This past weekend, the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Concert Tour 2010 stopped by the heart of New York City. This particular stop of the tour that I attended featured Evonne Hsu and Vanness Wu, as well as guest star Mike Relm. These three did one heck of a job of keeping the crowd excited throughout the night. Even though New York is the city that never sleeps, it still needs to be entertained after all!
Special guest Mike Relm was the opening act for this concert. In case you don’t know who he is, he’s an Asian American DJ. He doesn’t only play around with music–he also remixes videos. I don’t really know how to explain how this works, so you can check out a brief sample of his work in the video below. (By the way, I was situated really, really near the speakers and the loud beats kind of overwhelmed my poor camera throughout the concert and everyone’s camera, since I can’t find any clearer versions on Youtube. My apologies for that!)
As far as I could tell, it was just a lot of adding synthesized beats and effects to the music, with the occasional video loop in order to produce a whole bunch of synthesized, electronic tracks. I’m sure it’s a lot more complicated than that though and involves great skill. Overall, I found the experience interesting, but my real interest lay in listening to the singers. Props to Mike for being an entertaining person. There was this random fanboy in the crowd who yelled for him to “take off his shirt,” to which Mike coolly responded, “Nope, this shirt is staying right here,” drawing laughter from the audience…I think it’s one of the things that’s funnier if you were there though.
The curtains closed after Mike finished off his act, and the crowd chatted amongst themselves for a few minutes, before the announcer came back on to introduce none other than Vanness! He seemed more relaxed on stage than he did off stage and in front of the media. He joked around a lot (for example, after the crowd was going crazy due to his arrival on the stage, he decided to scream into his microphone in retaliation) and made a lot of fangirls swoon with his powerful dance moves and smooth vocals. It always impresses me whenever an artist can pull off dancing and singing at the same time without compromising one for the other, and Vanness really managed to leave an impression on me in this respect. He preformed a dance track, a song dedicated to all his “mother fans,” a track titled Listen to My Heart, and a song from his 3rd Japanese EP named Reason. I admit I didn’t know much about Vanness prior to the concert, so I was pleasantly surprised with his Japanese.
The audio’s not that great thanks to the pounding bass in the background (Listen to My Heart has an apparent abundance of bass, because I can’t hear that part at all–I recommend starting the video at 2:02-ish), but hope you got a good sense of Vanness’s humor and vocals. I loved his segment of the show and it’s sad that New York was his last stop, because the rest of the cities won’t get to see him. My only complaint was that the instrumentals drowned out his vocals at some points, but I think that’s more of the speakers’ fault.
Evonne rounded off the evening with a powerful arsenal of songs and a dose of humor. Evonne has one of those clear, fluid voices. At times she reminded me of a siren (the mythological creatures), because she also happens to be able to easily reach a high range of notes, which she opened her segment with. She started off with a dance medley and even did some ribbon dancing, but Evonne eventually transitioned to some ballads such as Qi Yue Qi Ri Qing, which is really pretty. Again, I felt as though the instrumentals were a little overwhelming at times, but that wasn’t really the singers fault.
Regarding the dose of humor–it was just that Evonne had a particularly boisterous fanboy who kept yelling things like “I love you, Evonne!” and “So pretty!” She seemed pretty flustered, but responded with “Thank you! I’m sure you’re really pretty too. I can’t see…but you sound pretty.” It also happened that the announcer for the concert was also a big fan of hers. He introduced her as “mad cute” and spent the rest of the evening entertaining the audience by being a fanboy. Near the end of her section, he actually requested Evonne to sing a song for him. Check out what ends up happening below:
I must say that she’s amazing at imitating a mouse’s voice. I also found it refreshing that she sang both her own songs and some English songs that she enjoyed, such as Kiss Me and, of course, Part Of Your World from The Little Mermaid. Who doesn’t love Disney, after all?
Evonne also ended the concert with a touching message–if she could achieve her dreams despite not initially having formal voice training or even support from her parents, anyone can. So don’t give up on your dreams, guys!
All in the all, my only lasting complaint is that the concert was too short. It was over before I (and everyone else) knew it. The rest of the tour is bound to be a blast! I’m jealous of the other cities that still have shows to anticipate!
Pictures taken by me: (Click to enlarge)
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