. After the third
song during the encore, Sinaran, she
said goodbye again, only to quickly
add: What? What havent I sung
yet?
And the crowd seemed to synchronise its call for Legenda, which
of course Sheila obliged, saying
Aku dah agak dah (I expected it
already), you wont let me go home
until I sing Legenda.
Everyone had a good time, but
what would stick most in the minds
of those present on Friday was how
apt Sheila's final song of legends
had been, because dare we say it,
the audience had been in the presence of one that night.