Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Year of Jacky Cheung World Tour (Malaysia) 2007

Those who fed on Cantopop in the 80's and 90's will agree that the name Jacky Cheung is synonymous with great love ballads and powerful vocals. As for me, I have never been a Jacky Cheung fan. Perhaps it's the run-of-the-mill compositions or just me seeking unexplored musical boundaries. But every time you go for your karaoke session, you can't help but belt out a Jacky number.

On the 14th of September, I came back to KL to "worship" the God of Song with 2 faithful Jacky Cheung fans, Jason and Maverick. These 2 guys have been fans since we were in secondary school! It's not just a concert for us, but also a time for reunion and celebration of those school days gone by.

From the explosive (yes, pyrotechnics included) first song, 爱火花 to emotional finale of 祝福, the Year of Jacky Cheung World Tour (Malaysia) 2007 (学友光年世界马来西亚巡回演唱会 2007) at the Bukit Jalil Outdoor Stadium had been an entertaining and wonderful trip down memory lane. The God of Song has proven once again that he is still a professional performer and above all, an exceptional vocalist despite his recuperation from a cold and sore throat. He actually cancelled his last 2 shows in Hong Kong prior to this concert.

The concert was in typical Jacky fashion. Each segment started with a few fast-paced songs such as 饿狼传说 and 屈到病. Despite his age, this legendary singer can still sway and sing with such conviction. The young singers should learn a thing or two from this guy. The endings were filled with lots of signature tunes such as 吻别, 只愿一生爱一人, 每天爱你多一些, 遥远的她 (classic!) and 离开以后. This is the part that got the crowd going crazy. The big screens displaying lyrics of some famous songs assisted the crowd in some "unofficial" sing-along sessions. Well, most the fans already knew the songs by heart. The guys behind me knew. Wait, so did the girl next to me and the group in front of me. My cousins (who bought different seats of different prices, depending on their level of admiration for Jacky) reported the same situation. That means the whole stadium (30,000 people) was in fact singing along with him. Wow!

This concert also showed a more personal side of Jacky where he sang a few songs (from his Life is Like A Dream album) written by himself, explaining details of each song before he started to sing. 摇摇 was a lullaby for his first daughter, 讲你知 was for his wife, 给朋友 for his deceased friends and 在你身邊 for his second daughter. What I enjoyed most about this segment was the part where he urged the audience to adapt a more positive outlook on life. Now that's rare in a concert.

The musical segment (a combination of the 雪.狼.湖 musical and the movie, 如果·愛) to me was quite inappropriate (Jason shared the same view). Despite the good settings and vocals, I feel that a concert should remain as a concert. A theatrical concept with his signature tunes is fine, but a musical by itself will only distract the flow of the concert. Anyway, the plot was quite simple. Guy fell in love, got ditched, struggled to win back Girl, got ditched again. At this point, I must mention that the digital backdrop was amazing! We are guessing it's a LCD screen!

An encore was expected but the length and choice of songs were really surprising. According to a radio broadcast, about 95% of the audience stayed back for the encore! The length (a whopping 11 songs!) was mostly due to the overwhelming response from the audience. KL has always been a favourite leg of his concerts because fans here are warm, supportive and interactive. They even braved the rain in the earlier part of the concert! Songs sung included 心如刀割, 我真的受伤(my K-favourite), 情书, 李香兰 (surprise), 等你等到我心痛, 暗恋你(surprise, surprise), 蓝雨 and 月半弯, Each song was responded with thunderous applause from the audience. Everyone was singing along to most of the songs too, much to Jacky's delight.

The concert (which started at 8.45 pm) ended slightly after 12.00 am with Jacky (whom reportedly shed a tear due to the overwhelming support from the audience) descending from the stage.

Despite the below par sound system, there's basically not much to complain about the concert. A concert of great songs and good vocals is hard to come by these days. Whats even harder is a chance to reminisce those good old days of Cantopop with your long-time friends.

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