Five events at the Coliseum that will live long in Hong Kong’s memory
The Hung Hom venue has given the public plenty to remember – here are five of the biggest, best and most important shows it has hosted
The Hong Kong Coliseum has left an indelible mark on Hong Kong’s collective cultural consciousness. Here’s a look at some of the iconic venue’s finest moments.
Curtain raisers: although the official opening was in April 1983, David Bowie’s December 7 and 8 visit that same year marked the Coliseum’s arrival as an international venue. Bowie was at the height of his powers when he played the two nights that brought to an end his colossal Serious Moonlight tour. By rights, Bowie should have been exhausted, considering he’d played 96 shows in 16 countries, but he saved some of his best for last, and the concerts are widely considered among the best the city has seen.
Long may they run: after 40 years in the business, Paula Tsui Siu-fung is still packing them in (as her concerts over the past week have shown), but in 1992 the flamboyant singer played an incredible 43 concerts at the venue – spread over just 37 days. It was a record run unmatched (in numbers, if not days) until Snow.Wolf.Lake came along in 1997, a star-studded show led by Jacky Cheung Hok-yau. The musical, which saw the “Heavenly King” sharing the spotlight with Sandy Lam Yik-lin, played to 43 full houses over 43 consecutive nights.
WATCH Anita Mui in concert in 1991
Youth movement: Joey Yung Cho-yee’s star was still on the rise when, at just 20 years old in November 2000, she took the stage at the Coliseum, becoming the youngest performer to play a solo set at the venue. It was a mark bettered in May 2011 by G.E.M (aka Gloria Tang Tsz-kei) as the 19-year-old kicked off her Get Everybody Moving tour.
Full house: officially the Coliseum’s capacity is 12,500, but Leo Ku Kui-kei’s management found one of a number of ingenious ways promoters have discovered to ramp up those numbers. By placing the stage in the middle of the audience for his series, The Magic Moments Concert 2007, management found they could squeeze in about 500 more seats. And so – on September 7, 2007 – the venue’s attendance record was set: 13,000 people.
WATCH George Lam and Andy Lau sing a duet at the “Unforgettable” concert, 2011
Farewell to a friend: the death in 2008 of Lydia Shum Din-ha (also known as Lydia Sum) was felt throughout the city and footage of her funeral – she was interred in Canada – was shown at a memorial service at the Coliseum, where thousands of fans joined celebrities such as long-time on-screen partner Eric Tsang Chi-wai and godson Jacky Cheung to pay their last respects to one of the most popular entertainers the city has ever known. The stage was set for the occasion with four huge pictures of Shum, alongside 10,000 champagne roses and white orchids.