10th April 2009.
So, Wednesday and Thursday had been VERY exciting.. but this day, 10th April was special. Xtra Speshul. Because the 5 of us was going to meet D personally. A short but private M&G session with him, mainly to present a plaque from AAM, celebrating the victory of ALTNOY as winner for 51 nights on FlyFM. Kylie, the super mamacub, had arranged things with Sony and us 5 authors were very blessed to be given the opportunity to have this personal M&G session with David at his hotel. As i counted the days till David reached KL on 8th April 2009, after that day arrived…everything just flew by. I didn’t even need to countdown to today because since David arrived, everything has just been BUSY BUSY BUSY at AAM and everything else. So 10th April arrived. Lily and I went to Pyramid together to get some stuffs before meeting Kylie and John for lunch. Met up with Justine and later all 5 of us had lunch at Esquire Kitchen. Needless to say, they could hardly eat lol. but i was kinda hungry and whacked most of the brinjals HAHA.
By the time we left the restaurant, it was 2pm. We were suppose to meet Dawn at the Hotel lobby at 2.15pm but someone else arrived to bring us upstairs where we will be meeting David at about 2.30pm. And we went up, to the 12th floor and were guided to wait at an area near a room where David will be at later. While we were waiting for David to arrive, heart pumping and then………..Guess who walked in?
None other than mr.david archuleta himself. He saw us, waved and said “Heyy guys!” with a big smile as he was entering the room.THUDDDD.
We still had to wait outside while they were preparing things inside. Vee Winn, the events organiser from Sunway Lagoon was there too. He’s a super friendly and funny guy and we had quite a chat with him..
Then we met Yvette, who was there. When she intro-ed herself, i was like, “OHH you’re yvette!” and then it struck me..”ehh, what are you doing here btw?” Turns out…she was the girl who won Digi’s contest to be David’s entourage for the day. I was like..OMG. As part of the entourage, she was with david since 10am!! and will be with him till the evening. 7 hours with David Archuleta is no joke okay. oh and i just found out from yvette that David heard us when he entered the floor. heard us..squeal..apparantly..er.did i squeal? cant be kylie.cant be john. leaves me, justine and lily. not justine either. oh my gosh. i dont remember squealing.did i squeal?
Then Ray, David’s tour manager appeared. You know what they say abt never judging a book by its cover? Its SO TRUE. Ray looks well built, with ear rings and tattoo lol but ohmygosh. The moment he started talking to us, we realised he was one of the nicest guys ever. Kylie introduced herself and AAM and the rest of us introduced ourselves. And then we mentioned the airport incident and whoa.Ray actually saw and remembered us that day. He remembered the AAM-ers standing behind the barricades at his left hand side and he was appreciative of our good behavior. *huge silent sigh of relief*
We continued to talk about David and how he was trying to protect David and that safety was very important and he mentioned an unrelated incident in the US where somene was trampled to death last year. He mentioned that David might have went round to say hi if the fans had been fine in the airport but they just went out of control. Ray got hold of kylie’s contact in case he can sort out something for the fans after the showcase and then he had to leave.
After what seems like an eternity, the wait was over. We were called to go into the room and then as we walked in, we saw him. There he was, clad in a purple (he wore PURPLE. smart guy, smart guy.) shirt and jeans, with a big, warm smile, glowing brighter than the sunlight shining through the windows (LOLL.)
Greeted us with that big, familiar smile and a “Heyy!” and we went and introduced ourselves one by one. He greeted each one with a sincere smile and a solid handshake. And then we started telling him about AAM and it was kinda blurry after that but we took out the banner to show him and he was so appreciative and plain archudorable. We took a group picture with him and the banner and at the last minute, decided to sneak my hand behind onto his back HAHA. Lily caught me sneakily moving my hand 😛
And then when we were done with the banner, it was time for the plaque presentation. John explained about ALTNOY’s victory on Love it/shove it and told him we want to celebrate the song’s victory (at the mention of the word celebrate, david sang “celebrationnn~” he is TOTALLY a human jukebox okay. In that short 20 mins we were with him, we heard him randomly sing at least 4-5 times)
John told him why we are his fans, not just because of his singing eventhough that’s what drew us to him initially, but later on it was the amazing person we discovered he was. John asked him not to ever change, that he’s amazing just the way he is. I teared during this part because seriously, every word that John said to him was so true. Its not just about the voice, it’s the person that he is. I tried my hardest to get a hold of my emotions, can’t freak him out by bawling suddenly right hahaha.
