So the concert season is here! Let me talk about Mr Jay Chou’s concert before I am overwhelmed by Mayday’s concerts next week. Finally, after encountering many problems with the tickets, I attended Mr Jay Chou’s Opus concert on Saturday 9 June 2013. His tickets are notoriously difficult to purchase. I was lucky to have very front seat tickets. I was surrounded by VIPs who did not have to spend a single cent for their tickets. The first 10 rows are in the so-called VIP section. Each ticket costs an obscene amount – 341 SG dollars. Moreover, one ‘bank’ actually charged additional GST and service charge – such that each ticket will eventually cost about 380 SG dollars.
Mr Jay started the concert on a high note! Flashing his famous eight packs and sexy merman line, he emerged from a sci-fi looking contraption and sang ‘惊叹号’!
The atmosphere was electrifying! I jumped to my feet immediately and ‘Wah Kao’ with him. However, many of the VIPS looked bored and their bums were perpetually stuck to the seats. I guess many of the VIPS are not hardcore fans. They just took the free tickets and came for one night of casual entertainment. I bet many of them do not know his songs or speak/understand Chinese/Mandarin. Their VIP tickets should be given to true fans who deserve to be near Mr Jay.
While Mr Jay’s performance of ‘惊叹号’ was fantastic, I could not help but compare it to the flawless rendition of ‘惊叹号’ in Kaohsiung 2011 when Nicholas Tse started the concert with ‘Wah Kao’!
(Ha, this picture is quite hilarious as a particular part of Mr Jay’s body is on fire!)
After ‘Wah Kao-ing’, he hid his abs when he sang an old favourite ‘龙拳’. Unfortunately, the legendary abs did not surface till the penultimate song. After two upbeat songs, he slowed the pace slightly with another old favourite ‘最后的战役’.
Next, with Cindy Yen and Gary Yang, he performed ‘比较大的大提琴’ from his new Opus 12 album. I felt that Cindy Yen did not dance as well as compared to Lara in the MTV. Gary Yang was quite good but I wished he could sing ‘爱的飞行日记’ with Mr Jay again!
Then, there was this strange ‘musical’ segment. Mr Jay obviously wanted to promote his new movie, ‘天台’. He showed the movie trailer and sang a few songs from the movie. However, this ‘musical segment’ disrupted the momentum of the concert as most of the fans were not familiar with the movie tunes. While it was entertaining to watch Mr Jay acting and singing, somehow I felt that the flow of the concert was disjointed for this segment.
As usual, Mr Jay was very suave when he delivered the new Opus 12 love ballad ‘哪里都是你’. Mr Jay’s love ballads are always popular hits in the Mandopop charts. But I get the sense that his fans would prefer his classic ballads like ‘龙卷风’, ‘暗号’ or ‘借口’ from as older albums as compared to the newer, more predictable love songs.
The tribute to his repertoire of movies was very enjoyable. With the scenes of ‘Initial D’ playing at the background, the fans went for a nostalgic ride when Mr Jay sang ‘一路向北’. I was very happy when Mr Jay sang ‘不能说的秘密’. The ‘Secret’ movie montage was visually stunning and it complemented the song perfectly. After singing songs from various movie soundtracks, Mr Jay definitely had to celebrate his success in Hollywood and proudly performed the crowd favourite ‘双截棍’.
What is a Jay Chou’s concert without a piano? So Mr Jay emerged with a very ‘diao’ piano. He crooned another new love ballad ‘明明就’.
I died when he sang ‘世界末日’ – a true gem in Mr Jay’s collection. When he was singing and playing the piano, I almost imagined that he was going to remove his top halfway through the song. A very long time ago, he performed the song and took off his top (watch this)!
After the powerful ‘世界末日’ , he did a strange semi-unplugged/acoustic version of ‘Mine Mine’. Luckily he did not perform this song with the Kpop-wannabe MTV dance.
Mr Jay is so popular in the Mandopop industry because of his unprecedented ‘China Wind’ songs. Hence, he must perform a few ‘China Wind’ songs during his concert! He sang ‘青花瓷’ and ‘红尘客栈’ to fulfill his ‘China Wind’ love ballads quota. After the ‘China Wind’ wave, many hearts melted around the stadium when he sang the classic ‘安静’.
Shortly, Chinese zombies (僵尸) appeared onstage. I thought Mr Jay was going to sing ‘本草纲目’ as I was thinking about the zombies jumping in the MTV. The creepy mood became lighthearted and Mr Jay launched into a comic dance routine with ‘公公偏头痛’. The song is irrelevant but highly entertaining.
Mr Jay looked absolutely dashing in his pink shirt when he sang ‘大笨钟’. This song has jumped a few ranks in my ‘Jay Chou Chart’!
Finally, my favourite segment in the entire concert – the unplugged medley. I think Mr Jay should extend this segment. With his guitar, he brought the fans down memory land as he unleashed a series of old classics like ‘彩虹’ , ‘轨迹’, ‘牛仔很忙’, ‘星晴’, ‘回到过去’, ‘完美主义’ and ‘乔克叔叔’. I love ‘‘轨迹’, the theme song from the movie ‘寻找周杰倫’. The movie examines Mr Jay’stardom from an interesting angle. Of course, Mr Jay must sing ‘星晴’, one of the songs which propelled him to massive stardom. With the song ‘回到过去’, an underrated song from his ‘八度空間’ album., Mr Jay definitely brought us back to the past. My jaws dropped when he sang ‘完美主义’! What a surprise! Only Mr Jay, the King of Mandopop, can chant his name ‘周杰倫’ with such ‘coolness’and ‘diaoness’.
Mr Jay ended this fantastic segment with his classic – ‘晴天’. I can listen to this song a million times and never grow sick of it.
Like his ‘The Era’ tour, Mr Jay infuses technology in his concert to enhance the special effects. With a refreshing blend of pyrotechnics, projection and synchronised dance movements, the ‘手语’ performance was very spectacular.
Mr Jay had to sing a few of his staple songs to satisfy his fans. One of the ‘must sing’ song in his concert song list is definitely the karaoke-friendly ‘开不了口’.
After the fans screamed ‘encore’, Mr Jay sashayed onstage to ‘乌克丽丽’. With brightly coloured costumes and props, the fans’excitement reached a climax and Mr Jay even exposed a glimpse of his tantalizing abs as he danced to the beat. Ultimately, every concert must end and Mr Jay concluded in style with the energetic ‘陽光宅男’.
Personally, I think that the concert is far too short. After a brief two and a half hour of performance, the fans were left high and dry. The flow and organisation of the various segments could have been improved. The concept of the ‘Opus’ or ‘Ferris’ Wheel’ was not well developed. The interactions with fans were limited, as Mr Jay did not speak much. The prices of the concert tickets are costly and Mr Jay could have rewarded the fans’ dedication with a few more songs.
Despite some flaws, Mr Jay is an exceptional entertainer and his concerts are always spectacular! The most successful star in the Chinese popular music scene, Mr Jay is truly an icon in East Asia. Attending his concerts is almost like participating in a sublime cultural experience.
Perhaps I am too pampered by Mayday as I am so used to three to four hours long concerts. Oh well, 周董, 给我多几首歌的时间!