Concert review for William wei's <在你身边> concert.
I've been a fan of wei's music since his first album and saw him perform live once before, during the autograph session for his latest album <Journey into the Night>. So I was pretty aware of what would be waiting for me when I got to the concert. Sure enough, when I arrived at the concert what met my eyes was a crowd that filled up half of the Legacy theatre, packed denser than sardines in a box. But what I could feel was an audible cacophony of loyal fans whispering and humming along to Wei's latest single playing while they waited. The atmosphere in the place was definitely electric and made me summon up my energy reserves in preparation for a great night out despite an exhausting day.
He performed well through a slew of songs from his latest album <Journey through the night> despite a bout of nervousness at the start, cracking jokes and charming his audiences the whole way through. Wei's heart was definitely in the right place, and I do feel that he did his best to give everyone an enjoyable and entertaining night.
I have to say I was a little disappointed at the whole concept of the concert and the way he performed however; the concert was merely called <在你身边>, the name of one of the most popular songs from his album and the song of the year for Sponsor American cotton with no real attachment to a concept. Seeing the amount of work Wei put into the concept of his new album, I was surprised and a little disappointed that he didn't at least attempt to do the same for the concert.
Furthermore, it was sad to see that he didn't improvise at all on any of the songs, neither did he show off any special talents such as playing his guitar. After going to see Yen-J's concert in the same setting (and paying less, one might add) where he played the guitar, keyboard, piano ,improvised on the vocals and completely rearranged all the pieces towards a new concept, Wei's whole concert seemed a little uninspired to me.
The only gimmick that the concert had going for it was the appearance of special guest Softlipa who featured on one of the songs on Wei's album. I really applaud him for bringing spontaneity and life to the concert; immediately after his arrival the crowd went wild cheering,clapping and getting into the groove of the concert. Things really started to get into motion after that, but it was a real pity that he only came on near to the end of the performance.
Overall performance wise, i was a little disappointed in the concert in general, but Wei did manage to do one very important thing that night at the concert-win the hearts of his fans, and that's the most important part.
I really think that VChuan is a singer with a lot of potential. His live performance, charisma, humor and just passion about what he does really swept me off my feet when i went to see him perform live at the City Cafe花房 at his very first autograph session/music session. His powerful vocals were in tip top condition, as was his sparkling wit and the warmth that he showed to the few but loyal fans who stopped by to support him. There's really nothing more I can say other than that he is a really great artist who deserves to be supported. Am totally in love with his voice, and his new album <全是爱>, so if you're a fan of the likes of Andrew Chen, A-bin fang etc. , you should join the VChuan fanclub! Wishing him the best of luck with the promotion of his album, hope it gets wonderful reviews!
Joanna is really an artist that I admire, especially for her unique views on things, and her ability to stand out from the crowd with bravery and independence. She causes a stir, but once you get to know her and her music, you find that she isn't just making a mountain out of a molehill. She is a really passionate singer who cares about her music and how it gets put out to the public in the form of albums. I really enjoyed watching her performance on the 20th at the Taipei museum of fine arts, which was a pretty low-key event, with her performing with an accompanist and her own guitar a selection of songs both from her new album <Midnight Cinema>, as well as other original songs that she's written, showcasing her unique point of view and personality.
For each and every song she had a story to tell, about why she wrote this song, what the song is trying to say, and what she wants others to get from her music. This is a really important part of being a person in the music industry, because if you can't get people to understand what you are trying to say from your music, then there really isn't much of a point in sharing the music with others. Some of the stories behind her songs were wacky, humorous; while others were more serious and deep. However, each and every song had an interesting message behind it which Joanna clearly put out to the audience during this performance. I truly enjoyed the performance, and hope to see her perform again soon!
Had so much fun at Yen-J's Yen-Joy Everyday concert at Legacy Taipei on the 19th! Here are some pictures from a great night! As the theme was R n B, Yen-J requested that his fans come dressed in R n B outfits, which fit into the theme of his most recent Love x Pi album, as he performed every single song from that album that night, and also had fun activities planned to involve the fans in the choosing of the songs that he would be singing that night! He also gave his heartfelt thanks to every single fan, thanking them for being there for him and supporting him until this day. Yen-J is a singer who I really feel is one to look out for. Since his debut where he was publicised as a 100% creative person (ie he took care of the lyrics, melodies, arrangements and production of his debut album) until now, you wouldn't have imagined it but he's worked so hard to improve himself to get to where he stands today. I am truly impressed and proud to be a fan of his. Enjoy some photos I took of the concert on that night!
