Amber Liu: No More Sad Songs Tour, Festival Hall, Melbourne, March 15th 2024 – Live Review

Amber Liu (刘逸云), the Chinese American singer, who debuted through the iconic K-Pop group f(x), returned to Melbourne exactly 365 days after her first performance in Australia at last year’s SONICA Music Festival.

Melbourne was the third leg of her No More Sad Songs Australian and New Zealand Tour after wrapping up her shows in both Sydney and Brisbane. Excited fans gathered at Festival Hall, eager to welcome Amber Liu back down under.

The energy of the crowd instantly shifted when Amber took to the stage with a powerful performance of ‘Easier’. Instantly, phones shot up into the air and arms waved up and down to her music. ‘Stay Calm’ was anything but calm with Amber’s strong vocals traveling across the Festival Hall venue as she ran between the different sides of the stage to entertain fans. Her two dancers accompanied her for her song ‘Hands Behind My Back’ where Amber showcased her slick dance moves. I was lucky enough to see Amber perform last year during her first ever Australian visit where she gave Melbourne fans a sneak peek of the song ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ which was, at the time, an unreleased track. It was a pleasure hearing this song again after its official release.

A quick water break turned into Amber’s iconic sexy water time, with the help of her band that had background music ready to go. This had Amber hilariously add a couple of body rolls alongside to her consumption of water.

Amber mentioned that the process to her ‘No More Sad Songs’ release was to be genuine and soul searching to herself. She also advised the one rule for her show – to be yourself and enjoy the concert exactly how you like.

I loved all the fun choreography incorporated into Amber Liu’s songs, ‘Curiosity’, ‘Neon’ and ‘ILY’. It was clear that Amber was having the time of her life on the Melbourne stage and was able to play around with her dancers and band. A fan lucked out when Amber got up close and personal to her during the song ‘Make It Better’, Amber crouched in front of the fan to serenade her.

Openly sharing that she was a little hesitant about the next upcoming song, Amber explained that she initially wrote it for a crush to impress them. Unfortunately, her crush did not like the song but thankfully, her fans did! In the end, she invited her emotional support guitarist Sam to join her on stage to start ‘Three Million Years’ which I absolutely adored. She also dedicated ‘I Love Somebody’ to the single fans in the audience which was received with loud appreciative cheers.

When Amber wasn’t singing and dancing, she was extremely entertaining and personal, like a dear friend happily rambling and gathering thoughts together while spending time with you. It wasn’t scripted. It was raw and sincere. To thank her fans for supporting her and coming to her show, a quick raffle was also drawn to gift lucky fans in the audience limited-edition concert merch.

In true Amber fashion, Amber excitedly shared that she had another surprise for her Melbourne fans; a few demos of unreleased tracks that we could choose from for her to perform. ‘Track 3’ was chosen, which was a song titled ‘Laser Tag’. Amber stated that she wrote this song when she joined a gaming competition and had no idea what she was doing. Honoured and super spoilt, Melbourne fans were lucky again to have witnessed Amber drop exclusive sneak peeks again in our city, two years in a row.

Explaining that she tends to write about things she can’t seem to say during times where she felt alone, in those very tough and dark times, Amber wrote the following songs: ‘Lately’, ‘Numb’ and ‘Hate Myself’. Hearing these songs live had me holding my breath in awe as Amber’s raw emotions and talent seeped through. This segment really tugged at my heartstrings. I have always seen Amber as a fun, upbeat and energetic artist, but when those walls come down, her emotions are fragile, eloquent, sensitive, and strong.

‘Blue’ and ‘Can’t Go Yet’ brought the pace back up, but it was ‘No More Sad Songs’ that turned the mood 180 degrees while the crowd loudly sang along the lyrics to the chorus. Amber appropriately also used the song to end the ballad segment of her concert which I thought was extremely clever.

Amber‘s energy exhibited in ‘Don’t Dance’ and ‘Countdown’ was truly unmatched. Dancing nonstop while she continued to sing, yet her powerful vocals effortlessly nailed those high notes. Before we knew it, it was time for the “last song”, and crowd favourite, ‘Other People’ was performed. Then cheekily, Amber exited the stage and signalled “5 minutes”. Everyone in the Melbourne venue passionately chanted her name until Amber Liu returned onstage with ‘Shake That Brass’, her debut solo song the peak of the night as fans cheered and happily sang along at the top of their lungs to the iconic single.

Thanking her Melbourne fans for singing and dancing along with her all night, Amber mentioned to see everyone again 365 days later, before an idea sprung to mind that Melbourne could be the city where she leaks demos and sings unreleased songs, since she performed both ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ and ‘No More Sad Songs’ last year, and ‘Laser Tag’ here this tour. With the intention of slowing the tempo down to some feel good chill vibes to end the night, Amber Liu selected ‘Paradise’ as the final song. With a final bow and a group photo, Amber wrapped up her No More Sad Songs Melbourne concert. Although, I noticed Amber returned to the stage not long after to sign items for some dedicated and lucky fans that stayed behind.

There was no need for big screens nor fancy lighting. Amber Liu, her band and dancers were more than enough to fill the Festival Hall venue with great music and artfully engaged the Melbourne audience at every moment the No More Sad Songs Tour. Thoroughly impressing from start to finish, Amber Liu is a born entertainer who is so sincere, talented and connects people through her heartfelt lyrics and raw emotions. Her loveable personality makes time spent with her fly past, and I genuinely look forward to not only seeing more of her work, but hopefully another Melbourne visit next year.

Proudly presented by Live Nation Australia, Amber Liu’s No More Sad Songs Tour Melbourne concert was held on Friday the 15th of March 2024 at Festival Hall. This was the final concert of her Australian dates. Amber Liu will head to Auckland, New Zealand to perform at The Tuning Fork on Monday the 18th March before heading to Singapore later this month.

For more information, visit:
https://www.livenation.com.au/artist-amber-liu-1390517
https://www.instagram.com/amberliu
https://www.youtube.com/c/AmberLiuOfficial
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4ZpzgTOUAznSK70KdPbJHf

Photography by Darren Chan.

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