Jeff Chang (张信哲) in Singapore, Mar 15, 2008
March 21, 2008, 4:57 am
Filed under: concerts, Jeff Chang, 张信哲

Caught Jeff Chang (张信哲) last weekend at the Max Pavillon.  Can’t say about the revamped image he donned for the concert, but his vocals remain pristine and choir boy as ever.  Here’s a review by the Straits Times.  Should be able to post some clips on YouTube in the next few days.


Jeff Chang’s artful ways
By Boon Chan


Singapore Expo’s Max Pavilion/Last Saturday

IT BEGAN like any other classical music concert. The members of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Orchestra tuned their instruments and then the conductor strode onto the stage.

But this was Taiwanese crooner Jeff Chang’s (right) show and he soon emerged in a black suit over a black ruffled shirt with bling added for effect.

He also sported an anachronistic asymmetrical haircut that harked back to Boy George in the early 1980s – wavy strands which cascaded down one side of his face.

Then there was the stage itself – awash in dark red drapes, with chandeliers hanging in the centre, and three screens made to look like framed pictures in a museum.

What followed was not your typical Chinese pop concert.

As Chang delivered his love ballads, masterpieces from canonical Western art were shown, from Botticelli’s The Birth Of Venus down to Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

Still, all of the staging and production would have been for nought if Chang had not delivered as a singer.

And deliver he did as the prince of love ballads dug into his big bag of hits and pulled out one familiar favourite after another, including Don’t Worry About My Sadness and Love Tide.

Apart from a moment or two of strain, he showed excellent control over his pristine tenor pipes over the 21/2-hour show.

His heyday might have been in the 1990s but he still has his fans. The 7,000 capacity crowd comprised those in their 20s and 30s.

He walked up and down the length of the stage and waved to the audience from time to time, but otherwise, he was not much of a mover and shaker.

But he had a cheeky side which occasionally emerged in his banter.

When some fans shouted: ‘Ah Zhe, you’re so handsome,’ he responded immediately: ‘What took you guys so long? I’ve been waiting all this time for a compliment.’

When the crowd finally got fired up during the call for an encore, a bemused Chang quipped: ‘Why is everyone so high after the concert has ended?’

He might not have the most electrifying stage presence and he might not have the slick dance moves, but he nevertheless fashioned an entertaining show from the unlikely combination of Chinese pop and high art.

There was even a snatch of Chinese opera incorporated into his new song Peony Care.

You could also read the presentation as Chang making a case for his songs as art. Before each number, the title was displayed and the composer and lyricist duly credited.

You might not agree, but there’s no denying that the crooner has accumulated an impressive body of well-loved classics over two decades.

And that’s no small achievement.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I thought the concert was rather disappointing because he seemed really reserved and awkward during the singing. He literally just delivered the bare minimum.

My review here:

Comment by kormmandos

Hi, yes, I think the rather formal set and orchestral design created an emotional distance between Chang and his fans. Are you a fan of David Tao by the way? I am attending the concert. Will look forward to your review and photos if you’re going to be there as well.

Comment by sojourneys

I might be going for David Tao’s concert, but it really depends if I get allocated to review the concert as it is on a voluntary basis.

Comment by kormmandos

Hi, for your question, I’m currently working at Singapore Press Holdings.

Comment by kormmandos

it was alright…it was something different compared to all the other pop concerts. nice vocals…although a bit shy but down to earth. look fwd to his new album. he has a song done with MC Hotdog! and also collaborating with Mavis Fan.

Comment by May

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