I keep saying this recently: time flies. We are almost three-quarter of the year through. I can’t believe it’s a year ago that I attended 明天31新谣演唱会 and on Saturday, it’s Xinyao (Singapore’s Songs) 32nd anniversary. Many things have happened in the last one year. We are all a year older. A fan of Xinyao who attended last year and who was supposed to be with us at this year’s concert departed a few weeks ago. We all miss you, Madeline, and you will always be with us.
The concert that night was the second one after an additional concert, also sold out, was added in the afternoon. Thus, the car park was full, and the restaurants were crowded at The Star Theatre when we arrived. The 4-hour concert in the afternoon only ended at around 6pm. So can you imagine the crowd as the night audience arrived for their 7,30pm concert.
Value for money – that’s what friends who had attended the concert commented. We sat through four hours of songs with many performers giving us the songs that had accompanied us through our youths. There were bound to be some singers that I am not familiar with, although having attended so many Xinyao concerts, they are beginning to look familiar. I was waiting for Roy Li and Eric Moo, whom I expected to helm the finale. With so many singers coming on and going off, there were some monotonous moment until the comic relief from Kelvin Su and his team from 梦飞船 and others who had used to perform in 民歌餐厅.
While there were some highs, like the appearance of 姜鄠 and Jimmy Ye, there were many disappointments for me. While I enjoyed the music arrangement of Chen Zi Chun, I would much preferred his performance to be accompanied by singers, as he played some of my favourites like 遗忘过去 and 恋之憩. The appearance of 万芳 and her too many renditions of unfamiliar Taiwanese 民歌 was also puzzling. While last year’s invited guest artist 齐豫 was a climax, this year’s was a let down as many took the opportunity to visit the loo. Roy Li and Eric Moo, two of the most popular Xin Yao singers sang only two songs, which was a let down to those who attended xinyao concert for the first time, like my sister who had returned to Singapore from Germany and was attending this for the first time since she Singapore left for Germany in 2004. For her, the most memorable performers were the four young men from Africa. Yes, it was indeed amusing to see Africans speaking Chinese so fluently and singing xinyao.
There were fourteen of us in my group that night, an increase from last year’s attendance and I hope we will continue to gather annually to support Xinyao.