Cheer Chen Qizhen’s concert in Hong Kong was completely sold out — and I didn’t think I’d get the chance to watch her this season round. But little did I know that the only Saturday I was back home this month would be the night of her Singapore concert. Once the super-trouper MY agreed to be company for the night, and the long-suffering Other BT wheedled a discount for me — yeehaw! Rumour was that the tickets were selling poorly, but you know what, all you need are rabid, rabbity fans and a stellar cast and crew.
Watched some clips of Chen Qizhen in concert before, which were a bit tame. But hey, a concert invariably bears the stamp of its star, be it Emil Chau’s hankering for love, the elder pantheon’s supreme confidence, or here, the awkward gentleness and sheer giftedness of Chen Qizhen. Sure, there were grainy silences now and then, but that made me appreciate how hard Jay Chou works to make his concerts a continuous stream of musical consciousness. Hee.
The crowd was pretty much a harbinger of what was to come — 乖乖牌 (obedient type), girly girls and nerdy guys (I am all of the above). The sort of crowd that politely applauds the carefully edited pre-concert grooves. The first half of the concert was all new-albumy and conceptual and splendiferous:
But then things got hypered-up later on — Chen started rocking and rolling and scootering around:
It was kinda strange how both band (crazy, crazy band) and audience (sparse but nutty) behaved just like shy strangers at first, then turned into the most raucous of friends by the end. Raucous enough to have an hour’s worth of encores, making it a three-hour deal. Check out this Chinese transliteration of the word ‘encore’ (either a rabid fan or rabid record company worker — there was also someone waving a Taiwanese flag and wielding a whistle to conduct the clamouring for encores, huh):
Her songs just make me feel … spoken of. Spoken to. Spoken for. Heck, she even talked about pretty real concerns for me now — uplifting downtrodden friends who forget to seize each day with all the happiness it allows; setting ourselves free from the needless yoke made up of our own desperate desires. I lose a lot by not listening to her lyrics carefully, I know. Can transpose other not-enoughs from this, I know that too.
Is all this because of her training in philosophy? Or cos she’s incredibly pretty? I also like her concept of defining the sun in each of our lives — is my sun the Son? Is it OK to have multiple suns of varying glory? All in all, it was a night to remember — sparkly, special and slightly bizzare (met an old friend!), even though I started off feeling sad and shamed about the empty seats.
Good night! Catch her music/concerts if you can!
[Addendum 16/4/09: Slapped together some photos here.]