The Sun - E Paper

27-7-2005

Sensational Sally
The Hongkong singer charmed the audience with a ballad-filled evening during her recent Genting concert, reports Peter Yap


Six thousand people packed the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands last Friday to catch Sally Yeh in concert.
And they were not disappointed as the Hongkong singer put on a show to remember, despite a slow start.

She had started off the night with an English song, MacArthur Park followed by five Mandarin songs including Everlasting, You Forgot My Beauty and Life is Simple.

But it was only after her first Cantonese song, Autumn that she made contact with her audience. "There won't be much dancing tonight. It's just about my voice. I even brought along my husband George Lam but you won't see him just yet," she told the crowd.

She next sang the powerful ballad, Cantonese Lover's Best Friend and Shu Rei's No Wine Bottles, the theme song from the movie, Papa, Can You Hear Me Sing? It was a trend she followed throughout the evening, singing a string of other singers' hits including English songs such as Unchained Melody, We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, River Deep Mountain High, What Now My Love, Chiquitita and Last Dance much to the disappointment of those who had wanted to hear more of Yeh's own hits.

Still, the older members of the audience lapped it up. After all, they were die-hard fans of Yeh, who even took the opportunity to flirt with a few of the guys. One of them, who was seated on the second row, surprisingly had a pair of binoculars with him. Yeh noted this and asked: "Which part of me do you want to see more?" But there was no denying that she has great vocals as proven when she hit the high notes with ease in the Mandarin ballad, Walking on Ice. Yeh got the crowd going with a medley of her Cantonese songs, namely Fiery Heart, Phantom and Reunion. She followed up with Wish, another of her hits during the mid 90s.

Still, there was no sign of her husband Lam, a singer in his own right. The couple have been married for nine years, and mostly live in San Francisco. Instead, Yeh asked her six chorus singers to join her on stage as they sang the Cantonese ballad, Thousand Sun.

Towards the end of the concert, the pop diva, who won Hongkong's most popular female singer award for four consecutive years previously, revealed: "I've always loved to sing since I was young. I like to do things my way. I don't follow the rules. I have my own style. I would like to thank my fans for the support, love and applause (cheers) all these years," before singing Frank Sinatra's signature song, My Way.

Finally, Yeh brought Lam out for the encore and the couple sang two English numbers, Something Stupid and Come What May, and a Cantonese version of Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.

Overall, the two-and-a-half hour concert wasn't as highly-charged as anticipated but still Yeh showed she had what it takes to take her fans down memory lane.

Malay Mail

27-7-2005

On-Stage: Too little, too late
Chow Ee-Tan

SALLY Yeh has proven her vocals and showmanship are a class above. And her versatility is unquestioned – she can handle anything from Canto-pop, Chinese classical songs to Broadway-styled compositions.

The only problem was that her predominantly older audience at her two-night ‘Music Emotion Concert’ at Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands last weekend could not relate to her eclectic repertoire.

Many of her songs were in English and Mandarin and only a fraction of the show saw her presenting her own hits that the audience so loved.

Obviously, she planned to be different this time round, as her concert in the same venue just a year ago featured many of her well-known numbers.

Another grouse was that she made the audience wait too long before letting her guest artiste – her husband George Lam – come on stage.

When they appeared hand-in-hand for the ‘encore’, it was a case of too little, too late’.

POWER DUO: Sally and husband George Lam in the encore segment.

It was a pity that he appeared for a mere 10 minutes or so (the concert lasted two-and-a-half-hours) singing only three songs with Yeh.

Yeh had made it clear in the beginning that her concert would focus on music and on her vocals.

In fact, the show was derived from her recent concert with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, with the same concert producer who also arranged the music.

Yeh’s choice of the opening song – Donna Summer’s MacArthur Park – was intriguing. After greeting the audience in her warm and bright manner, Yeh launched into a series of Cantonese and Mandarin songs. However, they were not among her more popular tunes.

Unlike most pop concerts, the 6,000 crowd was unusually tame. There were hardly any whistles, screams or cheers. Applause was aplenty though, when she sang those familiar songs like Crying, Autumn and Lover Best Friend.

Costume-wise, Yeh chose to present a sophisticated and glamorous image. She was dazzling in a long glittery dress, and for the second part of the show, looked stunning in a mermaid-cut, midriff-bearing gown in deep emerald green.

For English numbers like River Deep Mountain High and Last Dance, the atmosphere was lukewarm as most of the Chinese audience was totally unfamiliar with them.