It was a great night out for me at the Riverside河岸留言 music venue; not too many people showed up, but the crowd was shy but enthusiastic, supporting their favourite acts and even bringing along signboards and posters! All the better for me to get up close and personal with the artists, including my favourite Lara Veronin, as well as Mify (member of disbanded band Roomie), Aoki and many others!
The very cute Musical Director Mc-ed the night with a huge dose of adorable dorkiness, but was able to take the edge off things, making it a relaxing night for both the performers while onstage and the audience. Although I don't know the names of all the members of Sunny Frog Productions personally, I feel that each of them played and performed with professionalism and a sense of humour which is always needed in situations such as these! There were a few technical hitches throughout the concert, but between the MC desperately trying to give out drink vouchers no one seemed to want and the friendly but one-sided banter between the artists and the audience; I think there were bigger things at hand to worry about. Although the crowd was somewhat aloof the whole time, looking around I saw people who were enthusiastic (albeit inwardly) about supporting good music, and was happy to join them in enjoying the wonderful music that was played for us that friday night.
The first act of the night was Lin Jun Lin, a quiet, unassuming girl who's guitar playing and voice quietly blew the crowd away. Although she's not much by the way of stage personalities, her talent shines through, as does her sweet and clear vocals and meaningful lyrics in <叛逆>(Rebellious).
The Sunny Frog Productions team worked well together, performing a seamless string of original songs with a great rhythm to each piece. It was really great to see everyone enjoying themselves up on stage, and seeing each performer as an instrumental and equal part of each song made me really happy! There's not much I can say, other than that I thoroughly enjoyed each and every song they performed. Also a special mention to dance duo Sam and Ding Ding, whose contemporary-influenced dance to <流浪到淡水> (if I'm not wrong) was really impressive and captured the dynamics and rhythm of the song perfectly!
Aiko方語昕, a popular cover artist on youtube shared her story with loyal fans and audience alike, how she found herself through her music and her journey in finding happiness. I was impressed with the songs that she wrote herself with arrangements by Sunny Frog, but felt the <狮子路口>(Lion's mouth) was a little indulgent and it was really hard for me to find the melody line in the song. Her bubbly personality really won me over, as well as the passion and dedication that she put into learning the guitar.
Mify, previously a member of the girl group Roomie preferred not to be associated so much with the disbanded group, but definitely held her own with her powerhouse vocals and great stage personality. Performing a song from her Roomie days, she brought it in a whole new direction and injected it with energy and focus. Her cover of <Titanium> also showed off her strong vocals and the creativeness of using a vocal changing machine in <The future> brought an element of excitement to the performance, but also made it harder for me to hear where the song was going. however, it had a rocking rhythm and the band was so energetic that it was still a hit for me. Definitely one of the artists who impressed me the most tonight!
Previous million star contestant (A popular taiwanese singing contest) Xu Ren Jie Stanly Xu made a surprising entrance by appearing within the crowd and starting the performance of his own creation <The light from the stars> from within the audience, before slowly making his way onto stage. The song was a warm ditty that was further enhanced by his strong baritone vocals. His rendition of the song <Catch A Feeling> where he encouraged the crowd to sing along was well done, but it was a pity that his attempts at getting the crowd to sing along were very much in vain.
And last but definitely not least was the act that I was waiting for ; Lara Veronin! (Side note: I was so excited I couldn't sleep the night before!) Having never heard her sing live before, but having seen videos, I kind of knew what I was in for but was impressed all the same. Starting off with a rock version of her song <Free Spirit> , Lara got the crowd moving with her all-encompassing stage personality, before performing her new song with Sunny Frog Productions' Roger <好开始>(Good beginnings) which she wrote the lyrics for! Finally she ended on a high note with her rendition of Bon Jovi's <It's my life>, encouraging the audience to sing along and showing off her high vocal range and technique. Honestly I think I was a little in shock throughout her performance just seeing her for the first time, but I really do think that she did a phenomenal job this time around.
