One Love Manchester.

In light of all the fucking awful shit that’s been happening all over the world, it’s good to see some solidarity and love shine through the cracks… And in the name of charity and in the name of love, a shit tonne of really famous people put their differences (and sometimes their bands!) aside to come together to put on a fantastic show in Manchester.

The show started with Marcus Mumford (except… I missed that part, had to rewatch it on YouTube, oops), and then Take That took over the stage and led the crowd in song. Take That, my beloved boy band, who had had to cancel their three Manchester shows in light of the attack. Take That then introduced their brother in arms, Robbie Williams (wearing a Justin Bieber hoodie!!), after Robbie was a clip of U2, and then it just went on, all these amazing people coming together.

It’s funny that to me, the highlight of the show was Coldplay. I’d never been a Coldplay fan until earlier this year when I saw them live in Singapore. But Coldplay managed to take a sombre crowd and turn it up a notch and got everyone singing and dancing, the rainbow confetti, it was just… a party. Not to mention the fact that they opened with Don’t Look Back in Anger, which was just incredibly fitting.

Huge respect to Ariana Grande, Scooter Braun, and the many, many, many people it took to pull something like this off. Big love to Facebook for streaming it live for people like me as I was in a city where it wasn’t broadcast live…

Simple awesome <3

Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

It’s been almost eight years since MJ’s sudden passing…. He really was King of Pop. Such an incredible talent… There’s only one Michael Jackson.

Watching the film, which is comprised mostly of rehearsals, it’s so heart wrenching to see the dreams of the dancers shattered (they couldn’t believe they were about to share a stage with the one and only MJ), and to see the sweat, blood, and tears that went into the production – from the videos to the costumes to the dances to the incredible music… Sigh.

I’m also super thankful for the film, because it introduced the world to the gorgeousness that is Judith Hill. Yeah.

21安士音樂會.

I’m very curious to know what the link to this post is going to look like, since usually it’s a combination of the post date and the post title haha… Anyway.

Andy Hui x Chochukmo x Dear Jane x Rubberband x Supper Moment = interesting.

I’d seen Chochukmo once before and they weren’t that great, but tonight, they rocked. They played awesome. I have so much love for them. So much love. Dear Jane were Dear Jane, and Supper Moment were Supper Moment. Rubberband were great, but then… they’re always pretty great. So yeah, it was an interesting mix, some great crossovers, some not so great, but mostly it was just a bunch of boys having fun on stage… mostly.

Yeah. Concerts schmoncerts…. :)

Brian. McKnight.

2nd April, 2017. Singapore Jazz Festival @ Marina Bay Sands.

I will always be grateful to Khalil for introducing me to the amazing Brian McKnight… I’d never heard of the man until KF covered One Last Cry about a decade ago. Never thought I’d get to watch him live though, but live he did sing last night at Singjazz. And he even improvised his own Singjazz song :D He only did five songs, but man, twas awesomeness! (And yes, of course he sang Back to One haha)

Thanks to David Foster for bringing him with, and thanks to Singjazz for bringing David Foster out. Haha.

In the meantime, since the new Beauty & the Beast movie is out, here’s my favourite version of that old song, Tale as Old Time, featuring the one and only Brian McKnight.

Coldplay.

1st April, 2017. Singapore National Stadium.

Phwoar. So I only know about four Coldplay songs – Yellow, The Scientist, Fix You & the Jerusalem song. Everyone knows Yellow. The Scientist… I know I know it, I know it when I hear it, but if you ask me to sing it right now, no clue. Fix You I know because of an episode of The Newsroom – it featured prominently in the last scene, which was cut to perfection to the song. It was epic. And the Jerusalem song is not about Jerusalem (I don’t think) but… I think there are Jerusalem bells in the lyrics somewhere. Yeah.

But anyway. I suppose it’s because I work in production, and I find concert production very interesting. I also love watching how musicians/stars interact with the crowd… So regardless of how well I know a band or a singer, I still like to go and watch. I came out of this concert realising that I know slightly more than four songs, but also that I have no idea what the other songs are hahaha.

Production-wise, the concert was great. The LED wristbands, the pyrotechnics, the confetti and balloons and rainbow coloured powder, everything lent itself to make the fans enjoy themselves even more. The stage was interesting – the “runway” features prominently in many concerts these days, and it’s great because more people get to be closer up – and they also had a smaller stage a bit closer to the back, so they people there didn’t feel completely left out, which is awesome. Sound was… let’s just say Chris Martin’s voice was sometimes quite soft – like I could barely hear it – but I do think that has to do with the structure of the stadium and where I was sitting. But then, Chris Martin’s energy absolutely made up for anything that was lacking. It’s strange how people can say very similar things, but you believe one person and don’t quite believe the other. With Chris Martin, I believed it when he said they didn’t take these shows for granted, that they were so appreciative that we all took the time to go and watch them, that they were grateful we flew in from other countries to see them. I believed it. And it made the concert special because I believed it.

Anyway. It was pretty awesome. Best moment for me – when they covered one of my fave songs: Heroes by David Bowie. I didn’t record it. I was too busy enjoying it, but here’s the Rose Bowl (LA) version from last year.

Gainsbourg Symphonic with Jane Birkin.

I haven’t watched the Hong Kong Philharmonic in a very long time (not deliberately, I just haven’t had the chance to) – in fact, I haven’t seen HKPhil since Samuel Wong left, and Samuel Wong’s been gone for at least a decade. But anyway, tonight I was so moved.

Of course the focal point was the incredible Jane Birkin – if you recognise her last name, it might be because Hermes named a line of bags after her. Watching her tonight, I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it would have been to have seen her perform with Serge Gainsbourg, but well, tonight was still fantastic.

I’m quite in awe of the conductor, Didier Benetti, who I’d never heard of until this concert, and who made the orchestra sing. And I particularly love that Ms Birkin elevated our local orchestra just by changing their name to French – l’orchestre philharmonique de Hong Kong. Bwahaha.

Fabulous way to end the week. Thanks to CL for the ticket, and thanks to Hong Kong Arts Festival for bringing wonderful talent to our little city every year.