Cheer Chen's April concert will be simple and intimate

Taiwanese singer-songwriter Cheer Chen wants to give audiences an experience that is without the bells and whistles typically associated with large-scale concerts.
Taiwanese singer-songwriter Cheer Chen wants to give audiences an experience that is without the bells and whistles typically associated with large-scale concerts.PHOTO: ROCK RECORDS

SINGAPORE - Expect Cheer Chen's concert here next month to be a simple and intimate affair.

The Taiwanese singer-songwriter, who is known for her contemplative, thoughtful lyrics, wants to give audiences an experience that is without the bells and whistles typically associated with large-scale concerts. So she will mostly perform the April 7 concert at The Star Theatre with only the guitar to accompany her singing.

Speaking to the Singapore media on Thursday (March 1) in a telephone interview from Taiwan, the 42-year-old said she hopes her fans will accept that.

She said: "I have always played the guitar. And I have always wondered if I can perform a concert with just a guitar, just like when I am writing my songs. I hope the audience will feel like they are getting to the essence of the music."

Her last concert here at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 2014 opened with her singing the track Songs Of Transience standing on a small platform raised high above the stage, in front of a video projection of swirling stars. Musically, she was backed by cymbals and stringed instruments.

But audiences can expect a more toned-down performance at next month's show. Video clips from other legs of the new tour - which has travelled to cities such as Hong Kong, Taipei, Hangzhou and Guangzhou - show a simple set-up resembling someone's carpeted room, with a chair and table, a few lamps and a guitar on a stand. Chen sings while strumming another guitar.

Despite her experience singing live, the indie darling said she still gets nervous when performing. But she saw it as a good thing.

She said: "The way I see it, feeling nervous leads me to take good care of my hands and voice, and to remember the lyrics. Of course, after performing for so many years, my nerves are not as bad as before."

During concerts, she has also come to expect the unexpected.

For example, at one of her Taipei concerts in January, a male fan took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend.

Recalling the incident, Chen said she had invited a few fans on stage to play some musical instruments with her. Afterwards, the other fans walked off stage except for this guy who whispered to Chen asking if he could make his proposal.

Chen said: "I am terrible at hosting and initially thought of not letting him do it. But then I was curious what might happen."

The man's girlfriend accepted his proposal.

Said Chen, who is dating producer Tiger Chung: "I never expected a segment like that. But it turned out to be funny and quite moving."

Cheer Chen (Acoustic Cheer Ego) 2018 Live In Singapore

When: April 7, 8pm

Where: The Star Theatre, 1 Vista Exchange Green 04-01

Admission: $88 to $148 from apactix.com (call 3158-8588 or go to SingPost outlets)