Hong Kong live and loud

Barry C Chung rounds up the summer's gigs that (shock horror!) are headed to Hong Kong


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If you love live gigs, listen up. Yes, there's some festival or other happening nowhere near Mount Fuji in late July. But, really, who wants to slosh around in knee-high mud for a weekend and share portaloos with tens of thousands of raving lunatics?

Stay in the 852: a stream of big names is coming soon to a venue near you.

Elbow (Kitec, Jul 22)

Asia's world city is the only Asian gig for this quintet from England. A sprinkle of local flavour will come in the form of special guests: Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter Emmy the Great, now based in London, and 9 Maps, the local duo who were runners-up at last year's Tom Lee SoundBase Competition.

30 Seconds to Mars (Kitec, Jul 26)

It's frightening when a cover sounds better than the original. Take actor-turned-musician Jared Leto's rendition of Bad Romance - he performs with such gusto, even Little Monsters can't deny the possibility of Gaga being trumped by the Los Angeles native. Cross your fingers the Leto brothers and guitarist perform it live.

James Blunt (AsiaWorld, Aug 7)

The You're Beautiful crooner and his limited vocal range make their way here in hopes of bringing back the magic from his mega 2004 debut Back to Bedlum. His latest album, Some Kind of Trouble, fell short of expectations. Let's just hope he plays more of the former.

Red Hot Chili Peppers (AsiaWorld, Aug 9)

First. Time. Ever. Need I say more? The Chili Peppers' debut in Hong Kong is the hottest ticket around. That's if you can scoop one up - the best seats (and standing) sold out in days.

Suede (AsiaWorld, Aug 11)

Suede coming to Hong Kong is a mere formality. They've been here a bunch of times. But some fans are still haunted by the past, and the time Suede took a seven-year hiatus.

Paramore (AsiaWorld, Aug 14)

The Tennessee trio get better with every album. And don't forget Decode and I Caught Myself, the two songs on the Twilight soundtrack. Their definitive pop-punk sound make them a must-see live.

Simple Plan (AsiaWorld, Aug 16)

Finally! Canuck punk/rock foursome make their Hong Kong debut. Literally no one will be seated (and not just because it's an all-standing, single-priced concert). AsiaWorld will become a giant moshpit. Bring it on.

Linkin Park (AsiaWorld, Sep 6)

For the first time in my life, I said "OMG" without being ironic. I missed LP's last visit, and don't intend on living a life of regret any more.

I know where I'll be on September 6, at least. Where will you be this summer?