The One With Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011 & The Superstar Power That Was Jay Chou

It was feast for the senses.

I must be the last person you would expect to attend a rock concert. Next to my mother, I am the most pop culture ignorant you could find. I can tell the difference between Kenny Rogers and Frank Sinatra, but not of Kei$ha (huh?) and Bieber (huh?!). The whole experience was even more ironic since it was a Chinese rock concert.

But a free ticket is a free ticket. When I was asked to attend the Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011 at the Asia World Expo on a Saturday night, to be seated at prime seats (read: the most expensive ticket on sale), it took me only a minute to say yes.

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

See, I wasn’t even dress appropriately! But that didn’t stop me from appreciating in awe some of the best acts from the Chinese music industry.

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

I didn’t know more than half of the line ups from the night, but it’s never too late to learn, right? First up the stage was the astonishing popular Taiwanese rock band, Sodagreen. who belted seven songs in total, from deafening-and-slightly-out-of-tune rock songs to folk-song like ballads.

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

I think the green was referring to the hair.

After the resounding success that was the first act, what followed was a blur of singers unknown to me. All arguably performed better, but the lack of recognition from the crowd (one can always judge by the number of hands waving in the air and the incessant fan girls screams) must have been downer for many of the foreigner groups. The crowd seems unresponsive, until it was time for a local act.

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

Mr is a local boy band, whose lead singer was definitely the most charming for the night. He was the first who got the whole hall on their feet, singing along in Cantonese (which was kinda a relief after the endless Mandarin ones).

It was then I wished I could read Chinese, so that I can sing along with the crowd.

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

The next act was Landy Wen, who was definitely a crowd favorite. Her rock pieces didn’t appeal to me – in fact, I almost fall asleep despite the near deafening decibels – but her signature song, Happy Birthday, stole my heart. I wondered what the final line of the song meant.

Then it was time for the final act of the night. The moment Landy bid farewell to the stage, the crowd went hysteric. The energy, even in the dimmed light, was palpable.

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

What makes one a superstar? It is the ability to charm your audience with few but well chosen anecdotes. It is the consistency singing in tune (which is surprisingly rare at live concerts) for songs both slow and fast.

It is also the obvious display of talent. From running the piano with a rendition of The Flight of the Bumblebees before seamlessly go into a popular love ballad…

… to playing the lead in a trio of guitarists…

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

… to doing a surprisingly well done bit of beatboxing.

That, plus the good looks, would be equal to Jay Chou.

Loud Festival Hong Kong 2011

I know I must be blessed to be witnessing him at a live concert. It was worth the ticket price alone just to watch him in action; I just couldn’t wipe that grin off my face as I stood with the rest of the thousands of fans in the hall whom obviously were there to catch Jay Chou.

I may not be able to recognise nor sing along to any of his songs. But good music and great talent are universal. You don’t need to be a genius to recognise them, and Jay Chou was undeniably the star of the night.

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