Family was the theme of singer- songwriter JJ Lin's homecoming concert here.
The Taipei-based Mandopop star shared a sweet moment on stage with his mother during the encore as they sang Japanese Rose In My Palm. He did not neglect the other members of his family, who were surprised by an invitation to go on stage as well.
He sang Jonathan Lee's poignant Hills with his father and performed with his elder brother Eugene, Fly Back In Time, a track recorded for the album Stories Untold (2013).
The Lin siblings had performed together at JJ's last concert here in 2013 but this time round, even his parents were roped in.
"Don't blame me for being partial on my Singapore stop," he said to the sold-out crowd of 8,000 fans.
Another treat he had in store was inviting actor Chen Tianwen as his mystery guest star. And the song they sang? The cheesy viral hit Unbelievable, of course, complete with Chen holding a head of broccoli as he serenaded the audience.
There was an SG50 moment when Lin sang the Dick Lee-composed Our Singapore, the English theme song of this year's National Day celebrations.
Being on home ground was an emotional experience for him. Thanking his fans for their support since his debut album Music Voyager (2003), he embraced them as family as well. Some female fans repeatedly yelled out "lao gong" (hubby) throughout the night. His mother quipped after her number: "Daughters-in-law, how's that?"
Lin also broached the topic of marriage. He said: "When I see my friends getting married and having children, I wonder when it'll be my turn."
In one of the concert's most touching moments, just before he performed the ballad Someday, about his grandparents, he said: "I believe grandma is here as well." His grandmother had died from liver cancer in the midst of his concerts in Taipei last July.
She would have been proud of his show. This was the 37th stop of his current world tour and the concert was like a well-oiled machine.
The movable concentric circles of rigging provided effective lighting and were part of the dramatic staging. The T-shaped stage extended into the audience and the fans around it got to see their idol up close.
Lin was in fine form vocally and musically over the three-hour-long gig. He played the keyboard, guitar, drums and beatboxed and crooned his crowd-pleasing hits and rocked out to the faster-paced numbers.
Listening to Genesis, the title track of his latest album, it is clear that he still has ambitions as a songwriter and singer. He mixes R&B and dubstep with aplomb and throws in rap and soaring falsetto to winning effect.
Whichever direction he takes on his next album, there will be 8,000 fans cheering him on. After all, that is what family does.
This article was first published on September 7, 2015.
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