Yes, after a nearly 3 month hiatus, I am finally back to writing and posting stuff on my blog. My apologies to those readers who have continued to follow my blog, expecting to read about certain topics, but in the end, the posts didn’t materialize. I am working on finishing up some of the posts that I’ve had in draft mode for ages as well as hopefully getting around to starting some of the newer posts that I’ve been wanting to do but just haven’t had time to gather my thoughts on. I am hopeful at being able to do at least a few posts a month rather than the dismal one post every couple months that I’ve been averaging. To all my blog readers – thank you in advance for your patience!
Ok, so with that out of the way….I can’t think of a better way to “return” to blogging than to blog about my idol, Jacky Cheung! As I’m sure all of you know by now, Jacky launched his highly anticipated “A Classic Tour” concert on October 21st in Beijing, China and since then, has already completed multiple shows in other Mainland China cities such as Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan. Jacky kicked off the Hong Kong leg of his tour 6 days ago on 12/4 at the Hong Kong Coliseum (a ‘second home’ of sorts for him given the number of concerts he’s held there in his 30 year career). He will be doing 23 shows in HK this month, with the last show on January 2nd. Not surprisingly, tickets for Jacky’s concert have been extremely hard to get, with each show selling out within a matter of hours from when the tickets officially go on sale – so if you were able to get tickets to watch his concert, I absolutely salute you (though please be careful because there have been an unprecedented number of scalpers in recent months buying up Jacky’s concert tickets and re-selling them for ridiculously inflated prices)!
Even though I haven’t really kept up with posting actual written content on my blog, I’ve been doing my best to keep up with the schedule for Jacky’s concert tour and so have posted up the latest tour dates and venues on the side bar of my blog for those who are interested. Like many others I’ve talked to, I am anxiously awaiting the announcement of the dates for the “overseas” leg of Jacky’s tour – more specifically, for the U.S. leg, since that’s where I live. The concert organizers (Jacky’s record label Universal) have confirmed that Jacky will definitely come to the U.S. and Canada for a few shows, but they are still working out the schedule as well as the choice of venue. This actually does make sense, as Jacky’s concert this year is unique in that he decided to bring back the ‘4-side open stage’ concept to his concert, which is something he hasn’t done in over 20 years (the last time he did a ‘4-side open stage’ concert was back in 1995 if I remember correctly). And for those who have seen any of the 23 shows Jacky has done so far, I’m sure you can attest to the spectacular effect the stage has on the show this year. With that in mind, the search for an appropriate venue that would be able to accommodate the stage is crucial and will undoubtedly take some time, so I will continue to patiently wait because I know it will be well worth it. Of course, just being able to see Jacky perform live is already worth the wait (I already waited 4 years for Jacky to do another concert tour, what’s another few months, right?)! Admittedly, I am super-excited about Jacky’s concert this year, especially after watching some of the fan-vids that have come out of the past few shows as well reading the various opinion pieces that people (both Jacky fans and non-fans alike) have written after watching the concert. Please, Universal, announce the U.S. dates soon!!!
While I have been following Jacky’s concert pretty closely since its launch in October, I don’t intend to do a recap of the shows so far, as I don’t feel that I would be able to do justice to all the great moments that have occurred so far (and we’re barely 25 shows in). With that said though, there ARE a few highlights from the past few shows that I do want to mention. I will try to post up relevant pictures where I can, but it may not always be possible due to the sheer number of pictures that are out there now, especially on social media. Anyway, if you weren’t hyped up about Jacky’s concert before, you probably will be after checking out these highlights!! J
**NOTE: All pictures credited as listed ***
Beijing kickoff – October 2016
**Jacky performed to a sold-out stadium packed with fans who have been highly anticipating his return to the stage. Of course, Jacky did not disappoint, as the first night was absolutely spectacular, with Jacky giving 110% as he always does and audiences from that night walking away after the concert regretting that they didn’t buy tickets to the other 2 shows as well!
