Fri, Dec 27, 2002 - Page 19 News List

Bobby Chen sells out for New Year's Eve

By Aarne Heikkila

Billy Chen will be clowning around in Taipei this New Year's Eve.

COURTESY OF ET-ONLINE

As well known for his drinking as he is for his unique lyrical style, Bobby Chen (陳昇) has been intoxicating audiences in Asia with his folksy brand of music for nearly 15 years. His lengthy tenure in the industry and his ability to endure pain and avoid alcohol induced destruction have prompted some in Taiwan to declare him the Ironman of the island's music scene. It is fitting therefore, that the theme of Chen's sell-out concert at the Taipei International Convention Center on New Year's Eve is pi -- a number that never ends.

In what will be his tenth New Year's Eve performance, the Taiwanese native has made a conscious effort to create a concert experience to surpass the previous nine. For starters, he will share the stage with singer Rene Liu (劉若英) for a special performance of their popular duet, One Night in Beijing.

NT$1 million has been spent on enhancing the stage and projection screen in an effort to create a more youthful and high-tech vibe.

The most noticeable difference between this year's show and the previous nine however, may be the singer himself. Chen has yet to fully recover from injuries sustained in a alcohol-related brawl that left him near death in June. Although doctors were successful in removing blood clots from the left side of his brain, Chen is still left without the use of his right hand, which means he is unable to play his guitar.

Another integral part of the musician's act in the past -- onstage drinking -- will also be missing from this year's performance. Although the concert promoter has offered to keep the drinks flowing throughout the night, Chen has refused, presumably because he has turned his life around after the grave incident in June.

Chen will be play one concert on New Year's Eve at the Taipei International Convention Center starting 8pm.

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