Forever a Highlight

I’m coming off a pretty awesome high from last night. It was just my third concert ever in my twenty-one years of life so far! Okay, I guess there are those local orchestra concerts that I used to attend when I was a kid. But in terms of mainstream pop artists, this one marks number three.

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To be honest, I owe a lot of thanks to this duo I watched last night – Hacken Lee and Alan Tam. If they didn’t spark up my interest in Chinese music while I was growing up, my Chinese wouldn’t be nearly as fluent as it is today. These two Hong Kong superstars are also before my era – I’d say the average age of people in attendance is about 40 years old – so the whole vibe of it was a lot different that the concerts I attended previously. People spent most of their time in their chairs rather than on their feet. Nonetheless, I had a great time, singing along to songs I grew up with (even if they were out before I was born).

Concerts in Hong Kong are so different from concerts in Vancouver. I remember when I went to the Lady Gaga concert, everybody dressed up, even though it wasn’t much of a formal event. I think people in Canada just like to dress up in general – we won’t give up any excuse to put on some fancy clothes!

Here are my pictures of the night: team red or team blue? We were given these light-up sticks on our way in, and they could be set to either red or blue. Our idols would tell us to change all our wands to a single colour for certain songs, and so I was able to snap these seemingly filtered pictures (although I did not edit these photos at all!)

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The ticket for my concert last night said it starts at 8:15 PM, and I’d say the singers came out not too late after that – maybe around 8:30? But in Canada, the ticket would say 7:00 PM, the show starts with 2 hours of fillers, and then at 9:00 PM the main attraction finally comes out. It’s normal in Canada, but Hong Kong people work on such tight schedules – if that happened here, I’m sure there would be an uproar! The other thing is that the operating venue here charges ridiculous fees for shows that run after midnight. I’m not exactly sure how it works in Canada, but it’s probably nowhere near as expensive.

Speaking of operating venues, there is pretty much only one building in Hong Kong that can house enough people for a big show: the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom. Artists have to line up quite long queues to get their shows in place (I heard this year was a busy year!) if they want any sort of big show to happen. Even with all that being said, it still only seats a bit over 10000 people. Comparing this to Vancouver, our biggest venue can seat between 30000-50000 people, and even Rogers Arena can fit almost 20000. There are smaller theaters both in Vancouver and in Hong Kong, but all in all, there’s still a lot more choice in Vancouver. When you’re watching a show in Hong Kong, it’s almost always at the Hong Kong Coliseum. That’s also one of the reasons why artists put on so many shows in Hong Kong. We would have at most two or three shows in Vancouver, but the singers here can have well over 10 shows in a row! It makes sense though… for an overpopulated city with only one main showing venue, it’s the only way they can cater for everyone.

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Concert tickets in Hong Kong are also a lot cheaper than in Canada. The most expensive tickets for this show were under $100 CAD. On the other hand, you’d expect to pay at least $50 for the worst seats available in any kind of concert/sporting event in Vancouver, and (official) prices can easily go up to $300. (Unofficial prices are obviously even higher). Anyway, the concert itself is already a luxury, but it made me feel much less guilty when I bought the most expensive tickets for this concert…

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After being a diehard fan of Hacken over all these years, this is the first time I’ve ever heard him sing live. This night will forever be on my highlights list!

P.S. Just for me… why don’t you check out this song?

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