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Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 7:11:02 AM
by christine cheah
Tao delivered a 26-song set that included a generous selection of greatest hits, and a good mix of traditional, hard rock, and mellow tunes. – RAYMOND OOI/The Star
R&B king David Tao returns to Malaysia with an intimate concert in Genting Highlands.
DESPITE a four-year hiatus from the music scene, David Tao proved that he was still the undisputed, stylistically diversed, King of R&B Mandopop, as he gave a 5000-strong audience a show to remember during his two-hour-long The Glamorous Life concert at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands last Saturday.
The last few years have been a journey filled with ups and downs for Tao. Following the passing of his father, popular actor Tao Dawei, in 2012, Tao went on a hiatus from music in order to spend more time with his family and concentrate on film directing.
His father had always been an inspiration to Tao, who named his current world tour “Xiao Ren Wu Kuang Xiang Qu” (meaning “minor characters’ rhapsody” in Mandarin) after the senior Tao’s most notable show in 1970. Midway through the concert, he put down his guitar and gave a heartfelt rendition of Blink Of The Heart, a song dedicated to his late father, released in his last album, 2013’s Hello Goodbye.
Backed by a multinational six-piece band with three back-up singers, Tao single-handedly planned every detail of the concert – from the hanging white tear-drop lanterns overlooking the crowd, to directing and acting in a three-part short film shown throughout the show.
Sporting a leaner figure than in his Black Tangerine days, Tao delivered a 26-song set that included a generous selection of greatest hits, and a good mix of traditional, hard rock, and mellow tunes.
Aware that most of his fans were more familiar with his early material, he refrained from dipping too much into his recent album; performing only two songs from it while taking the opportunity to introduce his latest protégé Sharon Kwan via the duet Time To Say Goodbye.
Although the music rarely wavered from a mid-tempo groove (apart from the introduction and encore), Tao’s musical diversity still came through. Besides rearranging several slow tunes like Melody into an upbeat number, Tao also proved his prowess with the guitar by transiting from an acoustic medley to a rock medley effortlessly.
Ever the perfectionist, Tao was visibly annoyed at a sound system glitch as he hit the high notes of Small Town Girl, though he graciously complimented the venue anyway, saying, “I like this place because I can be close to you all.”
The crowd had obviously missed Tao, judging from the emotional singalong during the acoustic rendition of 10.30 Airport and Regular Friends, and the mad scramble to take pictures of Tao when he came down from the stage towards the end of the show. He did so while singing I Love You, which he dedicated to his fans, calling them the reason he is still in the Mandopop industry today.
Even at 44, Tao remains the consummate performer and a talented musician, and based on this performance, we can probably look forward to watching him revolutionise the Mandopop R&B scene for years to come.
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