What is there left for musician’s musician Tuan Ngoc to prove? He has a profound influence on the new generation of singers. Like Jay-Z, he is married to one of the hottest chicks in the game. Most important of all, he gets the utter respect from both musicians and listeners from in and out of Viet Nam. As a result, it is not a surprise that he turned toward nostalgia in his liveshow Rieng Mot Goc Troi.
Backed up by a full-size orchestra, Tuan Ngoc performed songs of Trinh Cong Son, Ngo Thuy Mien, Tu Cong Phung, Pham Duy, Doan Chuan and Tu Linh like taking a trip down to memory lane. In “Ngam Ngui,” his voice was gentle but filled with emotion and he knew how to make the lyrics into a personal statement. “Khuc Thuy Du” and “Phoi Pha” were both remorseful and doomed as if he had been through it all in life, and he had the damnedest way of breaking down the lyrics. On the light-swing “Ghen” and sensual-bossa nova “Ao Lua Ha Dong,” he gave a Sinatra-liked, offbeat, cool flavor. Mad props to Hoai Sa, a sufficient jazz pianist, for some savory, delightful touches on the right hand.
His signature “Rieng Mot Goc Troi” remained unmatchable. Despite how many times he had sung it, he still cut to the emotional core of the tune in a way that makes you believe he meant everyone word he delivered. The closeout “Moi Ngay Toi Chon Mot Niem Vui” was a wise choice that left the audience something to take away with.