David was very appreciative of John’s words and with a bashful smile, said “aww..thank you”. John passed the plaque to me to present it to David. With nearly trembling hands, I opened the plaque and showed it to David and he was soo appreciative again with his “woww”s and “aww thankss”s lol. John read the first few lines of the plaque’s description and then David continued reading and stopped halfway to ask, “Wait, im suppose to read this?” LOL. I replied with a laugh, “yeah yeahh!” And he continued reading until the end and we clapped and again he went, “aww thanks so much guys”. you could tell he meant every word.
Took an individual picture with David and the plaque and then we talked with him about the songs he wrote. I mentioned that the songs he wrote or co-wrote were the ones that were the most favourite by fans and John mentioned Zero Gravity and David laughed lol. John said he LOVES Somebody Out There..David talks about songwriting, sometimes he takes some time to write songs.
Jac said my voice sounded an octave higher in the video. gasp. an octave higher? omg.
*self-comfort mode: ON.* Its ok anne its ok. worth embarassing myself for david right. after all, my voice was the last thing on my mind HAHA. but darn. dont ever squeak again anne. and dont laugh at me OKAYYY after watching this -.-
Then Kylie asks if he will sing Zero Gravity during the showcase, he laughs and says he doesnt know because its not in his album lol. but he says he hope he will be able to do so in the future (i hope so too, david.) Then Justine presented him the scrapbook from AAM containing the messages from the showcase passes contest and he looked through it, saying “woww” . He was real, genuine, there wasn’t a single ounce of hypocrisy in this guy.
We proceeded to give him our stuffs to sign. Yuen see said only 1 item per person. I couldnt decide (surprise surprise -.-) between my MP4 or album but in the end i went with the MP4. The MP4 is a treasure now.
After signing, kylie gave him AAM’s official Tshirt and we asked him to wear it at the showcase but he laughed and said it would be weird to wear it with his name on it HAHA. true david, true. we just weren’t thinking right. after all, we ARE in the same room with you, you can’t blame us.
I asked him if he received the “I ❤ KL” shirts made by Justine and Lydia and Justine showed him her “I ❤ DA” shirt she wore at the airport on Wednesday hehe. I took my gifts to give him and managed to explained the notebook I got for him. I told him he can use it for songwriting and he went “aww thanks” again and said he might take months or ages to fill up the first page (i wonder why i didnt say: oh stop being so modest david! lolll) . Instead I told him, you can take your time or u might just fill up the whole book, you never know! He was so appreciative. i love him. I was gonna give him the CDs but got interrupted. I kinda forgot what happened but after that, during the “official gift-giving time” lol, we each gave our gifts to him and I continued from where I started. I explained to him about the 2 CDs i burnt for him. 1 CD containing the collection of his blog’s “Song(s) of the Day” and he was like, “Oohhh! Yeah i wonder what were all the songs i’ve mentioned!” or stg like that..and then he looked at the songs on the list and stared at them, taking his time..By then Yuen see was already rushing me because we were running out of time.
Then i had to explained the 2nd CD to him – which contained random tracks of songs i really like and he suddenly asks what are the other songs Mark Schultz has and i couldnt think straight and just stuttered because i was feeling flustered and hurried due to the lack of time. LOL. i was trying to rush David since the rest haven’t give him their gifts but he was so care-free, so free-spirited..he took his time, trying to think/recall what other songs Mark Schultz had and i was so torn in between him and yuen see hurrying me hahaha. OH and when he saw Gavin DeGraw’s “In love with a girl” on the list, he burst out into “In love with a girllll” o.m.g. that one line. I’m surprised i did not faint there and then.
That one line he sang was the best sentence I have ever heard anyone sing. it was AMAZING ok. AMAZING. words fail me. and he sang that a few times. THUDDDDD-NESS. Then i just quickly showed him the bright yellow thumbs-up pen i got him and he saw it and laughed hahah. Then i REALLY had to go and just quickly and incoherently told him that everything in the bag was his and passed it to him.(*slaps forehead* obviously it was his but again i wasnt making sense so..)
