Hot to pop
The city is playing host to some of the hottest names from around the region this summer, writes Rachel Mok
This summer promises a season of non-stop live music. While international acts including The xx, The Smashing Pumpkins and Suzanne Vega are storming the city, there is equal excitement on the Asian front.
The most sought-after ticket is no doubt “Eason’s Life”, Eason Chan Yikshun’s latest live series after his acclaimed 2½ years of “Duo” touring. He will perform 25 shows from July 6 to August 2 at the Hong Kong Coliseum. But be warned: the king of Canto-pop says there will be no encores, no special guests and no talking during the performance.
Sadly, there is one more “no” – no tickets (despite an extended run). Take a look at how many seats are blocked by organisers and sponsors and you will understand just how precious an Eason Chan ticket is.
Canto-pop queen Kay Tse On-kei will appear with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in The Moon Is Like My Heart on July 26 and 28, a tribute to the legendary songbird Teresa Teng Li-chun. Given the orchestra’s track record in collaborating with popular artists, including Anthony Wong Yiu-ming and Jonathan Wong Cheehynn, the concert will not only be a stroll down memory lane but also a way to lure a younger audience into the more traditional Chinese music scene.
Ellen Joyce Loo – whose career as a singer-songwriter has taken off since parting with electrofolk and Canto-pop group at17 – will stage her first arena concert “V” (for valour, venture and victory) on August 23 at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Together with The Ripples Band, consisting of Chochukmo guitarist Mike Orange and renowned drummer Stephane S.Wong, the audience can expect a night of Loo’s original tracks and covers with new arrangements.
Record label PolyGram was part of the golden era of Canto-pop with artists such as Jacky Cheung Hok-yau, Leon Lai Ming and Tat Ming Pair in its stable. The label is set for a comeback, having signed songbird Priscilla Chan Wai-han for a three-year deal. The all-star line-up of “PolyGram Forever Live Concert”, on August 28 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, includes Chan, Alan Tam Wing-lun, Hacken Lee Hak-kan and Shirley Kwan Suk-yee, and should invoke many happy memories of the era.
For Mando-pop, the first Spring Wave festival will be at the West Kowloon Cultural District on July 27.
Hailing from Kenting in Taiwan, the festival has been one of the most popular on the island since 2006. For its first instalment in the SAR, Taiwanese artists including Cheer Chen Chi-chen, A-Yue Chang Chen-yue and Jam Hsiao Jing-teng, together with local R’n’B sensation Khalil Fong Dai-tung, will headline the seven-hour outdoor festival.
Heart-throb Aaron Yan Ya-lun from boy band Fahrenheit heads off as a solo artist after his first album The Moment recorded impressive record sales. The pop prince will stage the Hong Kong leg of his “Insomnia” tour on July 13 at Star Hall.
For something more extreme, Taiwanese metal band Chthonic will play at Music Zone for the third time on August 17.
This will be the first leg of their Next Republic world tour.
And there is no sign of a decline in K-pop yet. After Super Junior and G-Dragon’s recent visits, pop-rock five-piece FTIsland (meaning Five Treasure Island) will return to the AsiaWorld-Expo on August 17 after their sold-out arena date last summer.
Revered Japanese rock outfit Anzen Chitai – Safety Zone in English – are celebrating 30 years of success with an Asian tour on August 31. Led by Tamaki Koji, the group has released 13 studio albums and their sales top five million.
Many of their tunes have been covered by Canto-pop artists.