Chinese gigs pack the calendar

After Mayday (above) sold out their two shows at the Singapore Indoor Stadium next month, more seats have been released.
After Mayday (above) sold out their two shows at the Singapore Indoor Stadium next month, more seats have been released.PHOTO: ROCK RECORDS
Next month's show by Power Station (above) is almost sold out.
Next month's show by Power Station (above) is almost sold out.PHOTO: HIM MUSIC
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg (above), Jay Chou, Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh.
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg (above), Jay Chou, Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh.PHOTO: ST FILE
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou (above), Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh.
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou (above), Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh.PHOTO: MULTIMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou, Kit Chan (above), Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh.
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou, Kit Chan (above), Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh.PHOTO: ST FILE
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou, Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin (above) and Dave Wang Chieh.
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou, Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin (above) and Dave Wang Chieh.PHOTO: ROCK RECORDS
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou, Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh (above).
Singers turning up soon on the Singapore concert stage include Judy Ongg, Jay Chou, Kit Chan, Winnie Hsin and Dave Wang Chieh (above).PHOTO: UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENT

Factors such as the availability of suitable venues and sheer good timing mean a bumper crop of concerts here for the next few months

Flight attendant Loo Yi Hua, 31, has spent close to $900 on Chinese pop concerts this year.

He watched Taiwanese singer A-mei at the National Stadium in January, scooted off to Hong Kong to catch Mando- and Cantopop star Sandy Lam and rewatched her concert at The Star Theatre in Singapore last Saturday.

Next on his calendar is Mandopop king Jay Chou's National Stadium gig in September.

He also did not hesitate to go for Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai and Hong Kong diva Sammi Cheng's concerts, both at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and held within a week of each other in late July and early August last year.

Explaining his willingness to spend on live shows, he says: "It was my first time watching Jolin and Sammi live. Both concerts received good reviews. I've seen that particular tour of Sammi's on DVD, and it was pretty great, so I wanted to watch it live. For serial concertgoers, price is not a determining factor."

  • Coming up the rest of the year

  • WHO: Taiwanese band Mayday Just Rock It 2016
    WHEN: Aug 5 and 6, 8pm
    WHERE: Singapore Indoor Stadium
    ADMISSION: Only Category 6 $198 tickets (side view) are available from Sports Hub Tix (call 3158-7888 or go to www.sportshub.com.sg)

  • WHO: Taiwanese singer Terry Lin ONEtake Concert 2016 World Tour in Singapore
    WHEN: Aug 26, 8.30pm
    WHERE: Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre Level 6, Hall 601-604
    ADMISSION: $98 to $218 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

  • WHO: Taiwanese rock duo Power Station's Next Station World Tour in Singapore
    WHEN: Aug 27, 8pm WHERE: Resorts World Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre
    ADMISSION: $68 to $188 from Sistic

  • WHO: My Songs featuring Taiwanese singers Huang Chung-kun, Yu Tai-yan, Chiu Hai-cheng and Lin Hui-ping
    WHEN: Aug 28, 7.30pm
    WHERE: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
    ADMISSION: $38 to $148 from Sistic

  • WHO: Taiwanese singer Jay Chou's "The Invincible" Jay Chou Concert Tour 2016
    WHEN: Sept 3, 8pm
    WHERE: National Stadium
    ADMISSION: Sold out

  • WHO: Taiwan 4 Divas featuring Yang Ching, Li I-chun, Yeh Ai-ling and Tsai Chiu-feng
    WHEN: Sept 3, 8pm
    WHERE: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
    ADMISSION: $38 to $148 from Sistic

  • WHO: Taiwanese singers Dave Wang Chieh and Winnie Hsin Live in Singapore 2016
    WHEN: Sept 10, 8pm
    WHERE: Resorts World Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre
    ADMISSION: $58 to $228 from Sistic

  • WHO: The Love Concert, Judy Ongg featuring the Taiwanese singer
    WHEN: Sept 9, 8pm
    WHERE: Sands Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
    ADMISSION: $68 to $288 from Sistic

  • WHO: Singaporean singer Kit Chan Spellbound Homecoming Concert 2016
    WHEN: Sept 10, 8pm
    WHERE: Singapore Indoor Stadium
    ADMISSION: $78 to $188 from Sports Hub Tix

  • WHO: Malaysian singer Fish Leong Tu T'appelles L'amour 2016 World Tour Singapore
    WHEN: Sept 24, 7.30pm
    WHERE: Singapore Indoor Stadium
    ADMISSION: $118 to $248 from Sports Hub Tix

  • WHO: Taiwanese group G.U.T.S featuring singer Chang Chen-yueh, rapper MC Hotdog and rap band MJ116 members
    WHEN: Oct 28
    WHERE: Not confirmed
    ADMISSION: Not confirmed

  • Other upcoming acts whose exact dates and ticketing details have yet to be announced:

    • Hong Kong singers Hacken Lee and Joey Yung in October

    • Hong Kong singer Alan Tam in November

    • Home-grown singer Tanya Chua in December

What he says must be music to the ears of concert promoters, especially with at least 20 Chinese pop concerts taking place from now till the end of the year.

