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On Friday, Jacky Cheung, one of Hong Kong’s four legendary 四大天王 (Cantopop Heavenly Kings), gave a fantastic concert at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.

The theme of the concert was “1/2 century,” signifying Jacky’s maturity and his full and long career. The featured colours were red, white and black, and the concert’s style was classy and jazz musical-like. Jacky donned several costumes that included a tuxedo, bow tie and top hat. He wore white gloves and tap danced. There were several dance numbers that featured twirling umbrellas or a dancing troupe of cabaret ladies. Overall, the concert theme promoted Jacky’s maturing career and personal sophistication.

At the show’s beginning, Jacky was elevated onto the stage from a trap door on the stage floor. His opening act was a mime and tap dance. After this, the stage turned into a rain scene, other dancers holding umbrellas joined him, and Jacky sang 花花公子 (Playboy). Jacky moved onto 小姐貴姓 (What’s Your Name, Miss?), 初吻 (First Kiss) and 你是我今生唯一傳奇 (You are the Legend of My Life), while doing energetic jive dance numbers with his team.

The first part of Jacky’s concert was partly a musical story. On the screen behind him played an MV that featured him and actress Shu Qi. It was a love story about how they met, fell in love, married, experienced difficulties that distanced them, and then finally reunited.

At the part of the film where Jacky proposed to the female character played by Shu Qi, Jacky sang 你的名字我的姓氏 (Your First Name and My Last Name). The two characters in the film moved from honeymoon phase into a more difficult time in their relationship. The mood of Jacky’s concert followed suit, as he sang the powerful ballad 一滴淚 (One Tear) with a deeply melancholic feel. At this point, the screen behind Jacky played an animated film depicting a lonely man, drinking on a park bench and kicking a street dog.  A second rain scene ensued, dancers came onstage in a retro broadway style, reminiscent of 1920s New York. Jacky sang 人在雨中 (In the Rain).

Jacky’s musical ends happily, with his reunion with his love. The screen then showed a different movie, one depicting elderly couples in contrast with their photos from their youth. It showed how their love was long-lasting. This was accompanied by Jacky’s 如果愛 (Perhaps Love).

Following the story segments, Jacky’s concert changed to a hard rock theme. Jacky changed into a full red, sparkly outfit. He screamed, bellowed and danced to the songs 天氣這麼熱(The Weather’s Hot), 吻別 (Kiss Goodbye, Rock version) and 頭髮亂了(Messy Hair). The screen behind Jacky showed red flames and Jacky let out long howls to demonstrate his vocal ability.

After this, Jacky did a special tribute his friend and mentor, the late 肥姐 (Lydia Sum). The song was named after her, and dancers dressed like Lydia, wearing big heads with her image. At the end of the song, Jacky, now wearing a white tuxedo set, did the full splits, to the surprise of the audience.

Jacky’s concert then moved onto its third phase, called “Private Corner.” “Private Corner” is the name of Jacky’s jazz album, and during this part of the concert, Jacky performed some of his best hits in jazz version, including 迷你 (Mini), 情網 (Love Web), 情人的眼淚 (Lover’s Tears) and 我真的受傷了 (I’m Hurt). In the middle of this session, Jacky took off his jacket in a mock strip-tease. The crowd, naturally, went wild.

Next, Jacky shared his personal story through a manga version of his life played on screen. It was accompanied by his song, “Life is Like a Dream.”

During the last phase of his concert, Jacky sang all his most famous classics, including: 李香蘭 (Lee Xiang Lan), 每天愛你多一些 (Love You More Each Day), 她來聽我的演唱會 (She Came to My Concert) 舊情綿綿 (Old Love), 心如刀割(Heart Like Knife Cut), 分手總要在雨天 (Breakups on Rainy Days), 遙遠的她 (The Faraway Her), 一千個傷心的理由 (One Thousand Reasons of Heartbreaks), 只想一生跟你走 (Everlasting Love) and 這個冬天不太冷 (This Winter is Not Cold). Jacky proved that he could also dance, by showing off his moves in 餓狼傳說 (The Legend of Hungry Wolf).

After a long encore of classic hits, Jacky finally ended the concert, very appropriately, with 祝福 (Blessings).

The entire concert was about 3 hours long, proving Jacky’s incredible energy, stamina and massive repertoire. Jacky sang song upon song almost without break. His voice and singing talent alone were more than enough to rapture the entire audience; he didn’t need many changes of costumes or fancy theatrics.

Having been hugely successful in the entertainment industry over the past several decades, Jacky Cheung is an important icon of Hong Kong pop culture. Many Hong Kong people grew up listening to Jacky’s songs, and his songs have become Cantopop classics. The devotion of his fans at Friday’s concert was evident, as many in the audience sang along to their favourite songs and several women were even caught crying on the event cameras.

Jacky gave a long, full and incredible concert to his Vancouver fans. Surely, even after 3 hours, many were sad to leave the concert. As people were leaving, certainly many still had Jacky’s songs ringing in their heads.