The Exchange In SingaporeThe Exchange performed in Singapore on March 10, 2013 at a special appearance at the Aliwal Arts Center organized by The A Cappella Society run by Angelina Choo. The Exchange is honored to present this review available here:

The review is reprinted here in full.

Something magical happened last night – for 75 glorious minutes, everyone at The Exchange’s first full concert in Singapore forgot where they were, and a recital studio with a seating capacity of 100 was transformed into a raging rockfest, complete with screaming fans and an endless parade of chart-topping hits which were flawlessly arranged and delivered.

I went to the show fully expecting it to be great, but Aaron SperberJamal MooreChristopher DiazAlfredo Austin and Richard Steighner went way above and beyond anything I anticipated.


From the energetic opening number – a smooth cover of James Brown’s I Feel Good – the group had all of us eating out of their hands. It quickly became clear that not only are they consummate artists in their chosen genre, pouring their hearts and souls into something they love, they also ooze tonnes of charisma, whipping the crowd into an adrenaline-fuelled frenzy.

You think I’m kidding?

I present Exhibit #1: A middle-aged couple in front of us boogied in their seats, and during a superb rendition of Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog, the wife leapt ( yes, leapt ) to her feet, bounced into the aisle and showed off some really impressive dancing skills. You go, girl! 🙂

Exhibit #2: A continuous chorus of “wowwwww!” and “ooooohhhh!” from a row of teenage girls behind us ( in addition to the squeals, of course :)), during pretty much every single song.

Exhibit #3: My friend’s comment at one point about getting “major goosebumps”.

Exhibit #4: The enthusiastic audience participation during the finale, an uplifting performance of Waving Flag. Everybody knew the lyrics. Amazing!

The setlist was impeccable – an eclectic mix of old ( Elvis’ Hound Dog, Ray Charles’ Georgia On My Mind, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, The Temptations’ Get Ready ) and new ( Bruno Mars’ Runaway, Jessie J’s Domino, Rihanna’s Where Have You Been, Maroon 5’s Payphone ) provided something for everyone, but my personal faves are Georgia On My Mind, Runaway and Payphone.

The harmonies were pitch perfect and absolutely heavenly. The vocal arrangements were fun and creative, yet never strayed too far from or overwhelmed the core melodies. Each group member was given his moment to shine, and the dance choreography was superb – a combination of slick and hilarious!

Humour is another of their fortes. The weak air-conditioning system became a running joke throughout the show, as the guys made jabs at their perspiration, even taking turns to stand under a unit whenever there was a song change. Richard and Christopher shed their jackets early on, but Aaron ( in a shirt and tie ), Jamal ( shirt, sweater and bow tie ) and Alfredo ( hoodie ) gamely continued until the end with their ensembles intact.
I honestly don’t know how they did it. I was seated and already wilting!

I really applaud their professionalism. Despite the small venue and sweltering conditions, the energy never wavered, and the guys’ vocals were flawless. Aaron hit the high notes effortlessly, Jamal melted hearts during his solo for Georgia On My Mind, Alfredo’s rap during Macklemore’s Can’t Hold Us was insane, Christopher held it all together with his mellow vibrato and witty jokes, and Richard Steighner’s beatboxing skills are out of this world!

I’ve attended a lot of shows over the years, ranging from stadium-sized spectaculars ( Michael Jackson, Michael Buble, Jason Mraz, Sting ) to cozier events ( plays and musicals at the DBS Arts Centre and the National Library’s Drama Centre Theatre ). I enjoy both immensely, but there’s always something remarkable about smaller venues, especially when performers transcend audience numbers and deliver something that literally blows your mind.
Jason Mraz did just that with his 2006 Esplanade Concert Hall gig, as did Pangdemonium! with February 2012’s Spring Awakening.

Last night, The Exchange joined that very short list. It was an unforgettable evening, and I sincerely hope they’ll come back soon, for another concert at a much larger venue – with decent air-conditioning this time, haha. I will definitely bring my cousin’s 2 teenage daughters along. 🙂

Am currently listening to their awesome debut album, Get Ready. Super Junior’s Sexy, Free & Single ( English version ) is on constant repeat mode. Hope you’ll add this to your setlist next time round!

Enjoy the rest of your stay in Singapore, guys! And thanks for a marvelous meet-and-greet yesterday!

Credit to Oh Jen Jen. aka Spacefan. Just Watch Lah: A Peer Into Local Theatre. 11 March 2013.