Andy HIGH in Changsha

After two years, Andy Lau returned to Changsha, Hunan to stage his Unforgettable concert at Helong Gymnasium on 14 May. Andy will come to Changsha to perform every two years, despite being in showbiz for 30 years but he still managed to attract a full house crowd, touts still sell tickets even when the concert had already started.

The stage and lighting are glamourous, other than the platforms, the 3D lighting and giant LED background showed off his “heavenly king” status. When compared to his previous concerts while he was still single, he seemed to be more open after marriage as he quipped that he wanted to marry his fans during his interaction with them.

Changsha is no stranger to Andy as in 2006, 2009 and this year, every two or three years, his concert world tour would not miss Changsha, surprisingly despite the frequency, every show will be full house. Before the concert started, the organizer announced that the attendance would exceed 95%, but what was seen, the venue was jam packed with fans. Those fans whom could not enter the venue were singing along, fans from Changsha’s Furong Road, Labour Road, Baisha Road and other roads around the Helong Gymnasium would sing along the songs.

Differs from the earlier two concerts, Andy whom put a lot of effort in his stage made many improvements. At the opening of the concert, Andy made a sudden appearance on the tip of the giant LED screen, he first shouted: “I’m back!” followed by singing ‘Gu Xing Lei’ in mid-air, it had an explosive reaction from the 40,000 audience.

Just came onto the stage, Andy started to sing praise of his fans, he said: “When I was preparing at backstage, I could hear all your cheers, it’s great, this is a true concert.” The fans reacted with screams, he continued: “OK, see how crazy all of you, I’ll accompany you and be crazy too.”

The 50 years old Andy also appeared in different costume be it riding on a motorcycle or dressed in all white, although his wrinkles can be clearly seen from the giant screen but he does not fail to excites the fans.

The LED screen managed to accommodate the animation with the music and dance to perfection especially when he sang the theme song for Shaolin – ‘Wu’, Andy whom was dressed in white, riding on a “black horse”, together with the bamboo forest and clouds animation, looking for far, he looked to be in a place with a beautiful scenery.

Fans brought along placards of their area’s fan club, Andy saw and waved at them, he quipped that due to his old age, he could not see the words on the placards properly which the audience burst into laughter and screams. Andy constantly had interactions with the audience, his friendliness is already wroth the ticket price.

Fan sang along to songs like ‘Ru Guo Ni Shi Wo De Chuan Shou’, ‘Bing Yu’, ‘Zhong Guo Ren’, ‘Tian Yi’, Xie Xie Ni De Ai’ and ‘Jin Tian’. Andy was not satisfied singing these classic songs alone as he divided the fans into two groups, instructing them to sing ‘Wang Qing Shui’ and ‘Ai Ni Yi Wan Nian’, the venue suddenly transformed into a ten-thousands people KTV.

Being in showbiz for 30 years, Andy also talked about his showbiz career when chatting with the fans: “30 years, some might think that it’s a long time, but to me it’s fast. In this 30 years, I could get in contact with many different things, it’s delights me to be able to work everyday.” Despite allegations that he’s preparing to retire, but he denied by saying: “How many among the audience are 30 years old? Hope that you gave me your first 30 years, the next 30 years will still give to me.”

It might be the theme of his 30th anniversary in showbiz, he kept thanking the fans and bows followed one another. After singing the first three songs, he said: “There are good and bad in the past 30 years, from the first day till now, I feel blissful, thanks for all your love.”

The fans occupied an important position in his heart, he told the fans: “Many people asked me why am I so persistent, because I’m afraid if I stopped working I could no longer see you, you’re my pride, without all of you, I would not be as successful as today. If you adore another person in future, promise me, don’t forget me, OK!” With regards to fans’ concern of his love life, he told them: “Relax, I’ll be blissful.”

When he sang ‘Zhong Guo Ren’, he sing praise of himself: “Went to many parts of the world, actually nobody is as Chinese as me. If people asked you in future: Who’s most handsome, who’s the best singer and actor? You should know how to answer them? Hopefully for every corner of the world, don’t forget that you’re a Chinese.”

Throughout the 2-3 hours concert, Andy belted out close to 20 familiar songs, he did not forget his lyrics or sing out of tune, one need to take your hat off for this 50 years old heavenly king. Be the song Mandarin or Cantonese, dance to the fast track and totally concentrated in slow songs, the fans sang along several times, it was a heart warming atmosphere. When he sang ‘Zhang Sheng Xiang Qi’ and ’17 Sui’, Andy teared as he thanked the fans’ undying support.

When compared to his 2009 concert in Changsha which he did not discuss anything about marriage, since his marriage with Carol Zhu Liqian had been made known, he became more relaxed. When facing the crazy fans whom kept screaming “I Love You” to him, he teased: “I love you too. We shall get married some day!” The fans replied with loud screams.

In addition, when he spotted one female fan whom brought her daughter to watch the concert, he teased again: “Is this your daughter or younger sister?” He continued: “You said that she’s our child? Girls like you…..!” When compared to his humor in his early days, he’s more lively now as it can be considered as his talk show.

With his drawing power among the Chinese community, his concert resulted in a massive traffic jam despite traffic police were employed to maintain order. The 40,000 audience came from all areas, other than local Changsha, some loyal fans came from as far as Haerbin and Beijing. As early as 4pm, cars were stuck in roads around Helong Gymnasium, almost all radio stations urged drivers to detour. The roads were still jam at 10pm, despite many artistes came to Changsha, but it raise eyebrows for this Andy Lau effect. His influential also brought business to the nearby restaurants, customer would have to wait 4-5 times longer for their food in those restaurants with normal business. As parking on the roadside was prohibited in Changsha, car parks seized the chance to increase the normal parking fee from ¥5 to ¥20, despite this it was hard to look for an empty lot.

In addition, ticket prices for many concert will drop after the concert started but surprisingly the ticket price of this concert increases rather than drop. The reporter found out that for a normal ¥1000 ticket, touts offered to buy it at ¥1200 when the concert had started for 30 minutes, those fans whom really wanted to watch the concert had to bid for a higher price as it was finally deal at ¥1600.

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