Silken-voiced veteran songstress Tsai Chin took her fans down memory lane on 23 May at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. She showed more than amply that she is still the legendary Tsai Chin, full of charm and talent.
The 51-year-old Taiwanese songbird is famed for her rich vocals and witty persona. Tsai invited the audience to journey with her through her career, as a multimedia presentation of her albums and photos was shown, marking the milestones of her three-decade-long career.
Tsai Chin 2009: The New Endless Love picked up where her last sold-out concert left off in 2007. A chronicle through song, it traveled from her rise to fame, through her prime in the “80s, to her tough period in the “90s. Some of the songs performed included ‘你的眼神’ (‘Your Eyes’) and ‘被遗忘的时光’ (‘The Forgotten Time’), which was featured in the Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs.
There were moments during the concert when Tsai choked back her tears, recounting how she found herself being unwanted by record companies.
She said: “The years between 1990 to 2000 was the toughest point in my life. The old singers were ushered out for the younger talents. I was very sad as I thought it was just the beginning for me.”
Tsai’s warmth and personality shone through as she punctuated her songs with personal anecdotes and witty humour throughout the show. It was literally a one-woman show: There were no hosts, no extravagant costumes, no dancers or stunts — it was just her personality and rich vocals that shone through.
She poked fun at herself and had the audience laughing along with her.
“Look at me, I was 17 then, but I looked like 70. My hair was so short that everyone thought I was a boy. That was when I first started out,” laughed Tsai, as she pointed to the screen that showed an unsmiling picture of herself with a boyish crop.
Dressed in a gold dress with her famous coif, she swayed from one end of the stage to the other, and encouraged the audience to clap and sing together. The audience warmed up quickly as she prompted them to wave their hands in the air.
“Nobody is old here! Put your hands up! I know everyone here is mature, but I think we can all clap,” she encouraged.
There was resounding applause and the concert goers sang along to ‘读你’ (‘Reading You’), one of her most popular hits. When the song ended, Tsai clutched a side table trying to catch her breath, and remarked, “Why did I try to act young?”
When things slowed down, as with the simmering ‘不了情’ (‘Never Ending Love’) and ‘新不了情’ (‘New Endless Love’), Tsai seemed in her element. She broke down and shared that before she arrived in Singapore, she was told that she had been nominated for her second Golden Melody award.
“In my marathon singing career, I’ve experienced the industry”s generational changes. It is so thrilling to be able to be on the circuit with singers of various genres, and to allow the new generation to evaluate her performance,” she said.
|PHOTOS: Daniel Poh|
As the concert drew to a close, the audience refused to leave and continued shouting for an encore, which Tsai obliged happily, closing a great show with the song that catapulted her to fame: ‘恰似你的温柔’ (‘Just Like Your Tenderness’).
IT engineer Lily Yong, 40, enjoyed the concert very much.
“Her songs really brought me back to old times, and her voice was very good. These are the evergreen songs that will never lose their popularity. I believe 20 years down the road, these songs will still be popular,” said Yong, who bought a top-price ticket.
“I like her songs, and I don’t mind paying for a ticket to watch her. It was worth it. There were no special effects but yet she was able to hold everything together.”
Housewife Jenny Kong, 52, agreed that Tsai’s confidence and friendliness was what connected her with the audience.
“She may be popular but she isn”t proud at all. She has this natural ability to excite the crowd. I really like the old songs that she sang. I am very satisfied with the concert,” she said.
Tonight proved that Tsai Chin only gets better with age, just like a good wine — she will remain, for many, a favorite forever. ‘’