Then Lily passed her shirt and pics of AAM-ers in an envelope to him. She said the shirt was from Aus and he said, “ohh really?!where?” she answered, “Melbourne” David was like , “ohh woww cooll!Thankss!” lol. Then justine went to him and asked if he was allergic to peanut butter hahaha and he said, “ohh im not *giggles*” lolll. So justine took out two packets of peanut butter crackers and said they were yummy hahaha and she gave him some other stuffs. After the gifts, Justine made THE MOVE. She asked for a hug HEHE. followed by lily and then.. I went up to him and quietly asked, “Can I GIVE you a hug?” but halfway thru my sentence, he already extended his hands and…THE MOMENT. I hugged David Archuleta. I freaking hugged david archuleta HAHA. And whispered thank you david. *insert a 1000 fangirling emoticon here*
I wish i could hold on forever HAHA but of cos i had to let go -.- It was a 1 armed hug because he was loaded with gifts on the other hand but who caresss. I got a david hug. and he hugged all of us except John lol who didnt want to put him(david) in an awkward position. Then we had to go and David had to do an interview/photoshoot. We gathered our stuffs, thanked him and waved goodbye. A couple of times he broke out into “Im in love with a girllll” again. For the photoshoot, he sat down on a chair and Lily sneakily (lol) took a quick picture of him on the way out. As we were leaving, I waved and said “Goodbye David!” and he bid us goodbye as we left, again with that BIG, sincere,warm smile that lights up an entire room. I left reluctantly, stealing another one last glance before i left and he sneaked a glance at us right as were leaving the door..
While we were outside, Kylie got Yvette to tell her story on spending the day with D so far. While we were waiting for kylie, we heard David singing ALTNOY and Crush a couple of times from the room at the far end. OMG. We were quite a distance from the room but his voice was so CLEAR AND POWERFUL we can hear it from that far, without a microphone. It was pure delight to the ears. Then we had to leave and we bid goodbyes to Vee Winn the super nice guy and went for Delifrance for tea where we spazzed and talked about what we had just experienced lol. UNBELIEVABLE.
When he talks to you, he looks at you RIGHT IN THE EYE and makes you feel for that moment like you’re the only one in the room with him ( I have read this statement many times as well from other fans and after my encounter, every word they say is now proven true.) His hazel eyes just pierce right through you. He listens intently to every word you say and smiles. And whats even more amazing? He makes you feel normal when he talks to you eventhough at the same time, you might feel nervous or excited or whatever. He doesn’t make you feel inferior or small, despite the superstar he is but he makes you feel so normal, so comfortable, like talking to a friend. Of course at the same time, i feel excited and overjoyed but who wouldnt?! I was talking with daviddd. oh and i have problem with eye contact when i talk. but with David, i can just talk to him staring right at his eyes and do not feel awkward. His eyes are magnets. They just draw you right in. So yeah, like Justine said, now he was 500% real. lol.
11th April 2009
On Saturday morning, I woke up, had to do some last min admin work and rushed to Sunway college for the pre-showcase gathering. A number of AAM-ers were already there when I arrived and time seem to pass by so quickly as we rushed around everywhere, trying to get things done and informing the AAM-ers what to do and stuff.
Sorting out the food prepared by the amazing Shu Yee. (woman in pink at the far right)
AAM-ers listening to Kylie
Sorting out admin stuffs.
After everything was settled, together with a few girls, we headed to the Elephant Walk..it was a loong walk from the college, but every step we took, we were getting nearer to the place we’ve been looking forward to be at since the time we knew where David was going to perform in Malaysia. Then we reached there and had to sort out further details for the showcase pass winners. The line was massive looooooong under the burning morning sun when I first arrived and it was 11stg in the morning but goooood newsss for us because those who gotten the 50 AAM passes from Sony were VIP passes so we didnt have to queue up. Best part yet? It was front row and center. God is good!
The AAM-ers gathered at the side where there was a shade and again, time just zoomed by us. We were there for about 2.5 hours to get things done and waiting for a few AAM-ers to collect their VIP passes but it certainly didn’t feel like 2.5 hours while we were waiting. While waiting, Justine and Lily gave out the AAM call cards to people and Kylie and I had a little chat with Jack from Sony who were selling CDs there. We were told David had sold more than 5000 albums for sure and most probably, D is on his way or already achieved gold status here in Msia and that is a BIG accomplishment for an artist, more so a new artist.
Finally, at 2.30pm, we decided to enter the amphitheater and made that long, downhill walk towards the amphitheater. When we reached there, the sight of the crowd was pretty amazing. Seats were being filled up quickly and I took some quick shots of the crowd, the stage and the AAM banner to pac mee the US fans. Not bad lah my 2mp pixel camera phone..still boleh pakai hahahaha.
At the last minute, Kylie and I went hunting for AAM-ers to give away extra VIP passes we had. Random people came up to us asking for the passes but of course we couldn’t give la -.- We had to give priority to AAM members. Finally, after everything was done, we settled down. The 5 of us, along with Kavidha, Shu Yee and a few others sat at the 1st row. wow. SURREALLLL.
