The recent Jay Chou concert gave fans more than a bang for their buck.
Contributed By Nicolette Ng
It was a night of non-stop screaming, cheering and jumping. Going by the stage display, every part of the concert had undoubtedly been planned to showcase one of the biggest Chinese pop stars in history, Jay Chou.
The finale night of the three-day sold-out concert kicked off with the opening number “Dragon Rider.” The singing superstar first appeared as a hologram, seemingly afloat in space, until a globular screen on stage opened up to reveal Chou in the flesh. Dressed in a glittery sliver outfit, topped off with a mohawk, he came across as a hybrid of the late kings of pop and rock ‘n’ roll, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.
From the stage displays and pyrotechnics, to the dancers’ costumes, everything was well thought-out in an exacting and enthralling thematic manner. For the album Capricorn, for example, the stage display was circus-themed. As he sang the song “Clown,” the stage opened up to reveal a clown dressed in neon green. With the many fantasy characters and elaborately dressed dancers, Chou lived up to his reputation for not just delivering a good show, but a dream-like experience.
The special effects were a big feature of the package. 3-D effects of the high-definition screens created optical illusions and teased the audience—as Jay was singing, nine boxes appeared in front of the stage on a screen, each one with different images of him in the same costume. The laser lights and background visuals were also cutting edge—at one point, it was as if staircases were really unfolding out of thin air.
During the more intimate moments, the singer showcased his superb piano skills as he sang and played, occasionally throwing glances at the crowd. Special guests, of whom were mostly newcomers, also put in a good show.
|CN PHOTOS: Poh Yang Zheng|
One of the highlights was when Chou screamed “Sin-ga-pore” and jested with the crowd that chairs in Singapore were seats for bags, psyching the audience to stand up and be on their feet with him for the entire concert. Needless to say, they did, and the whole stadium turned into a mega-rave party. The atmosphere was electrifying; one suspects that even among the handful of non-fans in attendance, there would have been at least a few converts.
As the popular hits like “Back To The Past,” “Common Jasmine Orange” and “Cute Woman” were performed, the crowd chorused along. It felt like a mega KTV session for Chou and his adoring fans. From the front row to those all the way back at the balcony section, light sticks and neon-lighted boards dotted the scene throughout the night.
A video clip charted the rise of his musical career, taking the audience through his journey from obscurity into superstardom. It included all his best-selling albums, his biggest hits and also showed his latest milestone in his acting a career—playing Kato in the Hollywood movie, The Green Hornet, to be released in 2011. He also politely thanked and appreciated all his fans for their support over the many years.
The most exhilarating part of the night came halfway when Chou was belting out the popular hit “Stars,” as he went down to the front seats to greet the fans—with a five-men security escort with him the whole way, of course.
If there was any doubt that he did not deserve any of the 350 singer, songwriter, and producer awards he has won throughout his 10-year musical career, this concert blew that doubt away. It was heartening to note that the one thing that had never changed about the talented Chou was what catapulted him to fame in the first place. Laser lights and razzle dazzle aside, what stood out was his unique personality and his music. There was no filler track; every song he performed that night was a penetrating showcase of singing and songwriting at its finest.
As he sang the song “Saying Goodbye,” it hinted to the crowd that the fun-filled night was coming to an end. As the lights dimmed, demands for an encore naturally erupted among the fans. Accompanied by the concert drummer’s beats, the fans chanted “Zhou Jie Lun, Zhou Jie Lun” until the stage lit up again and Chou emerged playing the piano, ending the night on a high note with some fast numbers.