Concert review: K-pop singer Taeyeon's solo outing a show with ups and downs

Taeyeon exuded a natural appeal without wearing provocative costumes or making risque dance moves.
Taeyeon exuded a natural appeal without wearing provocative costumes or making risque dance moves. PHOTO: IMC LIVE GLOBAL

K-pop singer Taeyeon has a huge voice, but her singing was not consistent and the stage set-ups were awkward



Singapore Expo Hall 1

Last Saturday

Heading into singer Taeyeon's first solo concert here in Singapore, I was surprised to learn that the leader of iconic South Korean girl group SNSD, or Girls' Generation, is turning 30 in two months.

I am used to K-pop idols looking younger than their age, but I have always thought of SNSD and their members - who became wildly popular in my secondary school days with addictive bubblegum hits like Gee (2009) - as, well, girls.

But watching Taeyeon last Saturday at the Singapore Expo has, firstly, made me realise that Gee, a veritable anthem in my school back then, is a decade old and the members have matured.

The singer, who debuted with SNSD in 2007, embarked on solo promotions in 2015 with her debut EP titled I.

She steered clear of the well-known early hits of the group, opting instead for SNSD songs such as Holiday and All Night, both released in 2017.

Taeyeon, considered SNSD's best singer, was at ease, confident and effortlessly sexy.

She did not wear provocative costumes or pull off risque dance moves. Instead, her rendition of groovy tracks like Something New and All Night Long, coupled with her hair flips, winks and waves at the audience, all exuded a natural appeal.

Her petite frame also belies her huge voice, which hit some difficult high notes beautifully, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

But she was not always consistent, especially in the first segment of the concert, where she had some problems with pitching and sounded strained.

As the concert went on, her voice warmed up, landing one final powerful punch at the end of her encore with the song I.

The execution of the 2½-hour concert was not quite ideal.

Taeyeon opened the show with some fairly elaborate stage set-ups.

She sang the third song of the night, Fire, on a round platform that was lifted into the air before landing back on stage after a few verses. In the next number, she held onto ropes as she twirled in mid-air and then dancers pushed her as if she was on a swing.

There was clearly a lot of effort put in, but, unfortunately, it all came off looking rather awkward.

Rather than adding all these bells and whistles, a pared-down concert focusing on Taeyeon's vocals and works would have made for a more enjoyable experience.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline 'A show with ups and downs'. Print Edition | Subscribe