After what seems like an eternity, the show started. I was preparing drafts for my pac mee messages during the opening acts lol and then when it was finally the 3rd opening act, I got restless and started bouncing a little in my seat, knowing David was going to be next. (I’m not even gonna bother elaborating on the opening acts lol)
Then JJ & Ean appeared and they pumped up the crowd and finally, the words we’ve been waiting for the whole day, “GIVE IT UP FOR….DAVIDDD ARCHULETAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”
Screams thundered throughout the place and then, he appeared. Wearing a pinkish, orangey check/striped shirt with a cute tie, a mic in his hand, walking towards the center of the stage and started singing “ALTNOY” as he made his way towards the center of the stage. I took a few quick shots to pac mee them and then I just put it aside and sat down and listened, wanting to absorb EVERY single moment, like i promised myself 2 days ago.
He was right in front, singing with the same passion and emotion I’ve seen in all those youtube videos. Every time he pointed/wave at the crowd, screams could be heard all around. Then came the bridge of ALTNOY..I think I stopped breathing for a while. It was unreal. When he finished ALTNOY, he took a breather and greeted the crowd. And finally we heard with our own ears, David saying “How are you MALAYSIAAAAAAAAAAA?” woottt loll. He thanked the crowd and said a few things and then he started with TMH. Crowd went wild. I went wild. His hand gestures when he sang, “in a sea of peopleeee” and “a wonderwall of stars” ignited screams all over. I sang along to TMH, eventhough I didnt want to because I wanted to just absorb every bit of his voice, but I couldn’t help it. Then came the bridge..the “something about your beautiful FAAAAAAAAACEEEE” –> *insert fainting emoticon here*
Is this guy for real? I’ve heard it countless times online but in person..okay. no words to describe that. Once again, I just stopped breathing for a while. After TMH, I was perhaps expecting him to sing Crush. But no, the music for Don’t Let Go started playing or I think he said it was DLG and omggggoshhh. I just started spazzing in my seat ok HAHA. It was probably the LAST SONG I WOULD EXPECT HIM TO SING ON THAT DAY. I could hardly believe it. And towards the end of the bridge, I was waiting, hoping he would sing the “and i know how to save a life” line haha! He didnt, but of course that didn’ t spoil anything in any way! When he sang “and it gets betterrrrrrrrr” part.. Fuuh. AH-MAZING. And then after DLG, there was of course, Crush! Now this song is just loveeeed by the crowd. From the first line itself, the crowd started singing along with David. He was smiling from ear to ear and I could just feel the joy and energy radiating from him.
When Crush was over, he said thank you to the audience and went towards the back of the stage again..I didn’t expect it to be the last song because there was a keyboard on the stage but at the same time, I didn’t know what to expect..Then JJ(I think it was JJ, I can’t rmbr now lol) came out and asked, “Do you want more??” yes, JJ, obviously we do. The crowd screamed yes, and we started chanting David’s name..and then to our relief, he appeared again, waving and smiling. He went to the keyboard and said this was the first song he learnt to play on the piano and I started spazzing again and told Lily, “He’s singing a 1000 miles!!YOUR ANTHEM!” LOL. He played the intro. I’m not gonna bother describing this song because words will only FAIL ME.
And then, the last song, Angels. I completely spazzed at that because it was THE song I’ve heard him sing countless times since I first saw it on AI, the AI tour, his tour and various other places but now, for the very first time, I’m hearing and seeing David sing Angels, the anthem song of his fans, with my very own ears and eyes. It was such a bittersweet moment, because I also knew this was most probably his last song. but I just chose to absorb it all in. In the middle of the song, I made a last minute decision to go upfront to take a few close-ups of David. After taking a few quick pictures, I just stayed there and soaked in every second of it and then the last line, “ohhhh im lovin angels..insteaaaddddddd” was just..wow. indescribeable.
And then it was over. He thanked the crowd for coming and before I knew it, he went backstage and it was over. I didn’t have time to process or digest what I’ve heard/seen, i had to rush to one of the exits to catch any AAM-ers that may have come out for the post-showcase event. Then finally, when the crowd has left and only the AAM-ers together with those who had autograph passes were left, Kylie told the group what the “post-showcase surprise” was. So what happened was the 100+ of us will get to have an autograph from David backstage and he was going to have a group picture with AAM. Squeals of glee could be heard when Kylie gave the announcement. As we waited while groups of 10 were lining up, we had some practices with Zero Gravity, which we had planned to sing to David when he comes out for the group picture. Yvette was the choir leader haha!
