Power Station's amazing energy

Taiwanese duo Power Station's Yen Chih-lin (left) and Yu Chiu-hsin (right) with Singapore songwriter Eric Ng at their concert.
Taiwanese duo Power Station's Yen Chih-lin (left) and Yu Chiu-hsin (right) with Singapore songwriter Eric Ng at their concert.PHOTO: HIM MUSIC & VIZPRO

REVIEW / CONCERT

POWER STATION NEXT STATION WORLD TOUR IN SINGAPORE

Resorts World Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre/Last Saturday

Right from the get-go, Taiwanese duo Power Station revved up the energy level.

They came on with guitars blazing, tearing into an energetic opening medley. Yu Chiu-hsin and Yen Chih-lin are known for their brand of tuneful, rugged rock as well as their heart-on-sleeve ballads, which reveal a softer side.

Both their voices are instruments of vigour and power, and neither held back as they belted out the high notes with gusto.

You wondered if they could sustain this level of energy and singing for the entire concert. And they did, for an impressive three hours.

They took the full-house crowd of 6,000 on a thorough tour of their catalogue, beginning with their 1997 hit, Cruel Love Letters, through 1998's Tomorrow's Tomorrow's Tomorrow, 2001's Walking On Chung Hsiao East Road Nine Times, all the way to songs from their latest album, Light (2013).

There were noticeable tweaks to some of the material.

A guitar solo intro was tacked onto Cruel Love Letters and it was a bluesier, grittier version; while Tomorrow was pared down. The result was more intense renditions of the original recordings.

They also covered a few tracks, including an electrifying version of Faye Wong's hit ballad Sky. Their take came with a propulsive rhythm and a sense of delight at the boundless expanse of the heavens.

What was unnecessary though was a perfunctory stroll through the hits of the four heavenly kings: Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, Leon Lai and Aaron Kwok. It came close to feeling like a karaoke session and merely took time away from Power Station's own material.

Interestingly enough, they had sung the theme songs for several Singapore television series and these were performed in a far more relevant segment.

The best known is probably the inspirational I Can Take Hardships for the period drama, Stepping Out (1999).

Their connection to Singapore goes even deeper and they invited home-grown songwriter Eric Ng on stage as a guest guitarist. It was Ng who co-composed the title theme track for their current tour, Next Stop.

While Yu did most of the talking during the gig, the most heartwarming moment belonged to Yen, when his two young daughters came on stage and sang along on I've Loved You.

He cajoled them by saying that next time, they could all sing Let It Go, the megahit from the animated film Frozen (2013).

Given the rousing vocal prowess of Power Station and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of hits, that was the one thing the audience was reluctant to do.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2016, with the headline 'Power Station's amazing energy'. Print Edition | Subscribe