The Straits Times
January 1, 2016
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. She took some time to catch her breath as she knelt on stage, tired out 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 is on the ballads with which A-mei made her name that the crowd really comes 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 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 from 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 on 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 is only because she has already won their hearts.
This article was first published on January 10, 2016.
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