A Car Show That Isn’t About Cars

Yesterday, I had possibly gone to one of the most satisfying show/exihibition that SGD$25 can buy. It was advertised around as the show that made it to Singapore for the first time in its 30-year history. Didn’t really catch my attention at first, as in my mind, it will be such a scaled down version of the original in Japan that it’s probably not even worth going. Thankfully, we made it there anyway, not expecting too much.

I suppose like any Asian based ‘show’ of this kind, it will feel like it really isn’t about whatever the show is suppose to be about. After all, this is suppose to be the ‘Tokyo Auto Salon’ show, which surely is about cars right? Well, looking at the large poster sitting out at the front at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, it wasn’t that obvious that it’s about cars at all! Do you agree??

Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore 2013

So with our tickets, we proceeded into the convention centre, only to be introduced by this:

Girl on BMW

Oh, did anyone actually noticed that there’s a car behind? As we moved around, it was obvious this show ain’t about cars. This girl here drew a huge amount of attention as she strutted her stuff, like the car bonnet was made for her.

Girl on Car Bonnet Again

Yeah.. this is one show where just about every male seems to look like professional photographers with lenses much bigger than their private parts. For every girl that was posing, there were probably about 50 or maybe 100 male photographers…

I can tell you though, when I walked around with my tiny little Canon Ixus compact camera, there’s a definitely a feeling of inadequency there!

Now, if the ‘thing’ that seemed to be conveniently displayed on car bonnets ain’t your thing, then the centre stage surely would woo you. The talents popping up on that stage absolutely blew me away! There was Randolf Arriola, a Singaporean guitarist famous for his solo one-man-band style playing on display. I knew about him at least more than a year ago when I was still in Australia, because of this Youtube clip featuring him playing U2’s With or Without You with just his guitar and a looper setup! Check out for yourself here! So, when I unexpectedly get to see him LIVE on stage.. it absolutely threw me off my feet seeing him play..

As an amateur guitarist myself, it’s a pretty big deal to get a chance to see him play live. He definitely did not disappoint with his skillful manipulation of his Boss loopers to render that U2 song. He turned out to be just the warmup act, with the biggest surprise the evening, when this girl band showed up..

That had to be the cream of the crop for the evening. It’s the massively popular AKB48 girl band from Akihabara Japan. I heard of them a few years ago when I spent a month in Japan, only to be denied of any chance of seeing them at all. As a tourist in Japan, I can guarantee you that it’s almost impossible to get any tickets to see them over there, even though they have shows just about every single day! So, it was with suspicion that I saw them popping out on the stage dancing away with verses that included, ‘I want Yooouuuu…. I NEED Yooouuu…. I LOVE yoouuu..’!! Of course, in classic squeaky ‘kawaii’ voices. If are wondering what they sounded like, check this out on Youtube. The verses definitely stuck around in my head for HOURS after their hour performance.. 

One thing I noticed, not along after the girls started singing, that there was definitely a crowd coming to the auto salon just for AKB48. I realised just how many locals actually totally understood Japanese, with the crowd totally responding and sang along with the girls like a true fan. I just had no idea AKB48 would be that popular in Singapore!

Anyway.. did I mention that this show was really about cars? Perhaps I am way behind, and the definition of ‘auto salon’ have changed so much over the years, that I really needed to spend some time with cool people to keep up with the times. Regardless, I went home last night totally entertained like a happy school boy after going to Disneyland. As I said, you really cannot get that much better bang for your buck for just SGD$25!

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