By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
Taiwan's favourite pop-rock star performs to a packed house in Bangkok
TAIWANESE DIVA A-Mei scored a hit with her first concert in Thailand, drawing a large crowd of Chinese fans from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong as well as a generous sprinkling of Thais to Royal Paragon Hall last Saturday and rocking the 5,000-strong audience with a set of more than 30 songs.
Fans were quick to shout out her name as the start time of 8pm came and went but it wasn’t long before the shouts turned to screams as A-Mei came out on to the stage with a tight first set that included “Fighting Ceremony”, “Straightforward” and “Black Eats Black”. A few ballads followed and then it was time for the star to greet her audience.
“Hi, I’m A-Mei and this is the 40th concert on my ‘Utopia 2016 World Tour’,” she said to cheers. “I’m told that many of the people here tonight are from other countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong but I hope there are also lots of Thais here too and that we can all have a great time together.”
The diva then swung right back into her set, getting the audience up on its feet and dancing to such up-tempo numbers as “Jamaican Betel Nut”, “Jump In”, “R U Watching” and “Fire” and singing along to “Faces of Paranoia”, “Disappear” and “My Dearest.”
She also performed a medley of the numbers that made her famous, among them “Could I Hold You”, “Cut Love”, “Listen to the Sea”, “Relief”, “Have You Heard Lately?”, “Remember”, “Fever”, “Forever Happiness” and “Bold for My Love”.
Surrounded by dancers clad in pink bikinis, A-Mei marked Songkran with some ritual water splashing during a set that included her major hit “Bad Boy” and “Booty Call.”
A rainbow ambassador to Taiwan Pride since 2007 and one of the first celebrities to sign the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights’ petition for same-sex marriage, she dedicated “Cai Hong” (“Rainbow”) to the gay crowd in the audience who identified themselves by waving rainbow flags.
Screams rose another few decibels when young actor Huang Jingyu from the hit web series “Addicted” came out on stage to duet with her on “It’s You I Only Care About”, a cover of the late Teresa Teng’s classic song.
“He is my guest in Taiwan and Thailand only,” A-Mei told the crowd before handing over to the young actor to introduce himself.
“Hello everyone, I’m Huang Jingyu and I’m very nervous because we only had one rehearsal for this concert,” he said to applause.
Also special to her Thailand concert, A-Mei surprised the audience with two Thai songs: China Dolls’ “Kor Muay Nee Kha” and Thongchai “Bird” McIntyre’s “Khoo Kad” in a Mandarin version.
The diva closed out her show with “So You Actually Don’t Want Anything At All” and left the stage to return a few minutes later for an encore that included “Sisters”, her first single and a firm favourite with all her fans.
“I couldn’t miss singing this song. It’s very important to me,” she said as she waved goodbye for the final time.