Fri, Nov 19, 2004 - Page 15 News List

It's going to be hot in the city tonight

By Yu Sen-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

If you want flash and cute, Jolin Tsai aims to please.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SONY MUSIC

Taiwan's concert season gets underway this weekend and tonight Jolin Tsai's (蔡依林) J1 Live Concert faces off with Huang Hsiao-hu's (黃小琥) gig. Tomorrow, it's Jeff Chang (張信哲) with his Let Love Walk (讓愛走動) concert that will rock Taiwanese pop audiences.

Jolin Tsai, who has been dubbed the "little queen of pop" (小天后) is expected to take the brightest spotlight. The success of her album last year, Castle and Magic (看我72), which sold more than 1 million copies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China, has given Tsai star status in Asia.

The J1 Live Concert is Tsai's first Taipei concert and is seen as a test of Tsai's live performance abilities.

The concert will be held 7:30pm at Zhongshan Soccer Stadium (中山足球場), which can accommodate a crowd of up to 30,000. More than 20,000 tickets have been sold as of press time, proving Tsai's soaring popularity. According to Sony Music, the theme of the concert is "retro and splendid."

Fans of Jolin are expected to see her in more than 10 costumes that aim to present her as a retro Barbie doll.

The stage, costing NT$12 million, has been built to look like a Broadway theater and there will be 10 backdrops to match the 10 costume changes. The sets include one with a a long pole, a giant 1970s-style sofa, a ballet dancer's studio and a tunnel of colorful neon lights that will allow Tsai to perform "as if she is a fairy dancing in the Milky Way," according to concert organizer Sony Music.

Tsai, herself will first appear in classic style, with a white colored lace dress. And then she will sing 15 dance-based pop songs in the two-hour show, presenting various dance styles, such as hip-hop, modern dance, Middle-Eastern belly dancing and yoga, which the 24 year-old singer said she has practiced for six months.

Jay Chou (周杰倫), Tsai's rumored boyfriend, should appear as a special guest at the concert. Chou will join Tsai for two or three songs which he wrote for Tsai's album.

On the south side of Taipei, Huang Hsiao-hu, the queen of pub singers, will have her solo concert at 7:30pm, at the Taipei International Convention Center (台北國際會議中心). She will cater to an audience that is older than Tsai's crowd. She may not sell as many CDs as Tsai but her solid live performances provide a guarantee of quality. Huang is well-versed in jazz tunes and blues-based Mandarin love songs. Her low and powerful voice is her signature. For the past 15 years she has done, on average, three gigs a week in Taipei pubs, which has gained her quite a following.

Without the powerful promotion machine of Tsai, Huang's concert has seen 80 percent of the tickets sold. The repertoire of the concert is a secret but it is expected that Huang will present a mixture of English jazz songs and pop ballads.

As for tomorrow, Jeff Chang, the sweet tenor voice of Mandarin pop, will be performing at the Taipei International Convention Center from 7pm. It is a belated concert, in that he has kept his fans waiting for eight years. Chang was the champion of the Mando-pop charts in the early 1990s. His high-pitched ballads are still high hit-rated songs at KTVs. Cash Box KTV recently held a Jeff Chang Karaoke Contest and the response was wild across the country.

Chang has, in the past few years, been developing his singing career in China. But the concert and the upcoming album have proved that he is ready to embrace Taiwan audiences once again.

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