Concert review: G.E.M. sparkles live and dazzles the crowd with her powerful vocals

Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Hong Kong-based G.E.M. performing at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo Hall 10 on Jan 30, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

It is an incredible success story.

Hong Kong-based G.E.M. has never done any promotional activities in Singapore, has never even been here before.

But thanks to a widely watched run on the China reality contest show I Am A Singer, the 23-year-old sold out three nights at the 5,000-seater Max Pavilion with her G.E.M. X.X.X. Live World Tour. Indeed, she has been selling out venues since she emerged as runner-up on the show last April, thrilling fans with her big voice and stirring singing every step of the way.

No wonder she was filled with gratitude.

On Friday night, she thanked her fans repeatedly and said at one point: "As a singer, to see so many people supporting me and my music is a really happy thing."

Nicknamed the girl with giant lungs when she made her debut in Hong Kong in 2008, it was not hard to see why she did well on the show given her strong pipes and wide range.

And on the first night on Friday, she gave her fans what they came for, singing many of the songs she had performed on the show.

She kicked off the evening by emerging from a metallic capsule in a sparkly midriff-baring get-up. Her vaunted lungs were unleashed early on her dance tracks After Tonight and One Button. There was some cheering as she tried to get the crowd going, but clearly, these were numbers not many were familiar with.

When she launched into Wang Feng's Exist, the second song she had performed on the show, the excitement level shot up.

She is definitely a powerful singer and she hit the high notes with ease and confidence. Add a smoke machine and her hair blowing wildly in the wind though, and the overall effect on a thoughtful song questioning the meaning of existence was one of overkill.

Still, it was what the crowd had come for and they cheered the many high points and an impressively held note on Mavis Fan's I Want Us To Be Together.

For the most part, the covers stuck close to the versions she had performed on TV. She had arranged them with her music producer Lupo Groinig, who doubled up as a guitarist on her touring band.

Between songs, we learnt about her love for the Jack Neo film I Not Stupid (2002) and that she had eaten Hainanese chicken rice at "Lau Sa Pat" market, she said endearingly.

Other than impressing with her live singing, G.E.M. also showcased her musicality on the guitar, drums and piano, most memorably on I Want Us To Be Together.

She was no mere jukebox singer and the singer-songwriter also took the opportunity to showcase her own material. Her songs ranged from Cantonese dance pop to Bubble, a Mandarin ballad which explored her lower range.

The energetic performer also knew how to crank it up for the finale.

With a dose of high-octane dance numbers, the livewire urged her fans to stand up so that she could live up to her stage name and Get Everybody Moving. Adele's Rolling In The Deep was turned into a dance remix and G.E.M. made it her own.

A rapturous response brought her out for two encores and she was clearly moved by the love showered upon her.

For the final song of the two-and-a-half-hour-long show, she performed Where Did U Go, the breakout hit from her 2008 self-titled debut EP.

Her newer fans might not have been able to sing along, but they showed her support and encouragement by clapping to the rhythm.

A singer could not ask for more.

bchan@sph.com.sg