A-mei triumphs

A-mei’s voice retains its warmth and power.
A-mei’s voice retains its warmth and power.PHOTO: UNUSUAL ENTERTAINMENT

Taiwanese singer wins the hearts of fans, belting out reggae, hard rock and ballad classics

By the end of the three-hour-plus concert, Singapore had brought A-mei to her knees.

Several times during the concert, faced with the thundering fervour of 20,000 fans, the Taiwanese singer had said admiringly: "You guys are just too much."

At one point, she added: "Do you know how loud you are? Even those at the airport can hear you."

After a high-octane party finale which started with the brash Booty Call and took in fan favourites Bad Boy and 3 Days & Nights, A-mei was spent.



    National Stadium

    Last Saturday

She took some time to catch her breath as she knelt on stage, tired but triumphant.

She did well to last that long, switching between slower-paced segments and bursts of energy on stage.

The evening kicked off with her appearing as Amit, her edgier music alter-ego under which she has released two albums.

With a towering red headpiece and a black outfit, she perched atop a throne on a platform suspended above the stage as she performed Freak Show.

She tore through Straightforward, Black Eats Black and What Do You Want, tracks which rocked hard and bristled with attitude.

Adopting the monicker, her aboriginal name, has freed her to be more adventurous in her music-making as she explores new genres from reggae to hard rock and unleashes anger and disdain.

But it was on the ballads with which A-mei made her name that the crowd really came to life, belting out each line fervently on hits such as May I Give You A Hug? and Remember.

Her newer ballads Would You Still Love Me? and March are gorgeous and more sophisticated, but they are no match for the classics on the singalong index.

While she sounded noticeably raspier, her voice still retained its warmth and power. It started to get a little ragged though towards the end and the strain of the high notes began to show.

This also meant that the sound system was clear enough to make all this out; the poor acoustics that plagued the concert by Mandopop king Jay Chou at the same venue in December 2014 did not surface.

One gripe for A-mei's show, though, was the awkward placement of some equipment in the middle of the aisle which led to the centre of the stage, blocking the view of some audience members seated on the field. The obstruction, however, could not hinder the energy emanating from the stage and the fans.

A-mei, who was previously prohibited from singing the gay- friendly Rainbow at the outdoors Spring Wave music festival in June 2014, performed the song last Saturday night. Before she sang it, she made a plea for every kind of love to be "respected, cherished and wished well".

This was followed by My Dearest, an apt choice since "my dear" is her favoured form of address for her vociferous supporters.

Singapore fans might have brought A-mei to her knees but that was only because she had already won their hearts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2016, with the headline 'A-mei triumphs'. Print Edition | Subscribe