Memory lane in colour

It has been 20 years since Mandopop king Jay Chou released his debut studio album Jay and he has plenty to sing about

At one point in the show, Jay Chou sang the song Simple Love while the audience’s heart-shaped lightsticks created a sea of illuminated bouncing hearts.
At one point in the show, Jay Chou sang the song Simple Love while the audience’s heart-shaped lightsticks created a sea of illuminated bouncing hearts. PHOTO: G.H.Y CULTURE & MEDIA

Taiwanese megastar Jay Chou took a packed National Stadium crowd down memory lane with a nostalgia-filled, visually ravishing show last Friday.

It was the first of his two concerts at the venue, which are part of his Carnival World Tour, his eighth concert tour that kicked off in Shanghai in October last year. Singapore is the tour's first stop in South-east Asia.

Two decades have passed since the Golden Melody Award-winning singer-songwriter released his debut studio album Jay (2000) and Friday's concert presented fans with nostalgia aplenty.

The night got off to a lively start at 8.25pm with a carnival-esque display of clowns, circus performers and fireworks.

Amid the dizzying lights and thumping beats, the 40-year-old emerged from a spherical structure on stage, dressed in a futuristic, gold-studded black outfit, rapping the lines to the dramatic Half-beast Human from his third album, The Eight Dimensions (2002).

Later, the Mandopop king rose from beneath the stage, singing the song Chapter Seven while seated on a gaudy golden throne every bit befitting his superstar status.

Fans of Chou's second album Fantasy (2001), in particular, had a field day. He performed at least half of the album's 10 tracks - from the bashful ballad Simple Love to the hauntingly gothic number William Castle.

Addressing the crowd, Chou asked: "Are there people who have been listening to my music since 2000?" Deafening cheers followed in response.

One of the night's highlights was when the audience's heart-shaped lightsticks glowed bright pink while Chou sang Simple Love, creating a sea of illuminated bouncing hearts. The song ended with a confetti shower.


Another high point was when Chou descended from the stage and shook hands with audience members while singing his 2016 hit, Love Confession.

Chou is no stranger to the National Stadium, having performed single shows there in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

But this concert tour marks the first time he is staging two shows at the venue, making him the second Asian artist to do so, after Singaporean singer JJ Lin last month.

Those who attended Chou's 2018 National Stadium show were treated to a repeat performance of Nunchucks, Fun Fair and Rhythm Of The Rain.

While his later work got less attention during Friday's concert, he did give them some love.

He sang Won't Cry, released in September last year, a collaboration between Chou and Taiwanese singer-songwriter Ashin, from rock band Mayday, while playing on an elaborately ornamented grand piano.

The star also performed a second show last Saturday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2020, with the headline 'Memory lane in colour'. Subscribe