The dignified space of the Esplanade Theatre could not possibly have contained all the emotions that demanded an outlet on Saturday night. Crowd Lu’s 11th anniversary concert, Adult, made us laugh, weep, and dance unapologetically all night long. A year after his most recent appearance in Singapore, he filled the theatre with a familiar warmth associated with meeting an old friend, charming endlessly with his boyish humour, soulful tunes, and hard-hitting rock remixes.
The crowd was brimming with anticipation, already on their feet, when he opened with two head-banging tracks, ‘一个便当’ and ‘欧拉拉呼呼’, backed by a medley of flashing colourpop visuals. Heavy electric guitar riffs and jazzy trumpet melodies galore, he smoothly turned it up a notch, stunning with an impressive falsetto.
If the audience was not already entranced, it was pulled into his charismatic orbit the moment he began his speech. Carrying himself with a refreshing lightness, he displayed a rapport with his fans, intimate and familial all at once, belying his boyish demeanour. “Welcome to my—”, he began, but was instantly interrupted when someone yelled, “I love you!”, the theatre dissolving into giggles thereafter. Revealing that he recently got into an accident, he made light of the incident by saying that he recovered faster than expected after eating many plates of Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore.
Easing into the first ballads of the night, '只有夜来香' and '寂寞考', a tender mood descended upon us, amplified by sublime visuals projected on a translucent screen at the front of the stage. Partially veiled, with only his silhouette visible most of time, Lu emoted with an intensity that was beyond-palpable. His voice, raw and tinged with imperfection, was testament to how music exists as a natural state – it is something essential that simply is and yet encompasses the entire spectrum of the human experience.
Next, he delivered '鱼仔', one of his most well-received songs in recent years, at the same time carving out a space for the audience to join in during the chorus. Using the muscle memory of a particular fish as a metaphor for longing and reminiscence, he proved with this poignant track that sadness didn't have to be explicitly expressed to make itself heard.
As the night progressed, Crowd Lu continued to prove one thing: His music transcends the realm of the tangible but is simultaneously, helplessly embodied. Our bodies could not help but to bob, sway, and jump in sync with something that coursed through us, that demanded to be felt. Lyrics escaped our mouths unbidden and wetness filled our eyes before we knew it.
The second half of the show steadily built towards an ineludible high. With the funk-influenced, distinctly groovy rearrangements of '别在我睡觉时候', '无敌铁金刚' and '蚊子', he showcased his versatility by switching seamlessly between heavy rock hooks and laid-back melodies, and even weaved in an a cappella solo in the middle of the other instrumental solos. In '口水流下来' and '再见勾勾', he continued to awe with his dance moves, electric guitar solo, and new arrangements that intensified the palpable excitement in the room.
The night undeniably peaked during ‘OH YEAH’, with Crowd Lu presenting a 13-minute-long rendition that had the audience jumping and pumping their hands in the air, chanting on cue and in tandem.
As he announced the onset of his final song to loud groans from the audience, he teased by saying, "So would you rather I not sing it?". At the same time, someone shouted, “Walao!” and he exclaimed, “So that’s how you use it!", referencing the banter with his band members earlier as he joked that they had taught him a local vulgarity. The atmosphere in the room turned somber as he started talking about how this concert marked 11 years of his debut. However, the mood immediately lightened again as he said, "You could have been single even before all these years and have given up finding love by now", poking fun at himself.
Bringing the night to a close with a light-hearted '100种生活', he sang of the limitless possibilities in this life: "無邊的宇宙 / 哪里有我想要的生活 / 原來一百種 / 要在很久很久以後才會懂". Returning to the stage for the encore amidst chants and applause, he delivered '几分之几' and the track that this concert was named after, '大人中'.
The night ended with Crowd Lu sincerely wishing everyone the best in life and with a poignant quote projected on the screen: "A true mark of an adult is knowing how to love".
Special thanks to CK Star Entertainment for the kind invite.
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