Monday, December 31, 2007

Wong Leehom SF Concert Review

Thanks again to HomSweetHome for this review of the SF Concert. Enjoy!!!


December 23, 2007

Stop number 2: Christmas Concert with Leehom Wang at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The concert began for the VIP ticket holders with a buffet dinner at 5pm at the auditorium with a live jazz band that played Christmas carols for the duration of the dinner. After dinner, we all filed into the auditorium to find our seats and to anxiously await the start of the concert. The concert was slated to start at 7pm, however, as is custom with Asian time it was delayed for a bit. Once the concert started, Leehom did exactly what he often does: he wow-ed the crowd with a his talented voice and instrument playing, with a little bit of humor thrown in for good measure.

To start off the concert he descended from a platform onto the stage adorned in a sparkling golden QiPao with dancers and pyrotechnics bursting all around. Because this was a "Christmas with Leehom" concert, he started with a rousing rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" after a riveting 'fight' with the martial artists. The song quickly faded into the GSYX theme and since this was an extension of the GSYX concert series, he sang familiar songs from the "Heroes of the Earth" era, like Heroes of the Earth, Zai Mei Bian and Big City, Small Love. To round off the chinked out section of the concert, he played songs such as Hua Tian Cuo, A Simple Song, and Far Away Place from the Shangri-la album. Cozy, well-known favorites such as Crying Palms, Descendants of the Dragon, W-H-Y, and Fang Kai Ni De Xin were also sung. In addition to this plethora of songs, he sang a couple of songs from the new "Change me" album including Gai Bian Zi Ji, Love's Encouragement and Luo Yue Gui Gen.

As if wow-ing the crowd with his songs was not enough, he also played a myriad of instruments throughout the concert. Piano, Guitar, er-hu, and violin were all played as part of this concert:
Piano - the highlight on the piano may have been his techniques with the keys, playing one seamless song after another.
Guitar - well, he sort of broke a string playing the guitar at this concert....
Er-hu - another awe-inspiriting performance on the er-hu
Violin - thunderous applause burst forth to his rendition of the theme music from Ang Lee's movie "Lust, Caution", and with that, he effortlessly switched over to playing and singing Julia

As always, Leehom interacted with the audience asking where everyone was from. At this concert there were no less travelers than at the Vegas concert. With concert goers ranging from all over the US (East Coast, Midwest, and of course locally on the west coast), Canada (Toronto received a shout out at this particular concert), and of course overseas (Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, to name a few). There were even some wearing College Shirts (Stanford and Berkeley got shout outs as well). Throughout the concert there were jokes, from random Christmas jokes (saying "Ho, Ho, Ho"), how bad his Cantonese was and if the crowd still wanted him to attempt to speak it, to making fun of colleges (Smarty Pants was a label given to the Stanford student). Everyone truly enjoyed the electrifying presence of Leehom.

From the beginning of the concert to the end of the concert, people were attempting to get closer to their idol - from running up to the stage, to crowding him when he got near the edge of the stage.

It got bad enough that the promoters asked him to have the crowd sit down, else they would revoke his privileges of walking down off stage. He even attempted to walk down off the stage to shake hands with his fans. I will use the word attempt here loosely because the minute he walked off stage to sing Forever Love, people surrounded him and he was not able to walk anywhere. In fact, it was pretty hard to see him on the screens because of the crowd that was surrounding him.

Leehom finished the concert with his signature end piece One and only, but only after he belted out the second Christmas carol of the night, Jingle Bell Rock. Leehom came out for this frolicking Christmas carol dancing away, complete with a Santa hat. Wei-Yi was fraught with emotion as it was the last song of the night, and last song of this US Christmas concert series.

All in all the concert experience was great, Leehom had an exceptional performance as we all expected. The crowd was pumped for Leehom and definitely showed it, chanting Leehom at every chance they could get, crowding in to the stage, trying to get up front to touch Leehom. My one real disappointment was that being in the front row did not necessarily allow you to have the concert experience that you wanted. The front of the auditorium was extremely crowded, and hard to see as everyone surged forward to get a chance to touch Leehom or to get closer to the stage. The only way some people in the front row were able to see the stage was to stand on top of their folding chairs, or sit on top of the chair handle itself.

Having said that, we still believe that the concerts in the US were great Christmas presents to us, the US and Canadian fans. Thank you Leehom, for allowing us to spend the holidays with you!

HOM Sweet Home Admins

Photo Credits: Kosin Huang, Jeanne Huo, Mary Jane Ong and Elly Wong (Photos Link)

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