Saturday, June 30, 2007

正中下懷

The title of this entry, Zheng Zhong Xia Huai, is a Chinese "proverb" which means to be just what one hopes for, or fit in exactly with one's wishes. Since that's mostly the way I feel about the concert last Saturday, I feel it's apt.

Caroline and I met up at Xinpu station and caught a cab to Xinzhuang. When we arrived, Nat, Charlene, and Sharrie were already there, out front with Wu Bai's parents having a chat. I haven't seen his folks since 2005, so it was a treat to see them again. Wu Bai's mom (whom we call Auntie in Taiwanese, sounds like Ah Mm) looked great, seems to have lost quite a bit of weight, and his dad (Uncle in Taiwanese, Ah Bei) looked the same as always. I love to watch Ah Mm smile, because she has the exact same smile that her son has. He definitely takes after mom, not dad. Sharrie went with them to have some dinner, and the rest of us went to another place. By this time we'd been joined by the rest of our crew, and after some lovely potstickers, we headed for 7-11 for drinks. There I ran into my friend Dan Qi, whom I haven't seen since April. Her hubby, who hates Wu Bai, had graciously brought her to the show and would sit in a coffee shop the entire time waiting for her. Then Tona and David from Singapore showed up, and then Hui Lian and Yumiko, also from Singapore. We all headed back over to the stadium to wait until show time, finding a sort of cool area where the air conditioning from inside was leaking out. I bought a little bit of the concert merchandise, but I wasn't awfully impressed with what they had this time, so I got to save some money!

This much-anticipated Wu Bai & China Blue 15-year celebration was certainly different, at least in the beginning, than other shows, for it seems that recently Wu Bai has been bitten by the dancing bug, and there were at least three numbers in which Wu Bai did not once play guitar, just sang and danced with the girlies. Unfortunately, he appears to have been only partially infected by said bug, and his dancing could still use a few years of daily practice! I do have to say that he's awfully cute when he's on stage surrounded by scantily clad, skeletally-thin women and so obviously nervous trying to match their fluid movements. I think for someone like him, who really is so painfully shy, to be willing to get in front of thousands of fans and risk their laughter is quite a feat. I know the man has rhythm, because I've seen him shaking his ass quite nicely while he's holding his guitar. But you take that security blanket away from him, and he becomes totally awkward (while retaining that Wu Bai adorable-ness that I love so much). He did a few songs from a tiny stage in the midst of the audience, with no guitar, and at one point he just picked up the mike stand and tried to play it! Definitely out of his element sans guitar. So after a couple dance numbers, Nat turns to me and screams at the top of her lungs in order to be heard, "Wu Bai cannot dance!" I screamed back, "I know he can't dance, but at least he's trying!" "But he CAN'T DANCE!" And then I noticed, not far above our heads and a bit to the right, the microphone that was being used to record the show. Oh peachy, two women yelling in English that The Emperor of Rock can't dance, that's gonna be quite obvious when they play that back. I shouldn't have told Dino, who just about busted a gut laughing when he heard, because he'll probably try to find that bit and point it out to Wu Bai.

But other than having to watch cutsie pseudo-sexy stick women drape themselves around the object of my adoration (one wonders what thoughts of violent death Mrs. Wu had running through her mind during these displays), the show was fabulous. When they began, Wu Bai wasn't on stage, but slowly emerged from a hole under the stage, holding an umbrella, to sing "Innocent Years." There was an extra guitar player in the back, near Da Mao, and a bald fellow out front playing. Didn't really pay much attention to them, as I tend to focus on Wu Bai most of the time, and I think we were at least four songs into the show before I realized that the bald guy was Xiao Zhu! Now, we've always known that he was balding and that's why we've never seen him without a baseball cap or a head scarf, but he's had the long ponytail running down his back all these years. Gone, completely gone, shaved that skull bare he did! You can bet that today, when we go see ABS at the Canada Day beach party, I'm asking him what on earth possessed him to do such a thing. I would have asked his wife, who was standing down in front of us, but it was too difficult to try to talk while screaming. Perhaps he just decided that's it's too flippin' hot to wear hats all the time and that if he shaved it all, no one would guess it was departing on its own already.