Unfortunately, I had to leave almost straight after, so wasn't able to stick around for the last few songs, the final bow and TAWKI-Taipei As We Know It's creative event being held afterwards, but went back really happy,having listened to some really great artists performing some really good music.For a lot of these artists, they probably don't get much of a chance to perform songs that they've written themselves for large audiences, so it was really nice for me to hear them and their ideas through their music. Definitely regret not getting the EP on sale which featured many of the songs performed on the night, but was still really impressed by creative spirit that encompassed the entire performance. I would go again in a heartbeat.
Concert Track List:
1. Guitar Instrumental
2.叛逆Rebellious (Original piece by 林君琳)
Sunny Frog Productions
3.小雨伞(Sang by Roger from Sunny Frog Productions ; Original piece by Sunny Frog Productions)
4.暗ni(?)(Sunny Frog Productions Original)
5.流浪到淡水(Sunny Frog Productions Original)
8.狮子路口(Possibly not the right name)
9.你懂我You get me(Original by Roomie)
11.未来 the future
许仁杰 Hsu Ren Jie
12.小星星的光The light from the stars(Original by Ren Jie)
13.Catch a Feeling
15.好开始Good Beginnings (Lara's new duet with Roger from Sunny Frog Productions)
16. It's My Life (Bon Jovi cover)
Sunny Frog Productions
**Sorry that the concert track list is incomplete; I did the best I could.
Well as you can see by the title, I'm not exactly in Taiwan yet...but this concert was too good for me not to share it with you guys so here you go! Yen-J everybody!
Saturday, the 25th of January turned out to be a cool day in Singapore, perfect concert-watching weather. Unfortunately, not many residents of Singapore took advantage of the weather to attend Yen-J’s <Piano Man> concert at the Singapore National Stadium in Kallang. A crying shame, it was. And I’m not referring at all to the concert itself, which I feel was a great success, but instead feel bad for the people who weren’t able to take this opportunity to watch such a great artist in action. Upon entering the stadium, the empty rows and general unenthusiastic atmosphere among concert-goers fazed me, and I found myself wondering, ‘Would there even be an encore?’ . But unlike me, Yen-J remained unfazed and took the stage; gazing out upon a tough crowd (less a handful of enthusiastically bobbing glowsticks) and performing with such enthusiasm, passion and ease that by the end of the concert; there was indeed an encore. And as I looked around in amazement at the crowd that 2 hours ago seemed to all have been dragged in against their will, I saw in their place a horde of supporters singing along to every word of the song, enthralled by Yen-J’s true passion for music and his love for his fans.
The concept for the <Piano Man> theme was well thought out and executed in every sense of the word, linking into many of yen-J’s interests and ideas throughout his life as an artist and musician, as well as relating smoothly to each and every song within the concert track list. The mini movie that played at intervals threaded a plotline and the notion of finding ones’ soul, bit by bit throughout the concert, stringing along fans and critics alike for the ride of a lifetime.
Yen-J was in great vocal form tonight, shedding his notorious but endearing image of <破音王>(voice breaking king) for a night, capturing everyone’s attention when he rose onto stage to the sound of <The year 2000>, breaking out in dance moves that could put Korean stars to shame. Although his slight frame and demure stage presence were obstacles in getting the crowd’s enthusiasm levels to reach a high, yen-J’s sincerity and hard work were enough to capture the audience’s hearts.
Yen-J breathed new life into each of his songs by using his immense creativity, pumping out his numerous hits such as <Temporary Boyfriend>, <A Good Lover> , <I like (no, I love)> and <Good things> , each giving listeners and fans alike a whole new listening experience. Throughout the concert, Yen-J takes us through the periods of life where music in its different genres have inspired him. As he classifies himself as a fusion Jazz-Pop artist, the first section of his concert was more electronic themed to go with the Piano Man theme, with the second segment Jazz themed and the third more pop and alternative genre focused.
The first section featured a dub-step version of <Donna Lee> , forgoing the chinese traditional feel for a more electronic one with Yen-J’s signature style of tongue-twisting lyrics. As for his hits such as <Temporary Boyfriend> and <Good Lover>, he kept changes to a minimum, allowing fans to sing along to these chart-topping hits.
