A feast for the eyes and ears

Singer Jacky Cheung displayed a brisk pace and high energy throughout his concert.
Singer Jacky Cheung displayed a brisk pace and high energy throughout his concert.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung showcased his impeccable vocals in a visual extravaganza



Singapore Indoor Stadium/Last Friday

In a time when video clips of concerts can be found on social media minutes after and - thanks to Facebook Live - sometimes even during the show, the value of attending a live performance has never been questioned as much as it is today.

After all, who wants to pay hundreds of dollars to see a concert if video clips of it are going to be found online anyway?

But a live performance's electrifying atmosphere, warmth from the crowd and overall experience cannot be captured by a smartphone camera.

And the 10,000 fans at Jacky Cheung's incredible three-hour- long concert last Friday - the first of three sold-out performances - would probably agree that nothing beats being there in person.

This time, the Hong Kong singer - named God of Songs by the media for his beautiful voice - outdid even himself, presenting a visual extravaganza coupled with his impeccable vocals.

A highlight was the concert's four-sided stage that seemed to transform with every song, resembling first a three-tier cake, then a circular staircase, at times a rotating compass, at others a walled fortress.

With levels that rose and fell with the melodies, this platform turned music into theatre, at some moments raising Cheung high above the crowd as he hit high notes other singers would not dare attempt.

The show's presentation was a vast improvement from his 2011 concert here, which had a regular front-facing stage that confined him largely to stage left, right and centre.

This time, every turn he made prompted cheering, lightstick waving and whipping out of smartphones from audiences facing a different side of the stage.

With 24 back-up dancers, plenty of special effects and a costume change every few songs, Cheung kept the pace brisk and the energy high throughout.

One high point of the show was when he sang his 1994 Cantonese hit Legend Of The Hungry Wolf, with giant inflatable monsters rising from two sides of the stage.

Flames burst out onstage and, at one point during the song, Cheung was surrounded by fireworks fountains.

Given the concert's name, it was expected that the 55-year-old's older songs - such as Blessing and Love Is Eternal - would take centre stage.

While he did not disappoint, he also included a few tracks from his latest 2014 album such as Tears Of Time and Wake Up Dreaming.

During the song She Came To My Concert, he played a game with the audience, saying the sweetest or cutest couple caught on camera - with their image splashed on the Jumbotron screens - would win a prize.

This led to much excitement in the audience and I prepared a cute pose to strike in case the camera swung my way, which did not happen.

On the way home after the concert, I found many blurry video clips from the show on my Facebook feed, uploaded by audience members.

They did not do justice to the show's spectacle, grandeur and all-round awesome-ness.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'A feast for the eyes and ears'. Print Edition | Subscribe