[COVERAGE] Strumming heartstrings: Sungha Jung Live in Singapore

(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)
(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)

(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)

Do you miss this smile already? The KAvenyou team sure does! With a killer smile, a K-drama-like hair flip, an acoustic guitar in hand, it’s no surprise that guitar strings weren’t the only strings he were strumming that night. Here’s a refresher of last Saturday’s concert with the ever-so-talented guitarist, Sungha Jung.

A feast for the eyes for the girls, soul food for the ears for the guys. Oh and did I mention, there was a guy who sat behind me and shouted, “Hyung! I want to marry you!”.

First up on the stage was Mr Lee Guo Liang, winner of the Sungha Jung Guitar Competition organised by Cristofori Music. He performed a unique rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”, entirely in finger style!

Starting the night with the title song of his new album, “L’Atelier”, which means “The Artist” in French, the song would be a perfect fit in the opening of a K-drama. You know, that cliché main character introduction scene where the protagonist is a nerdy high school girl crushing on a really handsome high school jock that is talented in so many areas and also coincidentally plays the guitar? L’Atelier is the kind of song that will play, just before all hell breaks loose. Jokes aside, the song was a refreshing side of Sungha that regular listeners probably don’t see much in his YouTube videos because of his usually fancy finger-style method when it comes to covering other songs.

He also performed a few of his other compositions such as “In The Midnight” which had a unique jazzy tempo and feel to it even though it was played on an acoustic guitar and “Seventh #9” which was the perfect song to flaunt his fast string-plucking skills as song was an upbeat song that even Jungha admitted, a style that he does not perform often.

Especially touching was “Stars” for which he composed as a tribute to the victims of the Sewol Ferry tragedy. This young lad is not only handsome and talented but also thoughtful about current affairs and the community. I think that’s what makes him so much more charming. The crowd was truly mesmerised by the way he moved his fingers on the strings and also the way he closed his eyes as he lived in the music, smiling occasionally.

For a treat, here’s a photo of him in the music moment. Seriously, I could frame this up and stare at this all day.

(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)
(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)

Sungha Jung once again garnered screams when he said he was going to play an arrangement of one of our homegrown singers, JJ Lin. He played a cover of JJ Lin’s popular song, ‘Remember’ (记得) and ‘South of Yangtze River’ (江南) with a little bit of an extra Sungha vibe of his finger-style play.

During the second part of the concert, Sungha invited his guest Neil Chan on stage where they both broke out in beautiful melody – That was simply unreal. Two amazing guitarists sharing the same stage is a once-in-a-lifetime sight.

Beliebers and ARMYs where you at?! Sungha Jung got the floor screaming again when he played the guitar renditions of “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber and “Butterfly” by BTS. Throughout these two songs, I kid you not when I say I listened to them with my eyes closed. Those songs are good as they are but played through another instrument without lyrics- Phenomenal transformation. I could totally enjoy the music on its own entirety and not be distracted by the lyrics.

When he mentioned that it would be his last song, the crowd let out a disappointed ‘aww’. Being the crowd teaser (and pleaser) that he is, he said with a chuckle “you know… when I say it’s the last song it’s not really the last song right?”

(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)
(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)

Usually only guitar-in-hand and pick on the other, Sungha rarely sings on camera or off camera but during the encore, he mentioned that he would play one of his favourite songs and he suddenly stood up, pulling the standing mic closer to him. The lights dimmed for the very last time and he sang out in slightly flawed but cute English articulation of John Mayer’s St. Patrick’s Day. I’m sure girls in the room were probably already a puddle on the floor after a string of beautiful songs and then ending off with a perfect romance song. No wonder so many girls swoon over him, I got to witness his charm live for the first time today.

I encourage you to attend his next concert wherever it is if you’re a fan of music in its purest form. Even if you don’t really know some of the songs he’s playing, soaking in the music for two hours proves as a good distraction from whatever you’re busy with for the entire week. A little bit of self-pampering can never hurt you too much, can it? ^^

(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)
(Photo Credits: Sprout Entertainment)

I feel sad that it’s over already and I can’t wait for the next time he comes back again! Meanwhile, to feed your post-concert depression, you can check out the post about Sungha Jung at the Sungha Jung Guitar Competition coming out real soon!

Thank you to Sprout Entertainment for the media invitation!

Song List:

1 – L’Atelier
2 – In The Midnight
3 – Seventh #9
4 – Nocturne
5 – The Milky Way
6 – Remember 记得 originally by JJ Lin
7 – Stars
8 – Love Yourself originally by Justin Bieber
9 – Butterfly originally by BTS
10 – Catching The Beat
11 – South of the Yangtze River originally by 江南
12 – Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence originally by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Utada Hikaru


13 – St. Patrick’s Day originally by John Mayer

Watch this space for more updates about music, entertainment and Korean culture at “KAvenyou: Your Avenue to Non-Stop Entertainment, Lifestyle and Fashion”

Article by: Cass Zheng @ KAvenyou

Photos by: Sprout Entertainment

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