Addicted to nostalgia

Kyle Patrick returns after eight years to give Malaysian fans a night of unforgettable music and camaraderie at his recent showcase

08 Apr 2019 / 11:03 H.

IT SEEMED like no time had passed at all when Kyle Patrick took to the mic with his trusty guitar at The Bee, Publika, last Monday night.

Known more as the face of American power pop band The Click Five, Patrick was last in Kuala Lumpur eight years ago.

As the frontman of the popular band, he was responsible for singing some of the late 2000s most iconic bangers which captured hearts and ears of music fans across Asia, before the band members went their musically-separate ways in January 2013.

Despite some major differences – such as Patrick changing his mod-ish mane from the era to a still-rocking head of silvery-blue-green hair, and performing in a more intimate live space tailored for his solo acoustic set – fans still screamed along to hits like Addicted to Me, Just the Girl, Empty, and, of course, Jenny, like it was 2007 again.

Patrick’s long-time friend Jesse Ruben, a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, opened the show with the lead single from his own EP Hope, This is Why I Need You, produced by Patrick.

Towards the end of his set, Kyle called for Ruben to make another appearance on stage. “We’re going to do a song that Jesse and I wrote. We’ve written like a hundred songs together probably, and this is one of the first songs that we did together.”

Before they launched into Baby Don’t Board That Plane, the Brooklyn-based Missouri-native took time to address the absence of new music from him since his last EP in 2012.

Patrick explained that he had been spending time away from performing to focus on the production side of things, but added that he is now working on new music.

“It’s really good to see you guys, it’s been way too long,” he said. “I took that long because I got really burnt out on singing, on playing shows.

“I went to do so many shows and I got really burnt out, that’s the truth, the honest truth, but this trip has just recharged me in a way I never thought [possible].”

His Asia tour began in Manila on March 23, before heading to Singapore on March 29, and then ending in Malaysia on April 1.

“I had no expectations for this trip. I didn’t know if anybody was going to show up.

“Honestly, it really means a lot to me that [so] much time [had passed], and you guys would still show up ... From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

That evening, Patrick also performed favourites from his self-titled EP, Go For Gold! and Follow Your Heartbeat.

The good music and Patrick’s deep smooth singing voice, punctuated by his adorable laugh, lent a rush of nostalgia that filled the air that night.

The relatively small but enthusiastic crowd gladly mirrored the love and laughter back, swaying and singing to lyrics still committed to memory, which ranged from providing vocal delays heard in studio tracks like in Addicted to Me to improvising with Patrick’s rendition of Follow Your Heartbeat.

“You guys were singing like ad-libs and s**t,” said Patrick after Follow Your Heartbeat. “That ‘uhh huh’, that’s not on the record but you guys were singing it!

“Thanks for catching on to that stuff. In the moment, I love that! That doesn’t happen, that ‘uhh huh’.”

The interaction somehow turned to include the topic of food, when someone in the audience shouted if he had tried the food here.

“Shoutout to nasi goreng! Shoutout to bak kut teh! Shoutout to coconut-pancake-things-that-I-don’t-remember-the-name-of-what-it-was-called,” he happily obliged, followed by an eruption of happy chatter telling him what the delicacy is called, and even more cheers after he finally got the name right.

“There’s like 50,000 things being said,” he laughed. “I did try the a- ... apam balik ... I like the peanut butter one, really.”

In fact, the whole night, which was littered with jokes and funny punchlines, felt like Patrick was treating the crowd like his friends and not fans – where perfection was not the goal and neither was it demanded, but having a good time was.

He demonstrated that by running without hesitation to the centre of the crowd for the encore, where he at last indulged his fans with the all-night anticipation of The Click Five’s Jenny.

For someone who said his tour knowledge and etiquette was “a little rusty”, Patrick sure knocked it out of the park with his performance and presence at his showcase here – making this one of the top live act experiences on my list.

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