Hong Kong diva Karen Mok had a mission to accomplish during The Ultimate Karen Mok Show last night (June 15) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The effervescent 49-year-old had to entertain and bid farewell to the 6,000-strong crowd while putting on a show that not only served as an ending, but also the beginning of something new.
After all, The Ultimate Karen Mok Show is meant to celebrate her 25th anniversary in the entertainment business and she is ready to close the curtains on her concert tours.
Yes, this may be the last time she's gracing Singapore's stage as she will be retiring from concert touring and shifting her focus to developing the Chinese musical scene.
And she succeeded on all fronts as she made this writer shed a tear despite never having been to any of her previous concerts.
It was also apparent that Karen was really giving it her all and was working harder than a football squad captain in a final attempt to clinch that trophy.
But what was probably working even harder was her jaw-dropping parade of costumes which she changed at the drop of a hat.
PARADE OF COSTUMES
A versatile performer, Karen switched up her looks faster than Singaporeans gobbled the latest food trends.
From a sexy skin-tight Catwoman jumpsuit, she served us goth elegance with a simple sheer black skirt as quickly as the music transitioned from the uptempo Hei Mao Jing Zhang (Black Cat Police Captain) to the slow tune of Ban Shen Yuan (Fates of Half a Lifetime).
Her opening number was also a royal treat for the eyes.
For her first performance, Ru Chu Zhi Guang (Let There Be Light), Karen was a vision in gold.
Decked out in a golden princess gown, complete with her own crown, it was clear that she was here to slay.
And if you know Karen, you know that her legs won't stay hidden for long.
After the first song ended, she removed her poofy skirt to reveal her hidden gams underneath.
The best was yet to be, though, as her second costume change saw her in a boyfriend shirt with a sheer train trailing behind.
However, that was clearly just to facilitate the sultry performance of putting her legs squarely in the spotlight before slipping on her heels.
But in one of the most meta moments of the evening, Karen seemed to have given herself a victory lap in her final concert.
She transformed her nude-coloured bodysuit into a fairytale princess gown by putting on a frilly short skirt complete with a long train in swatches of barbie pink, sky blue, cerulean and yellow.
During her performance of Wai Mian De Shi Jie (The World Outside), she was handed a sceptre and she walked towards the back of the stage and raised it high in the air as the mobile platform she was standing on slowly descended.
It was a pose most reminiscent of that fist bump from the final scene of The Breakfast Club.
All hail the queen.
THE QUEEN OF BALLADS
Maybe I'm just sappy but her ballads seemed to land stronger than her other numbers and she even sounded better in the concert than she did on her album.
I distinctly wrote in my notes that her ballads were "awesome".
She asked the crowd: "I have improved. Am I the best?"
Yes, you are.
It was rich with emotions and with each note, it stirred something within me. At once gentle and soothing, her vocals also swelled into a fleeting crescendo which crashed upon your soul like a force of nature.
While those moments were few, it was akin to how I felt listening to the greats like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
It evoked a certain melancholy which was surprising considering that I wasn't feeling particularly upset about anything.
The most poignant scene had to come from the encore, which she closed with a rendition of her classic Hu Ran Zhi Jian (Suddenly).
But it wasn't just her performance which broke down my stoic demeanour; it was a quick 30-second scene of the fans eagerly singing along with her, pitchy as they may be.
Karen cheered and clapped enthusiastically.
She said: "Wow. I'm so touched! Thank you!"
THE FANS ADORE HER
The adoration the fans had for her was overwhelming and Karen never failed to express her appreciation for them, her close friends, and her mother who were present at the concert.
When she announced her departure from concert touring, there was an audible collective 'aww' across the stadium as one fan behind me screamed: "Why?"
Karen, however, revealed that she intended to bring something new and exciting to them and their spirits were lifted.
"You have to wait for me, okay? Promise me. I want to see each and every one of you next time," she announced to wild screams.
Even I couldn't help but get swept up in the emotions as I found myself clapping as she concluded her encore performance.
I hastily cleaned up the tears rolling down my cheek as I felt wistful and nostalgic, even though I had not heard her songs before my preparation for her concert.
As I exited the venue, I knew I had my own mission: To find my favourite songs of hers on Spotify.