[ 08-03-2007 ]
Talented American-Taiwanese artiste Lee Hom thrilled his fans with an unforgettable performance at his recent concert in Kuala Lumpur.
WANG Lee Hom is blessed with many talents that make him a “dream idol” to many. Striking good looks aside, the 30-year-old is everything an artiste aspires to be — an accomplished singer-songwriter and also an outstanding musician.
He lives and breathes music, having gone on a pilgrimage to remote areas in China to seek inspiration for his albums, and continues to push the boundaries of fusing traditional Chinese and modern Western elements in music.
The concert, presented by Celcom and organised by Galaxy Productions, was scheduled for last Saturday at Stadium Merdeka.
The last-minute change in date and venue still turned out to be a sold-out affair, and 25,000 “missed” the Chap Goh Mei family dinner for that memorable evening.
From the moment Lee Hom opened the show with theme song Heroes Of Earth, there wasn’t much time to blink as he presented a mesmerising showcase, be it singing, playing musical instruments, or grooving to fast-paced songs.
Watching him play the violin, guitar, piano, drums and even erhu would please even the harshest critics.
Just as he gave the concert his all, the audience reciprocated by showing their adulation for him. He was showered with flowers and gifts throughout the concert.
Lee Hom did not speak much but instead let his music communicate. But he did express his heartfelt gratitude to the audience and also wished everyone a happy Chinese New Year.
“It’s Yuen Xiao so let all of us be more romantic tonight!” he cooed and fulfilled this promise with romantic numbers such as Kiss Goodbye and Forever Love.
His repertoire was well chosen. He included earlier hits such as Love Rival, Beethoven and Julia and Revolution, and recent ones like Forever Love, Big City Small Love and Heroes Of Earth.
The songs bore testimony to his evolving musical journey from pop to hip hop and R&B, and the latest “Chinked Out” music that blends Chinese opera with Western hip hop and rap.
One can’t deny Lee Hom’s devotion and talent although it may be difficult to appreciate his highly eclectic and unconventional music.
His costume changes were as varied as the genres of songs he performed. Clad in a Chinese general’s gown, he stripped off to reveal a white sleeveless T-shirt. Later, his look switched from a cool rebel and Prince Charming to casual chic.
A highlight of the concert was a collaboration between Singaporean singer-songwriter JJ Lin and Lee Hom.
Lin sang and played Lee Hom’s song You’re Not Here on the piano and was later joined by Lee Hom on another piano. It was a delightful take on the sentimental number.
The two good friends went on to perform a duet — Dionne Warwick’s That’s What Friends Are For. Lin also presented a medley of two songs, one of which is from his yet-to-be released album.
I loved the unplugged segment. Lee Hom sang crowd favourite Big City Small Love accompanied only by his acoustic guitar.
But my favourite has to be the melodious and haunting Tearing Palm, which he performed as a piano solo, with heartfelt serenity and melancholy.
The show climaxed with a segment on “Chinked Out” music. He gave life and flavour to old and new tunes in a string of songs, namely, Flower Field Wrong, Sun and Moon in my Heart, At a Faraway Place and Descendants of the Dragon.
That would have been a fitting finale.
When he reappeared after an encore, confetti and fireworks erupted to upbeat Impossible to Miss You. Many of his fans rose to their feet to clap, sing and dance to the music.
Lee Hom poured bottled water onto his face and his shirt was drenched! He closed the 2½-hour concert with The Only One, which he dedicated to his fans.
The only drawback was that the mobile microphone and the sound system were less than perfect, causing Lee Hom’s vocal to sound too jarring at times and muted at others. But such flaws would have been overshadowed by this dream idol’s terrific musical showmanship.