Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Summer Live Concert down south

You can call it the Mother of Chinese pop concerts. 8TV’s Summer Live Concert last Saturday at Danga Bay, Johor Baru was quite an event and attracted a huge turn out of more than 100,000!

Firstly it was free. Secondly, how often do you get a gathering of 15 of some of the hottest individual/group artistes from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and our own shores?

Even yours truly was quite keen to catch it despite knowing it would be a five-hour road journey on a coach - one way that is. And that means my weekend will be gone. But nevermind, there were a few artistes who I really would like to see!

We arrived JB about 3-something and checked in at Zon Regency, which was also the official hotel where the artistes stayed at and where the post-concert Wrap Party was held

Then we were off to Danga Bay! But got quite cheesed off having to wait an hour for some of the local press. We had high tea there before being transported on a tram to the concert venue and passed by carnival-like stalls, eateries, shops etc.. It looked like quite a happening place!

It was only 7pm (the concert was due to start at 8:30pm) and already the place was packed! The media of course were ushered in like V.I.P (ahem) using a special entrance and I was seated three rows from the front. Only the VIP area had chairs. All the fans had to squeeze themselves in some fenced up area - divided into `Superduper Rock Zone' right in the front but at the side, `Super Rock Zone' and `Rock Zone' which was right at the back! Gosh, they really looked uncomfortable but it didn't seem to dampen their spirit!

The emcees said some die-hard fans had even camped overnight since Friday to secure a good place in the various free-standing rock zones!

8TV hosts Dylan Leong and Gary Yap started mingling with the crowd and then at 8:30pm, Taiwan’s boyband Energy kicked off the show with some fast dance songs including their signature `Come On’.

It was unfortunate that some among the audience had fainted - probably due to the heat and overly crammed surrounding. We witnessed at least seven or eight people being carried out on strechers or by the paramedics. The situation was not unnoticed by the organisers of course and even the emcee had to plead with the crowd to stay calm and not push. Fortunately, things got under control.

Since it's an 8TV event, its Project SuperStar winner John and finalists Desiree, Winson and Mei Sim also got to perform and did pretty well as novice. Of course you can't leave out Malaysia Idol Daniel who seemed to be more confidence in handling the stage and huge audience.

Not that I'm bias but the talented Gary Chaw brought the show to a new high with his superb performance. With his shirt buttons undone, he belted out his own version`Superwoman’ with such panache especially when singing falsetto.

The sound system began to show problem when Nicholas Teo came on to croon those tuneful ballads. Then the timing of the commercial time (it was aired live) only caused him having to stand there and waited fortwo minutes! It was funny that considering he sang slow songs, Nicholas was drenched in sweat! Probably due to the blazing lighting, the hot temperature.

Glaring tecnical hitches occured again and the `victim' was poor Justin , the only Hong Kong artiste at the concert. When he was about to croon his second song, the introduction of the song did not come on properly and there were a few false start and then total silence. The artiste, who was not eloquent in his speech looked pretty stumped and even cried `help!’ Finally he went off stage and reappeared and this time managed to sing the rest of his repertoire smoothly, including a cute dance number.

Korean teen sensation Jang Na Ra’s appearance was another highlight though I must admit I didn't know her. The cute pint size actress/singer delighted fans by greeting them in both Korean and Mandarin. But her vocal was a little jarring to me.

The audience went wild when Taiwan’s Rainie Yang, known for her cutesy dispositions came on. She proved to be the darling of all and she got to sing four songs -more than any other artistes.

JJ Lin from Singapore brought the atmosphere to boiling point when he appeared on a platform singing his hit `General Chao’. Then he caused another stir by asking a female fan to come on stage. “I’ll sing this song pretending you’re my girlfriend,” he said and he then holding her hand while crooning the romantic `Sha Lang Hei Yo Only To You’! And the blushing fan was swooned!

The last act was Taiwanese group 5566 who had gifts for the audience in the forms of autographed balls! Causing many to jumped and scrambled for those flying balls! It was a pity though as only three of the original five members were present.

