Eric Moo’s Concert

Then he picked up his guitar, and you’ll know that you’re in on an intimate musical journey.

I’m on Youth.sg assignment again. This time, I got the chance to cover Eric Moo’s (巫启贤) concert. Who’s Eric Moo? Here’s my personal take: Without him, Singapore might have less of successful Chinese singers to boast today. We might not have successes like Kit Chan, Stefanie Sun, Tanya Chua, A-do and Lin Junjie. Eric Moo was one of the pioneers of Singaporean artists that broke into the ultra-competitive Chinese music market in Taiwan.

Of course some may argue that he isn’t really Singaporean (he was born in Malaysia), but most of his music was produced in Singapore and along with a few like-minded songwriters, they brought about the era of Xinyao (新谣). At the peak of his career in Singapore, Eric was literally the most well-known Singer in Singapore and Malaysia, every house also know his name (巫启贤的名字家喻户晓。). Even non-Chinese knew him, listened and sang to his songs and one even translated his song to English! I was in primary school then. Almost every week he would appear on television as a guest.

My Media Pass

Certainly, Eric has come along way since the Xinyao era, him breaking into the Taiwan market and sustaining for so long. I could tell that by the demographics of the audience, mostly 30’s to 50’s. Their courtship years probably spanned from the late eighties to the early nineties, the same time when his music was everywhere. For me, this concert brought back fond childhood memories.

First starting out in a standard black blazer, Eric was accompanied by his band of musicians as he belted out familiar songs in his repertoire. However, it did take a while before the audience warmed up and started participating in a sing-along session. Well, I guess the audience aren’t as energetic.

He paid tribute to many of his friends in the music industries, with appreciative mentions of local songwriters like Liang Wenfu and Li Feihui, for 想着你的感觉 and 等你等到我心痛. Oddly enough, Liang Wenfu was seated far behind as opposed to Li Feihui seated second row from the front. But no matter, the audience didn’t scrimp their applause for him as he was the prominent songwriter behind our Xinyao era who never failed to create Uniquely Singapore songs, even before you could brand anything Uniquely Singapore.

His first guest, Qiu Haizheng came on stage for her song before he went off to change. Having not sang for so long, she did sound off-key as she sang her signature song. Then Eric returned to stage in a get-up of jeans, red t-shirt and vest, along with a cap, reminiscing younger days. Qiu didn’t miss the opportunity to poke fun at the futile attempt to look younger. I have to agree that the package was rather orbid. But then he picked up the guitar for his unplugged section of concert, and you know you will be in for an intimate musical journey.

Eric is probably best known for singing with his guitar. It was an image he started with right in the beginning of his entertainment career, strumming his way to the radio stations, television and into our hearts. It is also this simplicity that breaks down any barrier between him and his audience. This was definitely one of the highlights of his concert. Not only that, it was probably the easiest section of the concert for him, because just about everyone in the audience knew the lyrics to his songs by heart. And that I feel speaks much of how well-remembered his works were.

Near the end of the segment, he jokingly complained that the audience should have mentioned earlier that he only needed guitar as the hiring of the band members cost extra money.

His second guest was Fang Wenling, another partner from his earlier days, whom he referred to as an ageless legend (不老的传说). After a solo and a duet with Eric, Qiu Haizheng joined them on stage for a short chat, remembering their good ol’ days. The ladies then sang their signature song with Eric before leaving the stage.

The concert concluded with another seven songs. But still the audience wanted more, so they swarmed forward for another glimpse of Eric and started chanting, cheering for him to come back on stage for another encore…

And more followed…

Many climbed on to the chairs, despite their age and/or size. And you thought only youngsters do that…
Finally, he returned to stage…

Much to the delight of fans…

While he would love to stay for more, it would risk an overrun. So he could only lead the audience to sing another 2 songs, run to their delight.

So, don’t think because people are older that they can’t behave like crazy fans ok? Hell, these are mild compared to Chan Poh Chu fans you see today…

Anyway, to round off, the concert was really well-done even though simple. As Eric said it best, the audience weren’t there to watch him dance or see fancy stage sets. And he delivered a quality performance which connected intimately with the audience, despite such a large capacity venue. While the lighting was occasionally too harsh and the music overly loud, these were merely technical flaws which were well-compensated with Eric’s heartfelt performance.

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