This month alone, there are six concerts offering a whole range of music from Hong Kong singer Paul Wong's rock to Lam's ballads and dance hits.

Industry insiders put down the surge in concerts to coincidences in the availability of artists and venues.

Mr Ngiam Kwang Hwa, 55, managing director of concert promoter One Production, says: "Asian artists tend to tour in this part of the world during the winter months. They come to tropical Singapore to avoid the cold in China.

"July is the midst of the hot summer. There is no reason why they should come here. The peak is a coincidence. Perhaps the artist is on tour, there is a date and the venue is available."

The popularity of Chinese reality show singing contests has also led to concert tour opportunities for the participants.

"These are channels for artists to showcase their singing prowess or to revive their careers," says a spokesman for concert promoter Unusual Entertainment.

After a high-profile stint on China television competition I Am A Singer, Singapore's Kit Chan kicked off her regional tour at The Star Theatre in June last year and will be staging another concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in September.

The increased number of venues here is also a factor in the influx of concert acts. The Indoor Stadium is no longer the default concert venue.

In recent years, alternative venues such as The Star Theatre, which opened in 2012 and has a capacity of 5,000, have gained popularity.

This gives concert promoters more options if the Indoor Stadium is booked while the different audience capacities of the venues give them the flexibility to pick the place best suited to a singer's pulling power.

Mr Ngiam says: "If you book Indoor Stadium, you are looking at a capacity of about 7,500. How many artists can attract that kind of ticket sales?"

One of them is Taiwanese rock band Mayday. The A-list act sold out two nights at the Indoor Stadium next month, prompting One Production to release extra seats for sale.

There is no denying that there is cash to be made in live performances to make up for declining CD sales, but concert promoters say artists are not in it just for the money.

Mr Ngiam points out: "They can easily make more money by performing songs on a show in China. To do a concert, you have to sing for two hours and remember dance steps. They do it to be with their fans."

HIM Music's rock duo Power Station will be holding a concert here next month where fans can "relive their youth once more with lots of the ballads and rock songs", says the label's promotions manager, Ms Liu Xin Hui, 35.

The show is almost sold out and 200 extra tickets have been added.

In the fickle world of showbusiness, out of sight means out of the fans' minds.

Ms Liu says: "From an artist's point of view, holding concerts is one way to keep themselves in the public eye and bolster their visibility."

A spokesman for concert promoter Biz Trends Media adds that celebrities view concerts as a sign of their social standing. "Concerts keep them current. I think touring makes them feel good, like they have achieved a certain status in the industry."

Biz Trends Media staged a joint concert at The Star Theatre for Hong Kong veterans Adam Cheng and Liza Wang earlier this month.

But with the usual suspects returning for concerts every few years, will fans suffer from fatigue?

The Unusual spokesman says: "When there is demand, there will be supply. Moreover, most of the artists are either constantly revamping themselves or coming up with new material, so they attract new fans and keep the old fans interested."

Mandopop king Chou has repeated his sold-out feat for his September concert, after his last concert here two years ago. Rockers Mayday last staged a full-length gig three years ago, followed by a performance at the Formula 1 races in 2014.

For loyal Mayday fan Joanne Teo, it has become a "ritual" to attend her idols' concerts. She has gone for about five of them with like- minded friends and has already snapped up a coveted ticket for their upcoming show.

"I love the live atmosphere, it is different from listening to their music at home. I won't get tired of listening to Mayday," says Teo, 29, who is a music teacher and freelance singer.

Discerning fans do not blindly snap up tickets to support their idols, but also take the concert's content and venue into consideration.

Sammi Cheng staged her Touch Mi tour at the Indoor Stadium in August last year and then did an encore show at Resorts World Sentosa Ballroom earlier this month. Though ardent fan Erik Yip, 31, declares that she "is the only one who deserves" his money for a concert, he did not attend the restaging.

Having gone for her concert last year, Mr Yip, who works in human resources, says: "I'm a sensible fan. It is the same Touch Mi tour, the song list is the same, so I didn't go."

As for regular concertgoer Jimmy Lee, 26, he was put off by the location of his idol Chou's upcoming concert at the National Stadium.

The fitness trainer says: "I went for the Stefanie Sun concert at the National Stadium. The sound system was very bad. During a concert, people usually sing along and the people next to me were even louder than her."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese gigs pack the calendar'. Print Edition | Subscribe