The concert ended with a firework display and then sea of people slowly made their way out of the place.. of course there were both human and traffic jam for the longest time!

Back at the hotel, the media was invited to a `Wrap Party' with the artistes. Some short speeches, champagne pouring, group photography and of course food! And at about 1:30am, we were `made' to interview the artistes whom must be even more tired than us! Anyway, we didn't ask that many questions..

The whole thing ended at 3am. And I slept at 4am..

So how was it? To be honest, compared to most Chinese concerts I've attended, I thought it lacked climaxes and excitement. It was a little draggy when we had to pause and wait for commercial breaks although sometimes the emcees chatted with the artistes to fill the gap. But overall, I'm impressed with the quality and standard of all the artistes - big names or newcomers.

Here are the photos! Scroll down till the end for my personal `highlights' of the trip! :p

Danga Bay - a new tourist and leisure destination by the sea.. the photo was taken from the tram on the way to the concert venue.

When we arrived at Danga Bay - behind is the place we had high tea before the concert.

Pretty 8TV PR ladies striking a pose by the sea

The tram that took us from the restaurant to the concert venue

The VIP and Media entrance

The stage was pretty huge - heard it's 4 storey-high

Just some of the audience packed like sardines at the `Super Rock Zone'

Air-filled `sticks' that make banging sound when you hit them together!

The opening act - boyband Energy sporting pretty ugly costumes!

Up-and-coming M'sian singer Lim Yee Chung has a nice voice

One of my favourites! The sexy Gary Chaw's rendition of Superwoman would give you goose bumps!

Dancing Queen Landy Wen raise temperature with her electrifying booty-shaking dance!

Boy-next-door Nicholas Teo with his ever sweet smile

Poor Justin was tormented by technical errors but nonetheles gave a superb performance.

Rainie Yang is one of the hottest idols from Taiwan currently

Another of my favourites is JJ Lin who is simply talented and awesome

The artistes at the Wrap Party

Daniel, Gary, Landy, Justin and Yee Chung pouring champagne. They took turns in group to pour as there were too many of them!

And finally! The bonus of the trip... I managed to grab a few artistes to take photos with!

The new R&B prince and awesome singer Gary Chaw

Sexy Landy striking a pose next to me

I waited so long for a pix with the brilliant JJ (in red in case you don't know) and also got Yee Chung as well! Am a lucky gal! ;)


daybee said...

Thanks very much for that extra long report, Jesscet! Makes me feel like I was there as well ;)

Sounds like you had a blast despite the heat... and I'm sure the fact that you had a seat made all the difference!

HL said...

wah! i've never even been to danga bay! ;)

you can start collecting your celebrity pictures again!

jesscet said...

daybee: yeah, didn't realise the post was so long! :P it was quite interesting though not the best concert i've attended..

hl: you haven't? but i heard this tourisy part is new! Just downloaded some pix with celebs onto Flickr! Found most back in other files.. :)

daybee said...

Jesscet: Then again, the best concerts don't always have such a huge variety of stars! I haven't been to many concerts myself... hmm... I've only seen Rod Steward and Leo Ku in concert. Not many people come my way!

=thick frame glasses~ping= said...

i miss the concert..:'(
i only manage to watch the concert thru 8tv...
so cool of u..u manage to take pic with JJ...haha...:)

jesscet said...

for that shot with JJ, i had to be extra patient and persistant as he had so many interviews to do and I had to like ask his manager three times.. i think they at least give face to the press :p

=thick frame glasses~ping= said...

oic..that's good..atleast u manage to take a pic with him...haha...
so far, how much celebrity u met?(i guess will be alotz rite?)

jesscet said...

hehe, click on my flickr badge and i've posted most of them there.. recent years that is.

LuRvEJJ said...

heyyys.. i'm a big fan of JJ.. if u stil lyk him plz add mi @ dreamz_lover@hotmail.com