Concert review: Singer Hung Pei-yu’s first Singapore show an intimate look at her growing pains

Hung Pei-yu’s Silver Lining
Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts

Esplanade Annexe Studio
Feb 24, 8pm

It was a night of surprise throwbacks and reunions as Taiwanese singer Hung Pei-yu – who was crowned Best New Artist at the 2023 Golden Melody Awards (GMA) – harked back to her start as a contestant on singing competition Super Idol in 2011.

In the encore, she brought on stage Singapore Mandopop duo The Freshman – comprising her former Super Idol competitors Chen Diya and Carrie Yeo – in a stripped-down performance of the duo’s Growing Up (2016), a sweet coming-of-age number reflecting on one’s youthful naivety.

Hung was on the verge of tears as her guests reminisced over her growth in the decade she disappeared from the pop music scene – only to return with her debut album Silver Lining (2022), thrilling patient fans and winning her critical acclaim with eight nominations at the GMA.

Growing up and growing pains could well have been the hidden themes of the 33-year-old’s first Singapore – and international – concert after the release of Silver Lining.

In her rendition of her breakout song Tiptoe Love (2011), Hung’s trembling voice betrays a guardedness about love in her early 20s, but her confidence blooms in Unconventional Mornings (2022), a singlehood ballad that crescendos with conviction.

Hung is most in her element when performing the quiet, ruminative ballads in her sultry, breathy voice – especially in the warmth of her alto range – and has the rare ability to draw a listener in with her restraint instead of showiness. Paired with a guitar and keyboard, it is her solo voice that shines through.

But the self-professed shy singer also surprised with arrangements of her more upbeat and “weird” songs that feel almost orchestral in numbers such as Let It Bleed (2022) and Fly To The Moon (2022). It is here where her fans can sway along and see a different side of the sensitive artiste, who otherwise delivers a more slow-paced show.

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