Jeff Chang Is Ending One Chapter & Beginning Another With Final ‘Continuum’ Tour

On June 12, 1998, Jeff Chang captivated audiences with his inaugural major concert on the Chinese mainland at the Shanghai Indoor Stadium, appropriately titled “Dream Comes True.” Little could he have foreseen that 26 years later, in 2024, he would triumphantly bring the “Continuum” ultimate edition to a crowd of 80,000 at the Shanghai Stadium.

The recent April showcase in Shanghai marked the debut of the “Continuum” ultimate edition. Despite the acclaim garnered by the six-year “Continuum” tour, transitioning from versions 1.0 to 2.0 and now the ultimate edition, Jeff Chang confesses to occasionally experiencing a vague, inexplicable “sense of powerlessness.” “Last year’s tour was a resounding success, yet some critics implied that our performance might not suit our generation of singers.”

More from Billboard

Some view classic concepts as relics of the past, valuable only for evoking nostalgia. This perspective was one of the driving forces behind Jeff Chang’s decision to embark on the “Continuum” concerts: “I aim to guide audiences towards a more mature appreciation of music, challenging established perceptions along the way.”

Physically, the Shanghai Stadium is a mere 100 meters from the Shanghai Indoor Stadium. Yet, for Jeff Chang, this distance represents a 26-year odyssey. Reflecting on this journey at the “Continuum,” Jeff Chang remarked, “I’ve traversed this 100-meter distance over 26 years!” This metaphor succinctly encapsulates his unwavering dedication to music, with music serving as the cornerstone of his endeavors over his 35-year career.

Embarking on the Future Together with the Audience

Kicking off the “Continuum” ultimate edition concert is Jeff Chang’s 2000 smash hit “Faith.” His unwavering passion for music embodies a spirit of “warm and courageous” faith. Perhaps it is this steadfast belief in music that brings Jeff Chang and his fans together at the “Continuum” concerts, where they experience the soul-stirring power in Jeff Chang’s voice that resonates with the vitality of life itself.

“As a singer with a certain degree of seniority, my audience is already deeply familiar with my songs; we have grown and supported each other mutually,” Jeff Chang reflects. “I aspire for my musical journey and growth to keep pace with the progress of my fans, rather than remaining stagnant. The ‘Continuum’ concerts were conceived with the intention of demonstrating to fans that my music will not dwell solely in memories and nostalgia, but will embark a new future alongside everyone.”

“Each segment of the ‘Continuum’ concert has a message we wish to convey to the audience. We have carefully selected songs that hold significant meaning in my music career, even if they are not the most popular hits. In each of my albums, I aim to impart insights, concepts, and musical knowledge. Through the concert’s overall arrangement, I hope to convey the concept of ’embarking on the future together with the audience.'”

Ending One Chapter, Beginning Another

The term “ultimate” in Jeff Chang’s “Continuum” concert signifies that this six-year “Continuum” tour is finally approaching a perfect conclusion. “The ‘Continuum’ has been a prolonged journey, and it’s time for a stage-wise ending. There are other musical endeavors that are equally essential for me.”

The conclusion of one stage signifies the commencement of a new chapter. The “Continuum” ultimate edition serves as a gentle reminder from Jeff Chang, urging us to seize every opportunity to gather offline and experience the music before the final show arrives.

As the first Chinese singer to perform in Dubai, the Dubai stop of the “Continuum” ultimate edition in June holds significant importance for Jeff Chang. “We’re committed to making it happen in Dubai. Sometimes, overseas organizers prefer a simplified concert where the singer merely performs, and everything else is automated. But that’s not enough for me; I want to fully recreate the ‘Continuum’ experience in overseas shows.”

If he could dream big, where would Jeff Chang choose to host the final “Continuum” concert? Surprisingly, his answer is Easter Island, situated in the South Pacific: “It’s like the ‘navel of the world,’ equidistant from all continents. Holding a concert on Easter Island would truly be the ‘ultimate’ experience, like singing at the edge of the world for everyone to hear.”

Embrace the Future

After completing all the performances of the “Continuum” ultimate edition, Jeff Chang will focus on the creation of a new album. It has been three years since the release of his last album See the Light, and Jeff Chang, along with his devoted fans, eagerly anticipates the arrival of this new work. “Currently, the songs for the new album are nearly finalized, with around 80% of the track list already set.”

For him, the greatest challenge of this new album lies in the significantly increased proportion of “non-love songs.” “In the new album, I may relatively reduce the love songs and express more of my perspectives and sentiments regarding the world. I feel that my past classic love songs have already encompassed most of the emotional states. Therefore, I believe it is time to start singing about matters beyond love, using the album to convey broader ideas.”

Jeff Chang describes the new album as an adventurous state of “taking a step forward” out of his comfort zone. Compared to his previous love songs, the new album will be more critical, and a more quintessential expression of his Aries personality. “In the past, my love songs stood at the observational standpoint, simply singing the feelings of the protagonist. But this time, I will stand on a clearer ‘Jeff Chang’ perspective, to openly express my own attitude, and be more subjective.”

The backstage machinery of the “Continuum” concert is intricate, with over 20 lifts waiting for the performer to step onstage. Rising and falling on the lifts, it’s like facing the peaks and valleys of life – this is the norm for a singer. From the beginning to the present and into the future, Jeff Chang and the audience have always been there; the performance never stops.

Jeff Chang
Jeff Chang

–Written by Jifan Wang for Billboard China

Best of Billboard