To prove that age is just a number, Hong Kong superstar Jacky Cheung, who turned 62 on July 10, performed a front split onstage on the first night of his series of 11 sold-out concerts in Singapore.
The 140-minute show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday (July 14) was part of the Heavenly King’s 60+ Concert Tour which kicked off in Macau in June, and will be staged here on selected nights until Aug 4.
It will then travel to Kuala Lumpur, Wuhan and Guangzhou.
Cheung told his fans: “Age does not limit what you can do. If I want to do a concert, I just do it. And if I want to do a split, who says I cannot do it?”
And he performed the stunt to thunderous applause from the 8,000-strong crowd.
On turning 62, he said: “I don’t feel old, but I am. It is a strange feeling.
“If I can hold a concert when I am 70, will you come and see it? Yes? Then let’s make a date that when I am 70-plus, let’s have another one.”
Cheung’s commitment came amid speculation that his 60+ Concert Tour might be his last.
Some fans at Friday’s concert noticed that it was shorter than his A Classic Tour (2017 and 2018) and ½ Century Tour (2011) shows here, which each lasted about three hours.
Homemaker Ellayne Soh, 41, said: “The only aspect of the show that can be improved is that it was too short.”
The show’s Singaporean music director Goh Kheng Long, 56, had told The Straits Times in an interview that he heard similar complaints – directly or indirectly – from fans in Macau during the first few shows held in June.
He said: “Initially, I thought our friend (Cheung) is already 62. But no, he is still as fit as ever.”
Goh, who played the piano during the show, explained that having a 53-piece orchestra which included strings, brass instruments and a harp might have affected the duration of the show.
“For performances involving regular bands, yes, I have done four-hour-long shows before. But orchestras typically play only 1½ to 1¾ hours.”
Performing can be exhausting for musicians in an orchestra, he said, as they have to listen to both their instruments and other musicians.
He added: “I feel this duration is perfect because you know that within that time, Jacky can sing all out, and the orchestra can play all out.”
When asked if this might be Cheung’s last tour, Goh said: “I don’t think so. He has said in his shows that so long as he can go on, he will go on until he is 70, 80-plus. He is super fit and in tip-top condition.”
Goh, who was also the music director of Cheung’s A Classic Tour, added: “Compared to his last tour, I almost cannot tell the difference in his delivery, performance and stamina.”
He said Cheung is very focused on his job and follows a highly controlled routine, which includes body stretches and vocal warm-ups, that helps him perform better.”
All four back-up singers – Marcus Lee, David Tan, Cherelle Tan and Carmen Ang – are from Singapore, while several members of the band are also Singaporeans. In addition, Cheung’s orchestra features Singapore flautist Rit Xu.
Goh said: “I have never worked on a world tour where all 53 musicians move together from city to city. To me, this is a huge surprise, both musically and logistically. And so far, the team spirit is burning bright.”
And the fans’ passion for the singer has not waned either.
IT manager Jackson Chan, 33, who has been listening to Cheung’s songs since he was 20 and queued at a SingPost outlet in April from 6am to secure S$388 (RM1,336) seats for his wife and him, said Friday’s set was “magical and brilliant”.
“Who knows, if Jacky’s tour goes to Hong Kong or Taiwan, we might fly there to catch the show again.”
Soh, who has watched Cheung’s show three times previously, said: “His concerts never disappoint. You can feel he really puts his heart and soul into his performance.”
One segment she enjoyed was how the God of Songs experimented with video projections during the song When The Sun Rises (2022), as well as with a montage of himself at different ages in Another Ten Years (2023).
Her husband Joe Wong, 42, a project director, said: “He is just as good as before. I really love his classic Cantonese songs. We have already bought tickets to another one of his concerts in Kuala Lumpur in August and we cannot wait.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network