“Cassette Festival 2”, a sequel to the inaugural concert in May 2019, featured around 50 classics from the golden age of Thai pop performed by almost two-dozen famous singers. All were hits before the age of iPods, YouTube and streaming, when the device of choice for storing music was the cassette tape.
The concert was among the first to unspool in Bangkok following the Covid-19 crisis, marking a return of razmataz to the capital.
Despite the packed hall, fans simply could not sit still, getting up on their feet and dancing to the lively tunes pretty well from start to finish. The groove was aided by an almost seamless transition between performers, providing a non-stop soundtrack of yesteryear.
The background screen onstage added to the nostalgic vibe, with oversized dummies of ’90s icons forming the décor — including a Gameboy, Nokia phone, early boxy Macintosh, VHS video cassette — and of course, lots of audio tape cassettes.
The sold-out concert, held by Atime Showbiz on September 24 and 25 at the 5,000-seat Royal Paragon Hall, kicked off with Mos Patiparn performing his dance-music hits “Lew Lai”, “Salat Sabat” and “Duai Rak Lae Platoo”. He was followed onto the stage by his long-time buddy Aom Sunisa.
Tata Young got people up on their feet with her dance number “A-Bo-Da-Bae” before returning later in the concert with a set of her international hits — “I Believe”, “Sexy Naughty Bitchy” and “Dhoom Dhoom”.
Her appearance on a temporary platform just behind seats closest to the stage was too much for many audience members, who leapt to their feet as Saturday night fever struck.
This long platform allowed audience members further from the stage to get up close and personal with the idols of their youth.
The duo Bow and Joyce of Triumphs Kingdom took to the crowd platform and thrilled fans with their trademark dance number “Pa Chet Na” before moving back to the main stage.
China Dolls duo Bell and Hwa Hwa ramped up the energy a few more notches with their hit “Muay Nee Ka”. Then Katreeya English and Yaya Ying performed their respective hits “OK Na Ka” and “Jeb Nid Nid” alternately in a rousing “dance battle”.
The quartet, who formed “2002 Ratri” two decades ago, followed up by regrouping centre stage for a set of their famous numbers, including “Hula Hula”.
This was among the highlights of the evening’s entertainment as the frenetic foursome rewound the years for their fans in the packed hall. With sweat streaming down their faces, the singers were obviously exhausted as they chatted with the audience after their long performance.
J Jetrin, once known as the “King of Dance”, grabbed the limelight towards the end of the show, performing five of his hits including “Fak Liang”, “Kong Wai” and “Ka Jai”.
The nostalgia-soaked evening wrapped with a finale featuring the song “All I Wanna Do”, with all the singers on the stage getting up close and cosy with their fans before waving a final goodbye.
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