One of my favourites of this concert was his rendition of <The next floor up> , which was a fully rap-genred song from his second album. Interestingly, he used it to lead into the Jazz section of his concert, fusing heavy-metal rock with a prominent jazz influence that included a solo by Yen-J himself on the trombone where he showed off his improvisational skills as a Jazz musicians, playing the crowd to a roaring high. I especially found it quite amazing how he was able to introduce Jazz in some of its most purest forms to a mainstream audience with such a great response. Also receiving a notable makeover was <Thank you for your inspiration> , that was totally remade as a Jazzy piece, complete with Yen-J on the piano and a prominent Saxophone part. Also included within this section were Jazz standards of his, such as <I haven’t given enough> and <The days where I am without you> , as well as a cover of Stevie Wonder’s <Sir Duke> that represented Yen-J’s personal music preferences and how Jazz influenced his adolescent years, with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane as his inspiration.
In his second section, he impressed with his acapella cover of <花心> , a oldies chinse traditional that incorporated acapella harmonies as well as beatboxing vocal percussion, while still feeling traditionally chinese with the help of the melody line. Turns out to be a great combination, but who would have ever thought of that other than Yen-J? I swear, he could put together any combination of genres in the book and it would still sound great. Anyway, I digress. <花心> was fused with an acapella opening to <The world isn’t all bad>, melding into a funky arrangement with the electric guitar. At this point he began to walk around the stadium, handing out Red Packets to fans and shaking hands, which was a great chinese new year surprise! This by far was the highlight of the concert for me, musically and also in terms of his interaction with his fans. <A small Umbrella 2013> was yen-J’s cover of a 1980s Hokkien song of the same name, with a completely different hip hop arrangement, a rap part and different lyrics! I only found this out afterwards so it was kind of lost on me during the concert, but he definitely had the crowd going with this song despite my ignorance in the matter.
He followed this with a stripped down acoustic setting, and performed a number of folksy fan favourites, such as <As Usual> , <I like (no, I love)> and <You and I both>, a cover of Jason Mraz’s original. I especially enjoyed the humorous <A celebrity’s love> that he sang with humour and cute gestures to accompany it. By this point he seemed to really enjoy himself and had loosened up enough to make jokes with fans and converse more easily about his personal feelings. Starting in the wrong key on the piano in <Chasing> was nothing his glib tongue couldn’t cover up, and he went on to perform it in high spirits, even standing up while playing and showing off his prowess with complex improvisation with the audience cheering him on.
His encore song list and his sincere gratitude that he showed to all his fans and listeners for coming were what really touched me, as he dedicated the classic <Meeting> to all listeners and fans while the rest of the songs within the encore really represented to me his transition as an artist since his debut until the moment he was standing right there on the stage in front of us all. Definitely, this concert was impressive as Yen-J showed off his musical skills by performing beatboxing, the trombone, guitar and piano. A few messed up lyrics and mistakes were nothing on this guy. He really won me over not only with his signature creativity and innovation this time around, but his complete sincerity and honesty in which he performed to his audience. I’ve been to many a concert, and yen-J may not have the best voice, or the best stage presence, or the best dance moves (A+ for effort though); but what he does have that no other artist I’ve seen live has is the way that he is able to make every performance about the fans and listeners. He makes them feel welcome, he makes them feel like they’re friends, and this concert showed me what a long way that can go when he transformed a stone-cold room of listeners into a pack of screaming, singing, arm-waving fans. And that, is really what makes him special.
Concert review: 4/5
1. The Year 2000
2. Donna Lee李唐娜
3. Temporary Boyfriend战时的男朋友
4. Good Lover好的情人
5. The next floor up隔壁大楼
6. Thank you for your inspiration谢谢你的灵感
7. I’ve not given enough I给的不够
8. The Days where I am without you没有你的日子的我
9. Sir Duke-Stevie Wonder
10. Summer Romance 夏天罗曼斯
13. 一支小雨傘2013 A small umbrella 2013（Original：洪榮宏-一支小雨伞）
14. I like (no, I love) 我喜欢（不，我爱）
15. As Usual照样
16. You and I both (Jason Mraz)
17. A celebrity’s love明星的爱
19. What would I do without you 没有你怎么办
20. It’s not like I won’t be lonely despite this又不是这样就不孤独
21. One heart for two uses 一心二用
22. Love x Pi
23. Chasing 追寻
24. At least I have me至少还有我
25. Thanks for your greatness谢谢你的美好
26. Good Things好的事情
27. Trapped in Taipei困在台北
30. No evidence at the scene吾在场证明
Now back from my travels, I use this now as a blog to document any live reviews, and personal experiences related to our collective passion for Asian identity and Chinese music.