To her credit, she interpreted all her English songs well. Like her modified version of Unchained Melody.

She also carried with aplomb upbeat songs like We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.

Even if some songs didn’t strike a chord with the audience, her friendly, humorous and candid banter drew much laughter from the crowd. Like when she commented on some latecomers by being mildly sarcastic.

“Welcome. You must have come from the casino,” she said to a group of women who made their way along the front row, and pretended to pause her show for them. “But it’s ok, women should be fashionably late,” she added with a smile.

She also made fun of a man seated in the second row who was using a pair of binoculars.

You are seated right in front and you are using binoculars? If you are seated in the back, you would need a telescope, won’t you?”

A few songs later, she picked on the poor guy again.

“I noticed you haven’t been using your binoculars since I mentioned it. Poor thing, you had lugged it all the way from KL up here. So please by all means, I welcome you to use the binoculars. You can look at any part,” she said, pointing to her body.

Laughter erupted. Well, that’s Yeh for you!

The second part of the show began rather slowly, with her choosing a challenging classical song, Wang Zhao Jun and a few not so popular songs.

It gradually built up when she sang a medley of her hits, but with the beginning and end creatively remixed with the Phantom of the Opera overture.

Then, she presented the hauntingly beautiful Yes or No which she sang with much feeling, and one of her all-time favourites, Blessing, which won her resounding applause.

By this time, some fans were impatiently shouting: “Ah Lam! Ah Lam!” (George Lam) to which Yeh replied: “Not yet, he’s still getting ready to fix his moustache!”

She shared a little about how she had always did things her way, and thanked the audience for accepting her.

Yeh then gave a poignant and powerful rendition of Frank Sinatra’s My Way.

The ‘encore’ break was embarrassingly silent for the first few minutes but when the drums rolled, the crowd came alive again. To their delight, Yeh and Lam emerged on stage hand-in-hand, singing Something Stupid.

Yeh was wearing an elaborate dress that resembled a bridal gown while Lam was in a smart suit. The couple, all lovey-dovey and flirting on stage, continued with another love song, Come What May.

Their gestures made them look like newly-weds and Lam even planted a kiss on his wife’s cheek.

“I must complain for it is now past my bed time. Next time I must come out first,” said Lam jokingly.

Finally, they sang Lam’s cover version of Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and the upbeat number finally heated up the atmosphere. The audience was clapping, singing and dancing away.

Alas, it was too little, too late. Yeh and Lam thanked the audience, waved goodbye and left the stage, permanently.

It was quite an irony to see the once lukewarm crowd now refusing to leave. But their shouts for more encores were to no avail...

New Straits Times

28-7-2005

Yeh, she still got it!
SHARON WONG

Sally Yeh may have put on a rather subdued show up in Genting Highlands last week — hot, funky dances were noticeably absent — but her fans still had a wonderful time. SHARON WONG writes.

SHE may be older than Genting, City of Entertainment (she said it, I didn’t!) but Sally Yeh still has what it takes to put on a fine show.
This she proved beyond a doubt at her Sally Yeh Live In Genting — Music in Motion concert last Friday. She performed to a packed audience at the Arena of Stars, pouring on the charm and mesmerising with her powerful vocals.

However, this concert is not exactly what her fans are used to. Unlike previous concerts which incorporated hot, funky dance routines, Yeh’s performance last week focused on the music.
She kept her dancing to the minimum (though she still swayed, shook and twisted her sexy bum occasionally to the delight of her fans).

Her selection of songs was also different. Although she challenges herself in many tracks — in English, Mandarin and Cantonese — that stretched her vocal range, a lot of them were unfamiliar numbers.
Being the veteran that she is, Yeh took to teasing and joking with the audience. In one instance, she pointed out that a man in the second row had been using binoculars to watch her the minute she appeared despite being so near. Embarrassed, he quickly put away the offending instrument until she graciously gave her "permission".

Later, she lamented the fact that another man had yawned during the most emotional part of her song and pouted prettily.
But all was forgiven when the audience showed their appreciation for her wonderfully touching renditions of Any Bottles For Sale (Jiu Kang Tang Hui Bo), classic Wang Chao Jun, Unchained Melody and My Way, basking in the adulation unashamedly.
"I’m happiest when I hear my fans’ applause," she said. The audience obliged immediately with thunderous applause.