Everyone who came out after the autograph/picture session with David was beaming ear to ear. Then it was down to the last 3 of us, me, Kylie and John to see him backstage. I was having a dilema whether to let him sign the album booklet or his picture and finally decided on the album booklet lolllll. yeah i know MAJORRRR decision right -.- anyway i chose the album booklet in the end rofl.
I went in and he said, “Heyy how’s it goin?” I cant rmbr if I said anything lollll. But I have NO idea why I did not talk or say anything to him when he was signing. I must have blanked out. Then I took a picture with him and said, “Take care David” (yeah, creative i know-.-) when I was leaving. Then when the autograph sessions were done, we took our places and waited eagerly for David to come out for the group picture. Then..he came out and started walking towards us..Yvette initiated the ZG singing, going “1,2,3!!!” and we belted out “Not gonna analyze and try to fight it..dont even care if it makes no sense at all..cos with DAVID we CAN FLYYYYY!Nothing brings us down when you’re around…~” and as he was making his way towards us, he did a little skip/hop/dance lolll. WAY too adorable for words. He sat down at the first row but the ladies there pointed and signalled him to move upwards, right at the middle of the group.
He made his way towards us. I was on his left and Kylie was on his right. Everyone just started staring at our direction and like Kylie said, I wonder how he must have felt with all those eyes looking at him. Kylie said she felt so weird, and so did I. But I guess he’s probably used to it by now hahah. When they were starting to take pictures, he asked “which camera?” loll. The group posed for the cameras and once or twice, he did his peace sign. I wanted to do one with him, so without much thinking…. I asked him, “Do u wanna do a peace sign for the next picture?” Okay, wait. Did i actually asked him that? this isn’t anne. this isn’t.
The epic picture. Everyone staring at D while he looked innocently at the camera lolll.
He didnt hear at first so I repeated what I said (goodness gracious i actually REPEATED?) and he was like “yeah sure” but I guess he forgot later on in all the commotion roflll. I was so tempted to just stare at him the whole time but I had to control lah because it would just make him feel weird right. I was sitting next to David Archuleta. With my shoulder rubbing against his. IS THIS FOR REAL? During one of the short lapse in between the pictures, David turned behind and asked, “Did u all have fun??” and everyone responded with the most enthusiastic YESSSS!!! LoL.As if we weren’t hyped up enough already HAHA.
During the middle of it all, some of the AAM-ers stood up and took pictures and Kylie, afraid that things might get out of hand reminded them to sit down and tried to keep the situation safe and under control. I also started to panic abit ok when people started standing up and all but they held back and listened to Kylie without things getting out of hand. thankfully.
After we took a couple of pictures, we called Ray to come into the picture, “Come on Rayyy!!!” and cheered for him. He kinda jogged towards us from the stage haha and sat in the middle of the first row. After a couple more group pics we were done. David stood up, gave a little speech and gave a heartfelt thank you and said he hopes to come back soon. Then he had to leave and we said thank you for coming and bid him goodbye as he made his way down and joined the security team. He looked back and waved at us as he left and I looked at him until as far as I can because I knew this will be the last time I’ll see him. until he returns again. It was a very, very bittersweet moment.
Thank you speech..
After that, the AAM-ers took some pictures among themselves and everyone was hugging each other, bidding our goodbyes. As some of the AAM-ers thanked and hugged me, I begin to feel overwhelmed and I could tell how happy and grateful they were to be able to experienced what they had today and how much it means to them and as a few of the girls hugged me, tears just filled my eyes. But I held it back the hardest I could and pulled myself together.
John and I with Jennie and Shirley Khoo who came down from East Msia and Australia
After more pictures, we all had to leave the area and we made our way back up to the entrance. It was a long, tiring walk and I still didn’t have time to process/digest everything. I was talking to Justine’s mom who mentioned she almost cried during Angels lol but held it back. After that, we waited at the entrance for a while, and I bid my goodbyes to Kavidha, Alex and Kitty as they left and headed back to Klang.
One thing that I’ll carry with me is the fact that when I met David on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, whether he’s talking, performing, taking pics, etc..None of what he did or said were alien or new to me at all. Because in person, he is EXACTLY like how he is on TV or youtube. There was no act, no hypocrisy, no mask. It was just David. The same David we have grew to love.
I don’t know if there’ll be an opportunity like this again in the future, when he is a much bigger star than he already is, but I’ve had the experience of a lifetime. The memories and moments I’ll cherish for life. And I thank God for them. I thank God for giving me eyes to see the beautiful person he is, and ears to hear his God-given voice and gift.
I thank God for David Archuleta.
The person who never fails to make me smile.
My lovely e-family.