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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Jay Chou tears up the tracks

The singer holds his own against the loud races, soft vocals and all.
The Straits Times - September 24, 2012
By: Boon Chan
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Jay Chou tears up the tracks The vocals seemed a bit soft but the stage presence was evident as he danced with women in bikini tops while a sportscar rolled onto the stage (above) as he sang The Goddess Of Racing. -- ST PHOTOS: JOYCE FANG

Review: Concert

JAY CHOU

2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix

Padang/Last Friday

Like a racer burning rubber on the tracks, Mandopop king Jay Chou was here and gone in a flash.

The 33-year-old Taiwanese singer-songwriter performed for an hour last Friday night at the Padang stage after the night's race for the 2012 Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

He was in pretty good form though the volume for the vocals seemed rather soft especially compared to the roar of the engines.

It seemed ironic when he remarked at one point: "It was pretty loud just now, so my music can't be too soft either."

And even under the best circumstances, it can be hard to make out the wordy tongue-twisting lyrics so the slightly muffled sound at points did not help.

Chou kicked things off with newer material - the frenetic title track from Exclamation Point (2011) and the drama- tic title track from The Era (2010).

Tellingly though, it was his older hits that the crowd really responded to.

From his watershed record Fantasy (2001), he performed the slinky Love Before The Century, the poignant ballad Can't Utter A Word and the high-energy crowd-pleaser Nunchucks.

According to the organisers, 35,000 fans sang and bopped along.

Projecting to such a big crowd is challenging and those standing further back could hardly make him out on stage, so the giant screens flanking the stage were essential.

Given the outdoor setting and the short duration of the performance, the stage set-up was much simpler compared to his full-on gigs here.

As for costumes, he went through a few different black jackets, from one with sequinned sleeves to one which lit up and made him look like a character out of the sci-fi fantasy Tron (1982).

There were some interesting touches here and there to keep things entertaining.

He was raised up on a tiny platform during The Era and for the appropriately themed The Goddess Of Racing, a sleek red sportscar rolled onto the stage as Chou danced with women in bikini tops.

The talented musician also played the piano ivories for a few tracks.

He teasingly launched into a beatbox intro for one song before revealing that it was the so-called China-style ballad Blue And White Porcelain.

While recent publicity pictures had revealed a toned abdomen, there was no flash of it on stage.

Chou did seem slimmer though and from some angles, he looked uncannily like the Korean-American actor John Cho.

Maybe it was the lighting, which was definitely a bright note.

From powerful beams cutting swathes into the night sky to green lasers sweeping across the field to a spray of sparklers shimmering over the stage, the dramatic lighting definitely made an impact.

If only the sound had shone like that.

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