Fish glows in her element

Malaysian ballad queen Fish Leong had fans singing along for most of the 21/2-hour concert, which was what they came to do

A highlight of the concert was when Fish Leong was lifted high above the stage in a chandelier as she sang Admiration.
A highlight of the concert was when Fish Leong was lifted high above the stage in a chandelier as she sang Admiration.PHOTO: IMC LIVE GROUP



Singapore Indoor Stadium

Last Saturday

There is a place where you can croon along to one sentimental ballad after another without fear of being judged or feeling embarrassed. In fact, you are encouraged to do so.

It is at a Fish Leong concert.

The Malaysian Mandopop queen returned after her last concert five years ago at the same venue, looking and sounding as great as before.

This is her fourth world tour and its title means "love is your name" in French. After performing in numerous cities, such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Guangzhou, Singapore is her 36th stop.

Since her last concert here, the 38-year-old singer has given birth to her son Andersen, now two, and taken a three-year hiatus to spend time with her family.

But absence, apparently, makes the heart grow fonder.

About 6,500 fans showed up, with many singing along to her songs - a number of which are karaoke favourites. Lyrics are conveniently shown on the screens.

Leong opened the 21/2-hour show with Love Song - an apt title for most of her songs - in a sleeveless regal red and black gown, standing before a large circular backdrop. Resembling a transportation grid spread across the world, it seemed to suggest that no matter how far away she went, she would always return.

Despite sounding like she had just stopped crying most of the time, her beautiful voice was as rich and comforting as ever.

For the uninitiated, a Fish Leong concert does not come with sizzling dance moves or high notes belted at the top of one's lungs.

Many of her songs, such as Kisses, Warm and Quiet Summer, are sweet, soothing numbers sung while simply standing or sitting.

But to keep things lively, there were four costume changes and themed segments.

One - where she sang The World Desired Best To Travel - had an underwater theme complete with jellyfish, coral and divers on stage. From where the media sat, the sea of white lightsticks resembled seagrass, transforming the whole stadium into a wonderland beneath the waves.

The inspiration for the segment? Her name.

Another part of the show had a Parisian theme, with a projected image of the Eiffel Tower as well as props of European-style houses rising from beneath the stage to enhance the romantic feel of songs such as C'est La Vie.

One highlight was when Leong sat on a giant glowing chandelier that lifted her high above the stage, as she sang Admiration. It seemed like a scene from the 1991 Disney film Beauty And The Beast, with Leong - in a golden gown - as the belle of the ball.

Apart from her hits such as Courage and Pain That Breathes, she also sang two tracks - Love In Heart and Occasional Showers - from her latest 2012 album.

In addition, she performed covers of Chyi Chin's Night Night Night Night, Shino Lin's Tempting Heart, Stefanie Sun's Encounter and Mayday's Tenderness.

Sadly, the Singapore audience missed out on a cover performed at the Penang leg of her show last month - Sarah Chen's Questions About Love - which became an unexpected hit for Leong.

Nonetheless, they got to experience the rest of the show, which Leong closed with the inspiring number To My Future Self.

The chorus went: "I won't give up on the courage to love/I won't doubt it will happen/I will give the most beautiful dream to my future self."

It had the audience humming to the tune as they left.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2016, with the headline 'Fish glows in her element'. Print Edition | Subscribe