Old rockers prove to be beyond the shallowness of modern pop

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 May, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 May, 2003, 12:00am

Wild Day Out: Beyond Beyond Live 03

Hong Kong Coliseum

Until May 5

It isn't easy for a band to survive in Hong Kong. To stay around for two decades certainly seems impossible in today's bubblegum Canto-pop world.

But Beyond proved on their opening night that despite the years, despite the death of their lead singer 10 years ago and despite the industry's preference for saccharine pop, they still have their eager following.

From the opening number of Sea And Sky, the remaining three members - guitarist Steve Wong Ka-keung, guitarist Paul Wong Koon-chung and drummer Yip Sai-wing - had the capacity crowd at the Coliseum eating out of their hands. Late lead singer Koma Wong Ka-kui made an appearance via a video.

The band has always been more at home at smaller venues with a more relaxed atmosphere and less zealous security guards, and it showed on Wednesday night. Dialogue was stilted and their usual bond with their fans was stretched with the bigger Coliseum. But the fans did not go to the concert to hear them talk anyway.

Beyond may have been classified as rebellious rockers, but really they were the nice boys of rock. While other rockers thrashed around about rebellion and mayhem, the band's songs usually were motivational and, in many senses, patriotic. All this was brought back as the band took the audience down memory lane with hits such as Never Regret, Great Wall Big Land and Really Love You.

A dose of positivity seemed just what the doctor ordered as masked fans cast their worries to the wind and had a good time.