She responded with bouts of flying kisses and posed provocatively for those pointing their cameras at her direction.
With no sign of husband George Lam, her guest artiste, after close to two hours of singing and teasing, the audience grew restless."Not yet," she exclaimed. "He’s really fussy and is still putting on make-up! He’s worse than a woman."

It was not until the encore that husband and wife finally appeared together, singing Something Stupid and Come What May.
The two dispelled rumours that their marriage was on the rocks by appearing lovey-dovey. They danced, hugged and held hands, and Lam even attempted a peck on his wife’s cheek.

Lam showed that he could be just as mischievous as his pretty wife when he complained about the time of his appearance in the concert, saying that it was past his bedtime.

"Old men need their rest," he said. After the final rendition of a Cantonese cover version of the song Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, the couple thanked and bowed to the audience, signifying the end of a wonderful show.

The Star

28-7-2005

A different side of Sally Yeh

Yeh and Lam brought the concert to a feverish finale with Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.

MEETING her Malaysian fans again a year after delivering It’s My Prime 25th Anniversary Concert, Hong Kong pop diva Sally Yeh's Music in Motion concerts at Arena of Stars, Genting on Friday and Saturday showed off the different side of her.

“Do you like music?” a smiling Yeh asked the 6,300-strong audience at the start.

“This is going to be a night of music, you won’t see me changing costumes every couple of songs and neither will you see dancers prancing on stage with me.”

She went on stage at 8.15pm sharp - when many were still looking for seats - and started the concert with Macarthor Park, then a string of melancholic numbers including Everlasting, Heart of the Moon and Friend to display her strong vocal.

On stage with her were musicians with whom she had partnered for years, all clad in black to contrast and bring attention to her striking white gown and exquisitely coiffed hair.

The band looked simple but that had actually incorporated recorded works of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, which gave a panoramic effect to selected songs.

Yeh then removed the white-blue robe to reveal a sexy spaghetti-strapped, sequined gown, and at the same time stunned everyone in the hall with her hourglass figure.

At 44, Yeh still giggled, hopped and danced like a teenager. Her good sense of humour, although delivered through not-too-perfect Cantonese, enlivened the show further.

“I just found out that Genting celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, oh my, I'm older than Genting! I hope I look younger, do I?” she said.

That was followed by several sentimental songs, her famous Autumn Comes Autumn Goes, Lover and Best Friend to the delight of her staunch teen fans as well as the rather reserved groups made up of the middle-age.

But the audience obviously enjoyed most when she rendered Jiu Gan Kang Bui Bo (Any Wine Bottle For Sale?), a familiar tune that catapulted Taiwan's pop diva Shu Rei to fame in the 80s. Unchained Melody came next to thank her supporters for showering her with love all these years.

It was supposed to be a night of music, therefore Yeh sang a much revered Chinese opera number, Wang Zhao Jun, which narrated the poignant story of the Han Emperor's concubine, who was one of the four most beautiful women in Ancient China.

Yeh was garbed in an emerald green gown that exuded splendour and classic elegance, which helped create a sombre atmosphere.

She did not sing many of her own songs, but a host of English numbers such as We Will Rock You, We Are The Champion, River Deep Mountain High, Last Dance and Chiquitita among others. She was probably doing so to move her reserved audience but did not quite work.

The diva must be lauded for her professionalism as she was not at all demoralised by the cold response but showed more enthusiasm when she presented a medley consisting of Tonight, Dawn Don’t Come, Burning Heart and Phantom, then slow and soft numbers like Yes or No, Why and Blessing.

The audience was finally warmed up as the concert geared towards its end, with Thousand Sun and My Way. Maybe it was because of her soulful rendition or her emotion-charged note that thanked her supporters for allowing her to do things her way.

After a long and anxious wait, guest artiste George Lam who is Yeh's husband finally appeared on stage in white coat and black pants, while she wore an elaborate candy-coloured flouncy dress. The couple looked as if they came right out of fairy tale.

They switched on a romantic mood with duet Something Stupid and Come What May then brought the concert to a feverish finale with Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, whose Cantonese version was made popular by Lam. This song had finally made the audience stood up, clapping and tapping to the rapturous rhythm.

But just when the audience started to get excited, the concert ended without encore, like how the soft-spoken but humorous Lam put it: “It's past my bedtime, you (Yeh) should call me to sing earlier, as we old folks need to sleep early.”


Compiled at Sally Yeh: The Effervescent Queen of Pop
http://www.sallyeh.net