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Friday, November 7, 2008

Music Man Wang Lee Hom Powers up Singapore Indoor Stadium


Taiwanese-American singer-songwriter Wang Lee Hom on Saturday night powered up the Singapore Indoor Stadium as his alter-ego, the Music-Man.

Explaining that he loved comic book superheroes as a kid and have always wanted to be a cartoon hero himself, the theme allowed Lee Hom to indulge in a childhood fantasy while doing what he does best – music and wielding all sorts of instruments.

And the theme was woven into parts of the concert, with flashy giant comic-book illustrations of himself lighting up the screens and futuristic looking sets.

The concert kicked off on a high note with the superhero being lowered from the heavens on a flying disc, dressed in his superhero "uniform" of sleek white with black leather while blasting a track on his guitar from his upcoming album, "What's Wrong with Rock and Roll".

This was followed by fast crowd favourites W-H-Y, Flower Field Mistake and Heirs of Dragons - all slightly altered from their original versions with a splendid rock tinge.

And no Lee Hom concert will ever be complete without his signature karaoke-friendly ballads, which he does best. With soulful delivery and soaring vocals, he launched into hit songs Loved Wrongly, First Morning, Big City Small Love, Kiss Goodbye, Sun and Moon in my Heart and Forever Love.

The music superhero’s choice weapons were of course, a whole array of instruments which he tackled with much fervor. From killer electric guitar solos to violin concertos and a brief stint on drums, he also charmed the audience with a long passionate spell of piano pieces.

What's more attention grabbing than his shiny wardrobe, was his collection of guitars. There were at least three guitars in all, one to match each of his costumes, including a "Bahamut" guitar twisted in the shape of a dragon.

Now, if this was the first Lee Hom concert I've ever been to, I'd say the Music-Man had pretty much saved the day but unfortunately, having been to his previous gigs, it appeared the superhero's powers have depreciated with seemingly lesser effort put in this time round.

Unlike the previous concert two years ago, he did not show off his smooth dancing skills save for a short solo. He also missed out on Chinese instruments, which have always been one of his strongest points as not many musicians are able to weave music from across diversities as seamlessly as the Music-Man can.

It is really a wonderful theme to play with and one could imagine the amount of superhero-related gimmicks that could have been incorporated into the concert (without compromising on the music, of course) instead of rather narcissistic-looking comic projections and him talking in an electronic deep voice. Or, don't work with a theme at all.

There were also other non-superhero related tricks up his sleeve such as disappearing into a box a la magician style, and reappearing at the back of the stadium within seconds. He then plunged himself fearlessly into the sea of adoring, frenzied fan-girls while making his way back to the stage.

Despite the disappointing theme, or lack there of, the man is an impressive live-performer. Apart from vocal and instrumental prowess, he also tackled a cross of genres - hip hop, ballads, rock, pop and even experimental music.

In all, the Music-Man is still definitely a force to be reckon with, and he can still rescue the world of music by continuing to produce more great songs.

But while he successfully rocked the capacity-filled Indoor Stadium to a sweaty finish after two-and-half hours, the superhero could do with a few good behind-the-scenes sidekicks to polish up his next performance.

1 comment:

mikkiel said...

The singapore music scene has really improved a lot with the local bands taking bigger presence. I think there's a wide selection of stuff at singapore shopping directory that you can check out. Have a great day.