sojourneys


ST Review of Wakin’s Concert: Night of highlights
February 8, 2009, 11:41 pm
Filed under: concerts, Wakin 周华健
Night of highlights

Yes, Wakin Chau forgot his lyrics again, but who cares when his concert is so enjoyable

By jocelyn lee
Wakin Chau (right) shares the limelight with Singaporean Wynne Sandosham (left). — PHOTO: UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENT

reviewconcert
ONE WAKIN LIVE IN SINGAPORE
Singapore Indoor Stadium
Last Saturday

Once again, Wakin Chau forgot the lyrics to a song. He’s famous, or infamous, for doing that in live performances.

But this time, it’s understandable. They weren’t lyrics to his own song that he had forgotten and it was only the last line in Stefanie Sun’s early hit Black Sky that he flubbed.

In any case, his fans adore him to bits and have always forgiven him his lapses in memory. That’s how diehard they are, something they proved yet again last Saturday night when they turned out in full force at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

For four hours, Chau, 48, entertained the almost full-house crowd of more than 7,000 enthusiastic fans with a continuous stream of his Mandarin ballads, most of which were mega hits in the 1990s.

His earnest songs about love and friendship, which lend themselves all too easily to singalongs, show how good old-fashioned pop songs could still reign in an era when Mandarin rap and R&B are all the rage.

Fans, most of whom looked to be in their 30s to late 50s, screamed their appreciation. Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong’s wife, as well as several Caucasians, were spotted in the crowd.

Throughout the concert, Chau was friendly and playful, bantering and joking with the audience in English and Mandarin. And in order to get close to as many fans as possible, he made sure he covered every inch of a stage designed to look like a rooftop, complete with shooting stars, a moon and a clear blue sky.

How the fans lapped it up. That’s another thing Chau is famous for: being a crowd-pleaser. On past TV charity shows in Singapore, he always could get the donation calls pouring in with just a couple of songs and a few well-timed pleas.

The Hong Kong-born, Taiwan-based singer kicked off the concert with the familiar love ballad, Don’t Want To Be Alone, clad in a glamorous but comfortable-looking get-up of shimmery black blazer coat and matching pants.

Delivering fan favourites such as Unable To Sleep, Actually I Don’t Want To Go, Friends and Let Me Be Happy, Let Me Be Sad, he had the entire stadium waving their hands and singing along with him. Loud cheers fom the audience also greeted all these hits, showing these songs were what they were at the concert for.

Song after song, Chau’s signature powerful yet soothing vocals took centrestage, even on covers of several songs he likes, including Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon and Sun’s Black Sky.

He engendered so much warmth and good feelings in the stadium that the camaraderie between him and the audience spilled over for his special guest, local pub musician Wynne Sandosham, who crooned touching ballads I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone and Love, Me.

The good vibes also resulted in a generous encore that lasted one hour, as Chau patiently took about eight song requests from fans.

When the highlight-packed concert finally ended, it was, ironically, on a touching note: Chau broke into tears while singing Radiant, a song that he said never fails to make him cry.

jocelee@sph.com.sg

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