Tearful reunion at the Coliseum
It was enough to make you cry. Not Sandy Lam's music but the way in which her eager fans welcomed back to the Hong Kong Coliseum after an absence of more than a year.
Aptly enough, Lam started her concert with an old number, Take My Breath Away, and that was what her fans did. By the time she was supposed to launch into her second song, the singer was already overcome by tears.
Normally Canto-pop concerts include elaborate stage designs and wardrobes but for Lam, neither could have been considered fancy in any way. The pristine white stage was not much different from those of her two previous concerts. And her clothes were elegant and basic.
Lam's message to her audience was clear. The night was to be one of music and nothing was going to distract their attention from it. That is not to say that there were no visual treats.
The boisterous dancers provided much of the 'action' with their charged up dancing and colourful togs. But it was a case where the visual adds to the musical experience.
It has been some time since Lam has performed live in the territory - even on television - and her Cantonese albums have been coming further and further apart.
Most of the songs Lam performed - such as Are You Ready?, Red Rose White Rose, Wild Flower, You Are My Man, and Promise Me - were ones she had sung before at previous concerts but musical director Anthony Lun Wing-leung managed to make them all sound new with jazzy new arrangements that were suited to Lam's new musical direction.
There was a time when Lam could hardly sing a song without going off-key. The Lam who stood on stage that night was a mature, confident singer whose vocal range and power makes her one of the best singers on the scene.
Lam has called her concerts, The Perfect Feeling, after her hit of the same name. For those who sat through the concert, there should be no doubt that she delivered loud and clear.
Sandy Lam Yik-lin in Concert 1996. Hong Kong Coliseum, Sept 4, 8pm