Sammi Cheng charms at her sold-out concert.
Judging by the fervor of the crowd, one could easily conclude that Sammi Cheng’s popularity has not waned a bit ever since her last concert back in 2007. Here in Singapore for a one-night only gig on April 2 as part of her Love Mi World Tour, the Cantopop diva crooned her notes to a new high, much to the delight of the 10,000-strong audience at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The sold-out event saw a wide demography of concert-goers, from teenagers as young as 13 to elderly folk looking every bit as star struck. A good number were dressed in red and pink, colors well-associated with the singer’s own vibrant personality.
The show opened with a strong display of energy, interestingly from both audience and singer. Deafening screams and whistles from the spectators filled the stadium at the same time as a huge canvas covering the stage was dropped, revealing the much-awaited star upon a gondola amidst blinding pyrotechnics. Clad in a futuristic suit that covered her from head to toe in a brilliant shine, she belted out the dynamic number, “Chotto Matte”, meaning “to wait” in Japanese, as if echoing her supporters’ very sentiments of having waited for her return after three long years.
Cheng’s vocal prowess shone through her effortless delivery of 24 breathtaking songs throughout the concert, and her firm grasp of Mandarin, English and Cantonese aided in a nuanced performance. Her impeccable dance steps matched the drumming rhythm of her tunes to a T. A performer worthy of her fans’ adoration, she danced and pranced tirelessly without skipping a beat, and a surprise move of jumping backwards into a deep cavity was met with excited screams from the crowd.
Cheng’s ability to connect with her audience was evident as her humble and sincere persona emerged—in asking them whether her Mandarin had improved since she last came, and laughing along with the audience when she mispronounced certain words, which were all immensely charming for her fans.
Her respect for her craft and other performers was plain to see, as she urged the audience right after her first song, to acknowledge the efforts of her band and dance crew. She also exhibited professionalism and an endearing personality as she heaped praises on her guest singers, Chen Huan Ren and MC Jin.
Vocals and showmanship apart, her costumes lived up to their reputation. Famously known as a stage chameleon, Cheng appeared in a total of seven different outfits, all equally flamboyant and eye-catching, providing a visual feast.
The most memorable moment of the show had to be when she sang a riveting rendition of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up”, along with a couple of other tunes from Believe Faith, a gospel album released in December 2009. The Christian imagery was unmistakable; with Cheng as a figure of pure white, replete with angel wings, against an ominous background and dark slinking creatures. Avid fans will know the message behind this, and as concert-goer Thomas Soh, 23, quipped, “Sammi came out of her depression after turning to God and becoming a Christian, and her songs carry the message of love and hope more than ever before.”
|CN PHOTOS: Michael Chan|
Proving why she is so well-loved by the masses, she wrapped up the concert with a medley of her classic songs. The concert culminated in her delivery of a song that she asserted she sings for every concert, loosely translated in English as “Only You Cannot Be Replaced.” The entire stadium was swept up in a wave of nostalgia and sentimentality. When asked about the significance of the song, Sheryl Toh, a businesswoman revealed, “The lyrics simply remind me of a time of loss and pain in my personal life, and I believe it speaks to many as well.”
Cheng’s Love Mi concert brings back memories of life’s bittersweet moments for the concert goers, and also showed music in its finest form. More importantly, as Reuben Wong, a 44 year-old manager aptly summed up, Sammi Cheng is one singer that “cannot be replaced” in the undying hearts of her fans, who will continue to love “Mi” for many more years to come.