F.I.R’s second world tour saw a reinvented band that kept the fans rocking at Singapore Indoor Stadium with chart-topping hits.
“It’s just exciting and songs like ‘Lydia’ kept me hooked from the beginning till the end!” said Thomas Huang, 23, a national service man. Together with two of his friends, Stan Poh and Alan Tok, both 23, who have been ardent supporters of popular Taiwanese Mandopop band F.I.R since the launch of their debut album some six years ago, the one-night only concert on July 9 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium was not to be missed.
The two-hour full-length concert featured an opening act from a popular local rock band Black Forest. Together with four of his band mates, Ernest Chua, kick off F.I.R.’s It’s My Live 2010 World Tour and entertained the 6,000-strong crowd with three of their self-penned tracks. Just when the audience was warmed up for the evening, the lights dimmed, and the series of LED display panels that lined the stage transformed the indoor arena into a modern day coliseum. Almost instantly, the fans who sat coolly in their seats were transported into a fairyland of sorts, perhaps an indication for them to loosen up and party the night away.
Incidentally, ‘Fairyland In Reality‘, is the backronym used as the title of the trio’s 2004 debut album. The trio, helmed by renowned music producer Ian Chen, is backed by two other Taiwanese artistes, Real Huang and Faye Chan. Whilst none of them are strangers to the music scene, Chen stands out amongst the rest as he is the most senior and experienced of the band members. Having penned more than 200 songs since starting out at a young age, he has gone on to produce many chart-topping hits for big names such as A-Mei, Eason Chan, Grace Zhou and even Singapore’s home-grown talent, Stefanie Sun.
Since their last concert tour back in 2007, F.I.R. was back in town to deliver yet another entertaining performance. As promised, the evening’s rundown was filled with hits of the past and present. Visually, it was a feast as the costumes worn by the celebrities were outrageous and bizarre, with influences from Lady Gaga no less. But beyond the impressive wardrobe changes throughout the concert, it was the music from the creative band that captivated all. From the solo performances showcasing Chan’s vocal prowess and Huang’s masterful finger work on his electric guitar to the tasteful piano recital featuring a virgin singing performance from Chen, the three talented individuals delivered a flamboyant and crowd-pleasing concert.
Just earlier in the week, the band debut at the Hong Kong Coliseum for this 2010 concert series. As a teaser for the fans limited concert merchandise such as T-shirts, caps and badges specially designed with the band’s logo were also made for sale before and after the concert to complete the occasion. Despite the recent bumper crop of concerts organised here, there were no signs of concert fatigue just yet. The huge following that turned up to support the band was a testament of their likeable image and style of music. Throughout their performance, the members peppered their individual segments with little nuggets of information about their musical journey, often affirming and interjecting a sense of positivity whenever possible.
|CN PHOTO: Poh Yang Zheng
Midway through the concert, Singapore songstress Stefanie Sun made a guest appearance and joined Chan and Huang on stage to sing “天 黑 黑”, a song that catapulted her to international stardom in 2000. Just as the song ended, the playful duo orchestrated a surprise on their guest by singing her a birthday song. Soon, Chen appeared from the side to pass a novelty handmade soap in the shape of a birthday cake specially made by Chan to present to her good friend, Sun. Touched by their unexpected gestures of love, the local songbird thanked the trio for the early greetings as her birthday falls on the 23rd of this month. Looking feminine in a little black dress, Sun spoke keenly of their friendship forged since the days when they were recording under the same label, Warner Music. Despite taking a two year break at the peak of her singing career, the singer has clearly not lost her appeal, as she rocked the crowd with her rendition of Shocking Blue’s 1970 hit song, “Venus” and carried on to give a soulful interpretation of “我 不 难 过“ much to the delight of everyone.
Besides the familiar tunes previously performed at their first world tour back in 2008, the 35-song lineup included stand-out tracks from their latest album, titled “你 的 微 笑”and “红 潮”.Even traditional instruments like the Indian zither and tabla drums were integrated within an all-Singaporean ten-piece ensemble to enrich the night’s musical structure offering a showcase of dynamic artistic talents.
Having delivered an amazing performance, the trio looks set to rock on at their next Asian tour stop with their culturally influenced sounds and reinvented personas.
F.I.R’s latest album Let’s Smile is available at all major CD stores.