I had a great evening watching 5 rock acts on the "Live N Loud" concert. I think it's good that we have a rock festival circuit in Hong Kong. Singapore just had Singfest which I believe 12,000 people attended over 2 days (Sat & Sun). It's a shame we did not have Panic @ the Disco here which they played in Singapore.
Upon arriving, I was shocked to see how little people actually turned up for Jamie Scott (the first act) that I decided from going in and got myself some food. I may have missed after going through the net trying to find out who is this guy. I think he's a mix of James Blunt, Paolo Nutini & James Morrison except that he's not the first. Check his video out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d41TPgRdFPs
New Found Glory was already in their set when we settled down to our seat. They are kinda Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Blink 182-like. However, their materials are less melodic compared to those other pop punk groups. I also did not like the way the lead vocalist dressed like he just got out of his house for a little walk. One of the guitarist was fat and not wearing clothes. It was not a good sight to look at but he kinda enjoys it. I certainly did not. 2 standout tracks from their set are "My friends over you" and "It's not my fault". Wasn't impressed with their cover version of Sixpence Non The Richer "Kiss me" and Goo Goo Dolls "Iris". It was clear no one really knows their songs in HK which is a shame. Check this video out which I thought was kinda cute. (try ignoring the fat guy) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS0ecdawM4U
After that, I was beginning to warm up and look forward to Lostprophets performing. They actually comes from England and was initially a Linkin Park clone but over the years have change to a more straight ahead pop rock act similar to Breaking Benjamin or Story of the Year. The second lead singer who is also the keyboardist dyed his hair blonde. Lead singer was charismatic but vocals are a little inconsistent. He keeps throwing his mike and catching it back. Guess it is his trademark and now I know why he was not using a wireless mike. 2 songs also stand out from their set which is "Rooftop" and "Last train home". The video attached will give you an idea of the entire performance. Most of the other songs are forgettable. They were not immune to covers as they sang Rihanna's "Umbrella". Why? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ruNG0emUV8
By this time, the mosh pit has began to form and kids (mainly western) were body slamming in a circle and a couple of body surf going on. Kinda weird seeing a few local Chinese boys and girls got into it. Glad there weren't any fights but I bet there will be bruises the following day (Yup, been in one of those and will never do it again, too dangerous)
Up next is One Republic . After Lostprophets, it was a pretty mellow affair. A cellist was a good gimmick although the sound from him never came out sounding different enough. Still, I like it. Teddy is a great songwriter having wrote one of the biggest hit this year for Leona Lewis (Bleeding love). I have got the album "Dreaming out loud" but only manage to give it one spin and then put 2 tracks into my I Tunes library and that's it. I am going to get the CD out and really give it a good listen after the performance. Vocals are better than I expected after seeing him on MAA a week ago on TV. "Stop & stare" got a crowd into them. Again, due to lack of materials he resorted to a cover (The Verve's "BIttersweet symphony") which got me thinking if he wants to copy Chris Martin who covered the song with Richard Ashcroft during Live Aid 2. There are a lot of similarities to Coldplay even in the lesser known tracks. Ah well, all's good I guess. When "Apologies" came on, the crowd was ready for a massive karoke sing a long. It shows how big the song is! (kinda weird not hearing TImbaland ad libbing) I know their version is different but still. When One Republic finished, it was 1130pm and you can see some actually starts to leave the venue. I thought to myself, if these guys are paying 780 dollars just to hear one song???? I have similar experience recently at James Blunt show. Man, this is crazy. Don't they know the headline act is still not on and most people are coming to see Simple Plan. Looking at my watch, I was fearing that the band has to cut short their set due to transportation issues. Last train at 1230pm. (Etchy posted some videos on You Tube. Check it out)
When Simple Plan came on at 1145, the wait was well worth it as the band launch straight to one of my favourite tracks from their third album "Take my hand" which got the fist pumping going on for the entire arena. It was all good. The band then launch single after single and good to see there are quite a few fans of SP in HK. It was a non stop dancing and singing for everyone. Suprised how the band attempt to speak a lot of "Cantonese" words rather than the standard thank yous. Quite funny.
Good to see the security guys handing out water cups to the kids upfront. Alas, Simple Plan also resort to a couple of covers to
warm" the crowd which at that time was alreadysuper hot'. They did a short rock version of Flo Rida's "Low" and Sean Kingston "Beautiful Girls"/ Ben E King "Stand by me" medley. The encore almost did not happen as kids were leaving hoping to be able to catch the last train. Thank goodness they came out quick enough. More dancing continued. Ending the night with "Perfect" says it all. Started of acoustically with just Pierre on stage and most part were sung by the crowd. It then launched into a full blown rock ballad finished was a great way to end a long evening. Here's something which I believe is taken from a camera video. A bit bad in quality but thoroughly enjoyable.
I enjoyed all the acts reasonably well for me wanting to know more about them but was totally blown away by Simple Plan. Hope the local kids watching (there are many as I think most expats are on summer holidays) can be inspired to come up with a local pop rock band with strong melodies and we can see a new "Beyond"! A great evening nevertheless. Hope the next one will have a full house arena rather than half empty.
The Passionate Music Man