Concert review: S.H.E's Hebe Tien holds her own at first solo concert here

Singer Hebe Tien performed to an 8,000-strong audience in Singapore, on March 5, 2016.
Singer Hebe Tien performed to an 8,000-strong audience in Singapore, on March 5, 2016. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ HEBE TIEN

Last Saturday

Singapore Indoor Stadium

If Hebe Tien were never a part of Taiwanese girl group S.H.E, could she have succeeded in the Mandopop scene on her own?

Compared to her comrades Selina Jen and Ella Chen, who have ventured and gained recognition in hosting and acting gigs, Tien has shown less versatility.

By her own admission at her first major solo concert in Singapore, which was also the last leg of her If World Tour, she is an introvert who has a "deficiency in socialising".

"If I am in an elevator, and see someone approaching, I would quickly press the button to shut the door," she confessed, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Yet, she is in the entertainment industry, meeting new people all the time. "Fate has it that I get to perform on stage and be a celebrity," she remarked. "But I get to do my favourite activity - singing."

And sing, she did.

Tien, who will celebrate her 33rd birthday on March 30, tapped on her three solo album repertoire to mesmerise the 8,000-strong audience. If she was affected by the recent divorce announcement by her teammate Jen, Tien certainly did not show it.

Her opening number Insignificance was a haunting experience that had her serenading while lying on top of iceberg replicas.

The next was gritty rock version of her 2010 hit Love, a pleasant departure from the usual sugary ballad. The power in her voice was solid, yet not overwhelming.

Her exuberance came through in her rendition of Florence + the Machine's Dog Days Are Over. Tien added her own youthful, manic energy, and then some, into the English indie rock number.

Not that she could not do sweet - her pristine vocals softened when performing ballads Flower and Still In Happiness, carrying a certain ethereal quality that reminded one of Mandopop veteran Faye Wong.

Tien also held her own when performing Eason Chan's Baby Song. While the reigning king of Cantopop sang as a father doling advice to his daughter, Tien was the warm friend whom you could count on offering her counsel.

However, she went for safer, more familiar musical arrangements with her biggest hits, such as Forever Love and A Little Happiness, the theme song for the Taiwanese box-office smashing film Our Times.

If there was anything that could steal her thunder, it was the eye-catching stage set design. From a giant cuboid platform decked out to resemble a lush green island, to the laser and videography that matched perfectly to the rhythm and moving screens, the show was out to flood your senses.

The most memorable scene had to be for Contradiction, where three dancers were transformed into Tien's clones. They wore wigs resembling her luscious wavy hair and synthetic masks created based on her looks. The resemblance was so creepily uncanny that the scene looked like something plucked directly from a Korean horror show.

However, all scary images were vanquished when the band members, all men, some with goatees, wore them in jest. This led Tien to quip: "You can look sad underneath the mask, unlike me, who has to smile constantly."

Despite her lack of confidence in her public speaking skills, she left an impression when she told the audience: "We are each like a water droplet, flowing along to the river. We may get separated as we move in different streams, but we would always meet each other again in the ocean."

Till your next concert here then, Tien.