** On the third and last night of the Beijing leg, Jacky supposedly ‘screwed up’ a little on one of the songs (meaning he couldn’t hit one of the notes in the climax of the song and his voice nearly cracked). Of course, no one noticed that he messed up, but being the perfectionist that Jacky is when it comes to his singing, he absolutely noticed and essentially beat himself up over it – during the “talking” segment of that show, Jacky apologized to the audiences and to the crew for his ‘mess-up’ and vowed to work even harder to ‘perfect’ that particular song. To be honest, not a single person in that stadium that night minded that he had messed up (in fact, probably 99% of the audience didn’t even notice), yet Jacky took the issue to heart and took it as an opportunity to do even better. No other celebrity out there has the type of work ethic and super high standards set for themselves as he does! Of course, this is one (of the many) reasons why we love Jacky so much, but at the same time, it’s heartbreaking to see Jacky beating himself up over a non-issue. Aside from that small ‘incident’, the rest of the Beijing leg was spectacular!
**In terms of ‘celebrity sightings’, there were quite a few ‘big names’ and familiar faces who flew to Beijing to support Jacky, including the following (not all-inclusive):
--- Jacky’s former record producer Michael Au (who lives and works in Beijing now) as well as Jacky’s good friend and long-time singing partner Priscilla Chan (loved their frequent collaborations in the 80s and 90s).
--- Songwriter Keith Chan and family (his wife and 2 daughters), who penned the lyrics to many of Jacky’s greatest hit songs back in the 80s/90s and is still a frequent collaborator even now (Keith’s wife is also a former songwriter who wrote some of Jacky’s songs as well).
--- CRHK DJ Vani, who is also Jacky’s god-sister (she also went to Jacky’s HK shows too!)
--- Actress Zhang Zhiyi and her husband Wang Feng; also singer Eason Chan, who also held his concert in Beijing on the same days as Jacky, but still went to Jacky’s concert after wrapping the last show of his own concert. (sorry, couldn't find the actual pics so had to use a newspaper clipping)
--- My personal FAVORITE moment of the night though was ‘Film King’ Tony Leung Chiu Wai attending the concert and surprising Jacky by showing up backstage after the concert. I’m sure all Jacky fans know how close Jacky and Tony are (gosh, they’ve know each other for what, like 30 years now?) and with both artists’ busy schedules, it’s not always possible for them to get together…so obviously, us fans were overjoyed to see the two of them share such “sweet moments” together, lol (yes, I know – I’m technically a Jacky/Harlem shipper, but hey, I love the Jacky/Tony ‘bromance’ just as much, haha!). Oh, and big THANK YOU to Vani, as she was the one who took the photos of Jacky and Tony together backstage and shared them with fans via weibo. [Sidenote: the pictures of Jacky and Tony were all over various media outlets’ entertainment sections the next day, lol!]
Hong Kong kickoff – December 2016
** Jacky kicked off the HK leg of his tour on 12/4 and once again, it was spectacular! Performing in his hometown, Jacky said that he was very nervous because he didn’t want to let HK audiences down. In interviews with the media after his concert, Jacky said that he would only give himself a score of 80% for his performance, as he felt that there some things he could’ve done better. Sorry Jacky, but we have to disagree with you -- most of us felt that you were flawless that night!
** The HK shows are special not just for Jacky, but for us fans as well, since it’s also home to many of the celebrities we know and love. I am highly anticipating all of the celebrities who will undoubtedly attend one of the 23 shows in HK, but so far, the number of celebrities who came out to support Jacky on the first night was enough to make my jealous of those fans / audiences who were able to score tickets for that show!
--- On that first night (12/4), many of Jacky’s long-time friends (the crowd that Jacky usually hangs out with outside of work) came out to support him by attending the concert together as a big group (they all sat together in the same section too – man, those fans who sat behind them were SO LUCKY!!!). A few of those friends include: Eric Tsang, Alex To and his wife Ice, Kenny Bee and his wife Fan Jiang, Chingmy Yau and her husband Shum Kar Wai (they also brought one of their daughters with them), Nansun Shi, Margie Tsang, Tina Liu, Anna Ueyama, etc. (I didn’t name everyone, as there were way too many).
--- In addition to Jacky’s friends, other celebrities such as Na Ying, Candy Law, Candice Yu, etc. attended as well. Jacky’s godfather Wu Fung also went to support his godson (Wu Fung is so sweet – so far, he’s gone to 3 of the shows!), as did Jacky’s god-sister Vani (who went again after flying to Beijing to attend the debut shows).
--- I’m still trying to catch up but I know on subsequent nights, other celebrities attended the concert as well, including Nick Cheung, Bernice Liu, Karen Tong, Miriam Yeung, C-Allstar, etc. I haven’t gone through all the pictures yet so only posted up a few below.