|This is what happened at the concert..if I'm able to remember more
details or if other fans can tell me what I missed, I'll post it later.
December 16, 2000 (Saturday) was quite a warm day in LA..it was close to 80 degrees F during the daytime..at night in Santa Monica it was in the high 60s..much warmer compared to 2 years ago at Leon's '98 LA concert. It was pretty good weather just to walk around Santa Monica right before the concert. There was some traffic going to Santa Monica, so I didn't arrive till about 7:20PM. The concert was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The concert was supposed to start at 7:30PM, but it didn't start till almost 1 hour later!..around 8:30PM...and ended at around 10:30. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is able to hold about 3,000 people, but there were several rows of empty seats in the back..I'm guessing the auditorium was about 85%-90% full.
I was sitting in row 3 center section, left side aisle seat (ticket price US$150), with the out-of-town Leon fans (some came from Canada, New York, and HK)..you probably saw them w/ all their colorful lightsticks. Towards the end of the show, 3 of the fans had to leave for the airport, so I was able to scoot down the row a few seats..more towards the center. The sponsors gave out some free lightsticks, but I wouldn't really call them a lightstick... they were long, thin sticks..like the thickness of a straw.. so you couldn't really see it...they were probably cheaper for the sponsors to buy compared to the thicker lightsticks.
Here's the rundown of Leon's concert:
* not the full version of the song..only a few
I would give this concert an 8.5 out of 10 points. I deducted points for the concert starting 1 hour late (usually the concert is only half hour late) and for the concert being disorganized during the last part of the show. I wasn't too pleased w/ the song selection...he cut out too many songs from his HK rundown..he could have sang a couple more songs. I knew Leon wouldn't be singing that many PolyGram songs (since that's how it was when I saw his '99 HK concert), but many of the people in the audience were probably expecting to hear more of Leon's greatest PolyGram songs..if they haven't been keeping up w/ Leon's new songs these past 2 years, then they would not know that Leon sings more fast songs than slow songs nowadays. Leon didn't come down to shake hands and he didn't throw any gifts to the audience this time (but he did during his '98 L.A. concert). I was also unhappy that Leon didn't show the film clip of his work in 2000 (but he showed this film clip at his Toronto, San Francisco, and Atlantic City concerts), so the L.A. fans got cheated out of watching this film clip.
I didn't have as much fun at this concert than last time, even though I was sitting closer. Having to worry that the security guy would catch me w/ my camera was one factor, and I didn't have much of a chance to use my lightstick during the first half of the concert cuz I was trying to take pictures most of the time. I didn't scream as much this time during the concert cuz my friends weren't able to come to the concert w/ me. My friends and I would usually scream and yell after Leon finished every song. I did meet some of the Leon fans that I would be sitting w/ 1 day before the concert, so I knew who some of them were, but I'm not too comfortable screaming for Leon when I'm sitting next to fans that don't scream...they might think I was a crazy fan or something if they heard me screaming "Wooooohh!!!" after Leon finished a song. I usually don't scream for Leon unless the person next to me screamed...I would feel kind of embarrassed.. so after the 3 fans left for the airport, another 2 fans moved next to where I was sitting. Since the fan next to me was screaming, then I was able to scream for Leon a little more.
I didn't take that many pictures...less than 30..Santa Monica was VERY strict about taking pictures..cameras weren't allowed and they searched everyone's bags..even doing a quick body check!..like tapping your pockets to see if you've got anything in there..geez, and I thought Shrine was strict about cameras..Santa Monica is worse! At least at Shrine, they don't bother doing a body check. And at Universal Amphitheater, they sell disposable cameras inside, so you can take as many photos as you want! I had to sneak the camera in...and since i was sitting on an aisle seat, it's a lot easier for the security to see me if I was taking pictures. I was feeling quite nervous, cuz the security guy was standing right next to me while he was telling another fan to put her camera away. So after the guy told her to put her camera away, I hardly took any pictures..maybe 1-2 photos per outfit. It's too bad I wasn't able to take more pictures, cuz this is the closest I've ever sat at a Leon concert here in LA.
