Weibird surprises with a second encore at concert

Also known as Weibird or William, Wei Li-an's (left) concert saw an audience of about 1,300.
Also known as Weibird or William, Wei Li-an's (above) concert saw an audience of about 1,300.PHOTO: BIZ TRENDS

Taiwanese singer-songwriter Wei Li-an charms with his range of tunes as well as an unplanned song request segment



Resorts World Theatre/Last Saturday

The best encore is an unplanned one.

Nowadays, concerts are planned in detail, down to the last note an artist sings. But every once in a while, something surprising and magical happens - as it did at Taiwanese singer-songwriter Wei Li-an's gig.

The two-hour-long set ended with a planned-for encore of the rousing track Girl and the hit ballad Still that had his fans on their feet and making a beeline for the stage. It left everyone on such a high that the cries of "encore" grew with renewed urgency.

Happily, Wei emerged with a guitar and proceeded to take requests for songs such as Still Loving You and Think Of You First before ending the evening with the delicate beauty of Cloudy Sunflower.

He ended up performing for another 20 minutes.

The singer, who is also known as Weibird or William, said: "I hope you've found your moment to take home with you. I've found mine."

On disc, he comes across as a thoughtful young man sensitively probing matters of the heart in melodic songs that linger in the mind, including Have Or Have Not, Slowly Wait and Someone Is Waiting For Me.

Live, he is an affable presence whose pipes shine whether he is rocking out on a number such as Wolves or soaring in his falsetto range on early track Translation Exercise.

He seemed comfortable enough on stage that one would not guess that he was, in his own words, an introvert.

He mused: "If I weren't a singer, I wouldn't get to travel to so many places and meet so many people."

In his more recent albums, Journey Into The Night (2014) and It All Started From An Intro (2016), he has begun to move away from ballads and R&B influences to more adventurous territory, such as venturing into electronica and experimenting with song structure.

But the focus of his Free That Girl tour, which started in 2015, is on his earlier material and mid-tempo hits. Perhaps his next show could show more facets of the talented songwriter.

Still, the concert was an enjoyable one. If anything, he deserved a bigger audience than the crowd of about 1,300.

In one segment, a visual of his room showing a guitar and a work table with a screen and speakers served as the backdrop to an unplugged selection of songs, such as The Fleeing Of A Two-Legged Bookcase and What You Think Of Me.

Judging from his fans' reactions, there is no question that Weibird flies high in their eyes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2017, with the headline 'Weibird soars with good vocals and pleasant surprises'. Print Edition | Subscribe