Chinese-American pop star turned hip-hop artist Wong Lee Hom was in town over the weekend as part of his Heroes of Earth Promo Tour.
I managed to secure two tickets to watch him perform live at the MBKS Indoor Stadium.
Note that those are "VIP" tickets. It found out later that those words are nothing but mere decoration on the paper.
The show is scheduled to start at 8pm. I chose to arrive at around 8:15pm instead. There's really not much point coming to the venue earlier other than get a good vantage point to stand. The first 30 minutes of these kinda promo shows are always the same kinda boring bullcrap.
First, the host would desperately try to get the crowd pumped up. Then she'd invite some overenthusiastc fans onstage to poorly emulate their idol singing. These fans would then win crappy prizes such as a plastic pen, a lousy notebook, poster and - if they're lucky - a CD from another singer that nobody else wants.
In hindsight, it probably was a good idea to come in earlier.
The pile up of cars outside the stadium was an indication, but nothing could prepare me for the horror inside the stadium. It was literally PACKED to the max. It's a complete riot. I've never seen so many people squeezed into one building before, not even during the David Tao promo tour last year. Every inch of the ground was filled with sweaty human flesh.
It's like the whole entire Kuching's teenage population were gathering there.
I was supposed to enter the VIP area right in front of the stage which offered a bit more space, but there's literally no space to manouvre around at all. I could barely even make it past the main entrance.
The RELA guys (government-sanctioned volunteers for crowd control) were particularly agitated that evening, screaming abuses and shoving people along the way. If you watch the video later, you might even hear it. Geez, whatever happened to anger management?
Everyone was packed like sardines and everyone was sweating profusely. For that one night, the MBKS Indoor Stadium turned into one big freakin' giant sauna, except without the coals, or the wooden bench, or the babes in towels.
It was 8:30pm before the star of the show decides to turn up.
Clad in simple T-shirt, jeans, and a "bling" around his neck, Lee Hom appeared rather humble for a star of his stature. His simple gestures like squatting down or pointing towards the audience electrified the Kuching crowd, and they loved every moment of it.
Lee Hom described the style of his latest album as 'chinked out'. No, not "Chink Out" - it's not a racial slur demanding Chinese people to go away. According to Lee Hom himself it's a new genre of music he created, mixing American hip-hop with traditional Chinese opera.
I guess the result is what happens if 50 Cents is born a Chinese.
I'm not a die-hard fan of Lee Hom so I haven't actually listened to his album before I came to this show. After watching him perform live, I must admit that I find his new style of music is unique, though not necessarily entertaining.
In all honesty, the whole "Hey yo, this is Lee Hom yo!" schtick is a lil annoying. His American accent doesn't work too well with Chinese rap either.
Of course lah, the crowd still sap it all up because y'know, he's like, Lee Hom yo. So check out mah dawg, fo shizzle 4 life.
Lee Hom did four songs before retiring backstage. He came out again to sign autographs for his latest album.
I didn't stay back because man, with so much sweat and other bodily fluids exchanging you don't know what you might get when you come out of the building. Sometimes I wonder why we subject ourselves to that kinda torture just to watch a star perform for less than 25 minutes on stage.
All in all, a great night out if it weren't for the craziness of the Kuching crowd.