But there were still some good things about this concert compared to last time. Leon was singing on the left and right side of the stage this time..not focusing on just one side of the stage, so all the fans could have a good look at Leon. Leon talked A LOT more to the audience this time than in '98. Leon sang one of his newest songs (Love is More Important Than Me) from his new CD that released on 12/16, which is quite rare, considering last time when Leon didn't sing "Happy 2000" even though his new album had released almost a month before the LA concert. Leon's 'live' singing is getting better and better... he sounded great!
Leon wore 6 different outfits..a couple more than his '98 LA concert. Some of the outfits were from his '99 HK concert..and I think one of those outfits came from his recent charity concert at the old airport. The outfits this time were much better than his '98 LA concert. And he looked MUCH more lively on stage this time than '98. He only sat down 1 time on the stairs, compared to his '98 concert where he sat down at least 3-4 times. Leon looked rather tired during the '98 concert and didn't dance much. He didn't have much choreographed dancing this time, but at least he kind of moved to the beat of the fast songs. Unfortunately the stage was quite small, so even if Leon wanted to dance to some songs, there wasn't much room for him to move. The stage is smaller than Shrine's stage.
The audience wasn't responding much to what Leon was saying when he talked (probably because people didn't understand what he was saying..some people don't understand Cantonese and some don't understand Mandarin), so he tried to talk in both languages.
There was a part where Leon kept switching back and forth from Cantonese to Mandarin when he was talking..like the beginning part of a sentence was in Cantonese, the next few words in that one sentence were in Mandarin, and back to Cantonese again, then Mandarin. Leon sounded like one of those Nicam TVs, where you can just press a button and switch from Cantonese to Mandarin or Mandarin to Cantonese...it was funny!
There was another part where Leon was saying something in Cantonese, and then said the same thing in Mandarin, then said something in Cantonese again, and translated that into Mandarin again. Leon spoke a few words of Korean cuz there were a couple of Korean fans in the audience that had screamed out some Korean words to Leon.
In the '99 HK concert when Leon sang "Yearning," Mark was playing his guitar at the opposite side of the stage..this time at Leon's LA concert, it was Joey Tang who was playing the guitar and Leon sang at the opposite side of the stage...luckily I was sitting more towards the side that Leon was on..hehe. Similar to the '99 HK concert, there was some wind blowing on Leon while he was singing.
Vicki didn't sing a duet w/ Leon. She was only on stage w/ Leon for a few seconds after she had finished singing her song. I couldn't understand what Leon and Vicki were saying to each other, cuz they were talking in Mandarin... the only thing I could understand was Vicki calling Leon "big brother." Later one of the fans, Mrs. Chan, told me that Leon said, "Don't call me 'big brother.'" Vicki then said, "How about I call you 'little brother?'" Since Vicki wore a white dress and Leon wore a black suit, Vicki said she and Leon matched.
Leon told a joke in Mandarin, but not many people were laughing once Leon finished telling the joke..Leon then said in Mandarin something like, "I guess not many people understand the joke." I didn't understand it.. i think if he told a joke in Cantonese, more people would have responded.
After Leon left the stage after he sang "I Love You Like This," there was a rather long pause...the band didn't play any music..they turned on most of the lights in the audience..I'm assuming that's the part right before Leon does his encore. But nobody was screaming for an encore..I think everyone knew he would be coming out again to sing a few more songs.
When Leon started to sing "Sorry, I Love You," there was a big response from the audience!..many people were clapping!..probably because they were waiting the whole night to hear some of his older songs. I think more people in the audience were familiar w/ Leon's older PolyGram songs than his new Sony songs. The entire night there wasn't much of a reaction from the audience..only until he began to sing "Sorry, I Love You."
Someone requested Leon sing "No One But Me." Leon was hesitant to sing this song at first, cuz he wasn't sure if the band had the music sheets to that song..they seemed to be a bit disorganized towards the end of the show. I'm surprised Leon didn't plan on singing this song cuz he sang it in all of his other concerts this year. He asked Joey to look through the music sheets for the song. It would take a few minutes to look through all the papers, so Leon said he would come back to this song after he sang his next song. After singing "Sorry, I Love You," Joey still couldn't find the notes to the music, so the band did an impromptu of "No One But Me." It was actually quite good considering they didn't prepare for this song. The band started playing the music kinda slow to see if they got the right beat. Leon sang the first verse and it sounded like the band got it right so they started all over again, this time adding in the 'ba la la la..ba la la la..' intro and the band started to play the music faster. Leon forgot some of the lyrics to this song, but that's okay..at least he sang the whole song.
