God of song triumphs over rain
Jacky Cheung's 2002 Music Odyssey a smaching success despite poor weaher
THE MALAY MAIL
Wednesday 23 March 02
By Chow ee-Tan
It rained, it rained and it rained. But the unwelcome and gloomy weather didn't dampen the spirits of the 50,000 strong crowd at Bukit Jalil Stadium last saturday night.
Come rain or shine, they knew the one-night presentation of "Jacky Cheung's 2002 Music Odyssey'" would to go on.
It did, and in scintillating fashion too.
By 8pm, the crowd, were a forest of umbrellas and raincoats. Some brace souls stood unfazed as they got drenched in the rain. Loud cheers and whistles echoed around the stadiem as the fans whiled away the time.
Half-an hour later, the lights dimmed and Cheung hit the stage, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Cheung, sporting hair shaded blonde and p;atinem, and immacutaltely clad in a three-piece tuxedo, danced his way onto the stage.
He started the ball rolling with Touch of Love from his English album.
It was a different feel from his show here three years ago.
Then, he chose to start with an exotic musical journey showcasing some of his english compositons like I've Got it Made and Speak Without Words.
Cheung's entrance this time showed he was shedding his Cantopop star image. Just past 40, the man is now coming of age on stage.
His near flawless vocals aside, Cheung's every move seemed so effortless and comfortable.
He kept it that way even whe it came to those bold dances which saw him revelling in some sexy swquences with his red-hot dancers.
After three non stop munbers, Cheung greeted the euphoric crowd with charm and humour.
I told you not to give me such a nickname (god of songs). Now, even the "god of rain" and the "god of thunder" has come to the concert!" he said jest.
"Are you sure you can withstand the weather? Well. I'll surely be standing here and sing, as long as you all can sit here and bear it!"
Cheung turned on the heat when he dilivered the ptempo The Weather Is SO Hot.
Hw woung the mile stand, ran and jumped around the whole stage.
The exciteed crowd then got to savour some Mandarin balads like If This in Not Love and LEt Me Go. He also sang a song accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
Cheung then proclaimed:" I was told I looked stylish playing the guitar, so I practised hard just for this one."
His melodious delivery frew wild applause.
"This is a rare chance for me to sing in front of such a huge audience,"Cheung responded.
"Have you waithed long for his concert? I have, and I want to thank you all for your support."
Throughout the show, chants of "Hock Yau!Hock Yao! (Cheung's Chinese name) resounded from various corners of the stadium.
After a break, the stage heated up again when the dancers returned in Indian and Arabian costumes, each carrying a pot on their heads and moving to ethnic dance rhythms.
Cheung, now is a shimmering black sarong-based outfit, broke into a few fast numbers.
He then cooled things down with Heart Cut by a Knife sharing the limelight with his lead violinist Joanne Yeoh, who is a local lass.
After that, Cheung jammed with guitarist Jamie on I Have a Hard Time to Love.
Some fine choreography accom[anied te fast songs like Legend of the Hungry Wolf.Chueng stipped off the jacket of a dancer and produced seductive moves with them that drove the cowd wild.
The wolf-like howl he prodiced at the end of the song sent shivers down my spine.
At this point, the weather which had been dry for a while, turned drizzly again.
But this "god of song
never let up and neither did the audience lose its steam.
Cheung thendelved into some of his earlier hits.
His powerful yet beautiful vocals, still unscatherd after so many caried numbers, shone exquisitely on I Waited Till the Flower Has Wilted and Deep Sea.
He then added some small talk, relating a tale of his toddler daughter to the audience.
"she was crying on night and I woke up crying one night and I woke up and rushed to her bed side. When I placed her head on my shoulder, she stopped crying.
"At that moment, I suddenly realised that I'm was needed so much/
"But this feeling is not nwe. Because when I stand on the stage and have so many of you listening to me, I feel very important and needed."
Those words drew another deafening round of cheers.
Cheung later seized themoment with a surprising twist/
He did a fresh rock version of the cloassic Goodbye Kiss, indulging in a dance routine that had thim thresting his pelvis and swaying his hips.
He called the routine a "temporary conclusion" that let the audience anticipating more.
To cap that, Cheung in try superstar fashion, then reappeared on a platform raised right up above the stage, wearing a glittering tuxedo and looking majestic under the spotlight.
He performed a number he promised in this musical odyssey the beautiful Love YOu More Every Day which he did in a jazzy style.
By then, Cheung has swithed to the jazz and blues mode, delivering more of his 90s classics to the fans screaming delight.
But due to the rain, some sections of the audience were making their way out of the stadium.
Cheung was quick to take note.
"I can see people leaving already. Maybe you have some important things to do. Do have a good night," he wished the,.
For those who stayed on, there were still much to cheer.
When Cheung cooed Only Want to Follow You, it had an infectious quality which had the crowd joinging int eh chorus.
Living up to his family-man status, Cheing didn't forget to dedicate a song to his wife May. He couldn't get more romatice than by singing Your Name, My Surname so sweetly for her.
The show climexed with A Spark in A Lifetime which, fittingly, had fireworks exploding at both ends of the stage.
As the stge lights went out and the stadium's lights came out, the enchanted 40,000 plus crowd reluctantly got up their seats to leave the sadium.
The show has ended. The rain has stopped. And, the good of songs had conquerd once again.