Nakarin “Pang” Kingsak disgraces himself at a concert supposed to mark his 50th birthday
For perhaps the first time in my life, I left Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani last Saturday night disappointed and disgusted at the behaviour of veteran artist Nakarin “Pang” Kingsak, who chose to mark his 50th birthday celebration by drinking on stage and swearing at those who had made the effort to come and applaud him.
The media and his fans had much the same reaction, commenting extensively on the social media with none of the posts the least bit complimentary.
“Pang has often said ‘It isn’t a concert but a party’, but that doesn’t make it right to drink all during the show and in front of fans who had come with their children. Shouting rude words, especially ‘ai hia’, was equally inexcusable. And because he was drunk, Pang sang like he was murmuring, making him hard to understand and out of tune. He also forgot his script,” wrote one irate newspaper reporter.
An underground metal musician agreed. “If nothing else, Pang has made it clear you should never drink alcohol before taking the stage or when you are on it. He was very drunk and couldn’t follow the script. He totally messed up his performance,” he posted. “But he remains an idol of mine for his songwriting.”
“Pang kept pausing in his songs. It reminded me of his 2013 concert in celebration of his 21 years in music but this time it was much worse,” said a fan.
Signs that not all was well appeared even before the show though it took a full hour and a half before one of the production crew was sent out to apologise for the late start, putting it down to a technical problem with the amplifiers.
After such a long wait, the audience was happy when the curtain opened to reveal the 50-year-old artist on a stage decorated with a long sofa and a table with what was obviously a glass of alcohol and a water bottle. He opened with three songs, “Tham Arai Sak Yang”, “Pratoo” and “Arkas” and quickly had his fans up and dancing.
After the first set, Pang complained about the amplifier problem and apologised to the audience for the delay. “It’s one of the reasons why I don’t like doing large-scale concerts,” he said before segueing into a set of ballads that included “Jai Jao Aoei”, “Khob Mai Dai”, and “Khabuan Sudthai” as well as “Klin” performed by guest Golf T-Bone.
Pang wrote this song for the ska-reggae band and the audience was happy to sing along.
Though many noticed the singer wasn’t as sober as he should be, they nonetheless screamed as the first notes of mega-hit “Phoom Phae Krungthep” rang out along with the vocal sampling of luk thung singer Takatan Cholada. “Khon Mee Saneh”, the soundtrack of TV series “Dek Jom Yong 2”, and “Thuk Khon Khoei Rong Hai”, performed live for the first time, followed without incident and Pang also performed “Phae” and “Mai Chai Nang Fah” before bringing long-time friend and Hydra bandmate, Thana “Pond” Lawasut out to perform two Hydra songs “Duek Laew” and “Klai Thao Derm”.
The first act ended with “Kwam Pen Mae” and “Kaewta Kha Rock” and the introduction of a team of comics set to entertain during the intermission.
But before long Pang was back out on stage dressed in mafia-style black and joining the professional comedians in their act. By now obviously drunk, he staggered around the stage and swore profusely. And in a move that went totally against Thai custom, he allowed the younger comedians to hit him on his head.
With the clock ticking towards midnight, he returned to stage with tuneless renditions of “Khid Arai Yoo”, “Khao Rue Phom” and “30 Yang Jaew” then followed up with “Sabai Dee”, "Phuchai Rong Hai”, “Man”, “Hua Larn Jai Noi” and “Ther Mee Jing.”
The comedy of errors continued well after the show with an official of his music label telling me that the photo files of Pang’s concert had been damaged “by accident”, thus forcing me to use these rough shots from my cellphone.