Another fan screamed to Leon to sing his new Mandarin song 夢想成真 - Dream Comes True. But Leon said in Cantonese, "I can't." I guess he didn't remember the lyrics..but he just sang this song 1 week ago at the concert at the old HK airport.
Leon asked the audience in Cantonese, "Do you like old or new? If you like old, raise your hand.".. some people raised their hand. "If you like new, raise your hand." I think more people raised their hand for liking new. I'm not exactly sure what Leon was referring to..I'm guessing he meant, "do you like the old songs or new songs?"
Leon only sang a few phrases of "Forgive Me," since it was sort of impromptu again.. and Leon really didn't remember most of the lyrics...even one of Leon's guitar players tried to sing a few lines. Leon made up the lyrics as he went when he didn't remember the lyrics..hehe.. and asked the audience to "forgive me (him)". Well at least he sang part of it..that's better than nothing.
He asked the audience in Cantonese, "Are there any male fans here?" There wasn't much response to that question, so Leon asked the guys to make some noise...the guys screamed, but you could hardly hear them. Of course there were a lot more female fans in the audience.
A couple fans in the upper level kept on screaming to Leon to sing 'There's Not One Day I Don't Think of You'. The first time Leon answered back in Cantonese, "okay, I know" ..like he knows 'There's Not One Day (they) Don't Think of (him)'... the audience laughed. After Leon sang the next song, the 2 fans again said 'There's Not One Day I Don't Think of You.' Leon then answered in Cantonese, "eh, why do you want me to sing this song? It's so old! Go home and listen to the song on CD,".. and the audience laughed. Leon sang his next song, and after that song was over, the 2 fans screamed out 'There's Not One Day I Don't Think of You' once again.. Leon finally gave in to their request after the 3rd time and sang one line from the chorus of this song (w/ no music)..Leon tried to continue singing, but he really didn't remember the lyrics..so he stopped.
Leon asked the audience if they would like to hear a new fast song. The audience screamed loudly. But then Leon had to check first to see if the band had this song ready..or if the guy at the soundbooth (I forgot his Chinese name) had this song on tape. Leon said in Cantonese to the worker at the soundbooth, "do you have 'The Later It Is, the Bigger the Chance?' If you do, then flash the light on stage." (there's a little light near the side of the stage that Leon and Joey were able to see which can be turned on or off by the soundbooth..sort of like a way to send signals from the booth to the stage) Leon then said, "okay, the light flashed." Leon asked the same question again, just to make sure, and again the soundbooth flashed the light. So now Leon and us were just waiting for the music to start...it took about a minute for the worker to locate the song. Leon's dancers came out to dance to the song, but Leon wasn't expecting them to come out, since Leon had not planned to sing this song. But the dancers looked like they had danced to this song before, cuz they were dancing the same steps together and it looked choreographed.
Leon kept saying, "Christmas is fast approaching."..he said that at least 2 to 3 times during the concert. At the end of the concert he told everyone to have a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."
After the concert, I waited for a few minutes outside w/ some fans to see Leon leave. The band members and the dancers left in a big tour bus, while Vicki and Leon left in 2 separate Honda mini-vans. Surprisingly Leon was sitting in the passenger seat!...and not in the back seat where the windows were tinted...so anyone could have clearly seen Leon in the mini-van.
The Sun Newspaper in HK wrote that Leon's concert was very successful, but I would have to slightly disagree w/ that. If they had prepared a little more and weren't disorganized towards the end of the show, the concert would have been better. I'm glad he sang those impromptu songs, but those couple of songs ("No One But Me", "The Later It Is, the Bigger the Chance") should have been in the rundown to begin with, since they are Leon's popular Sony songs. The concert would have lasted for less than 2 hours if he didn't sing these unplanned songs and if there wasn't that much pausing in between songs towards the end, so we almost didn't get our money's worth.
One final note before I end my report...if you haven't heard yet, Andy Lau's production company was in charge of Leon's LA concert (some newspapers even said Andy was Leon's boss..no way!).. this is the first time Andy's company produced a concert outside of HK.. I'm not sure if this explains the disorganized concert, but it could have been a factor.
Created by Janice Lo
Copyright © Janice Lo 2000. All Rights Reserved.
Created on December 17, 2000.
Last Modified on December 26, 2000.
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