We had very nice seats, quite close to the stage and off to the band's left. As I mentioned, there was a small stage, called the Rainbow Stage, in the middle of the standing rock area, and that was even closer to us. When Wu Bai was there, the fans could crowd around and even get their hands shaken, if lucky. We watched our friend Xiao Hu, arms leaning on the stage, right at Wu Bai's feet and gazing up at him in pure adoration, and were completely jealous. When Wu Bai sang "Only Love" all the house lights were on, and he could clearly see the audience. There's a part of the song that says, "I used to be alone, and was used to being alone. Why did you bother to give me that kind of kiss? Maybe I've awakened and shouldn't take this seriously - you stole my soul away." During the "you stole my soul" part, I was singing along and pointing at Wu Bai, and damned if he wasn't pointing right back at me. I don't think it was my imagination, either, because Charlene gave me a good hard whack on the back from behind, so she thought so, too.

The second part of the show was very cool, because it was a recreation of the old pub days at Live-a-Go-Go, back in 1994 and 1995, I think, when the band was first starting to build up a following. They even had shirts just like they wore when they filmed the Wu Bai Live DVD, those pirate-y looking ones. And Xiao Zhu wore his head scarf (thank the goddess). The whole stage extended out farther into the audience, bringing everyone even closer to us. As they were preparing for this part of the show, they showed the Wu Bai Live video, getting everyone all worked up. I sure wish I could have been there at the beginning, part of those intimate pub shows that made the band so famous.

There were a lot of encores at this show, and during one of them the whole band hit the stage to dance to "You are My Flower." Damn, they're so cute, really. There had better be a concert DVD for this one! The show ended at 11:30, much later than I'd expected (I'm not complaining!), and I was in a daze by that time, so thirsty but having to pee so badly. Caroline and I went to the ladies', and when we came out everyone was gone, except for David and Tona. It took forever to get a cab, and the MRT had already ceased for the evening, so I had no choice but to pay for a cab ride home. We dropped Caroline in Banqiao first, then headed toward Taipei 101, where David and Tona's friend lives. They'd brought their baby, Kimi, with them, and the friend was babysitting. Would have loved to have gone out to eat with them, but it just wasn't feasible. The cab driver had arranged for another cab to meet us along the way so I could make the switch, and I got home around 1:30 a.m. It was still incredibly hot outside, and my apartment was stuffy and muggy. And DZ was griping at me for being gone so long, as usual.

I spent the next few days running the show back through my head, getting silly smiles on my face when I thought about it. On Monday I met up with David, Tona, and Little Kimi, and we went for lunch at Shanghai Dumpling then to Coldstone Creamery for dessert. Wow, it has been so long since I've had really good ice cream (the cheap stuff doesn't tempt me one bit, and I won't pay the price for Hagen Daaz, however you spell it). Coldstone is actually affordable, as a bowl is around $3.35US for a decent-sized serving. Then I added another buck for the chocolate dipped waffle cone bowl. Ummmmmmm! Good thing it's so far out of the way and not easily accessible, because it could make dieting a bit harder!

Oh yeah, I've lost 12.75 pounds now, 5.8 kilos. Was hoping it would be more this week, because I've been doing a lot of walking (and sweating), but it didn't drop much. Perhaps next week will be better. I did go out for lunch twice this week, but I tried to just eat fruit in the evenings on those days. Since I'm going to the beach party this evening, I'll try to be really good the rest of the day.

I thought the school would announce the scholarship winners this week, but they didn't, so hopefully next week I'll know. I gave up my Wednesday night teaching, because it just didn't seem worth it to me. The students don't really have the time to study, and two hours a week just won't help them make progress. It's wasting their time and money and my time. I found a new pair of students, a brother and sister, and I'll start once a week with them for two hours, and they might bump that up to twice a week. The guy is a cutie, but of course too young for me. Still, I'd rather be teaching a handsome fellow than a butt-ugly one, ha.

Ye Ying got her IELTS score last night, and this time she passed! I have mixed feelings - happy for her because she made it and will be able to go to Holland to study, but sad because she'll be gone and I won't get to see her for a long, long time. And she won't have time for our language exchange, because she'll be working more in the next couple of months before she leaves. But now her boyfriend, Xuan Yi, is finally finished with his thesis and will graduate, so he's going to start again in her place.

I can't believe this semester is almost over, only three more weeks left. I need to write a few more compositions to meet the teacher's requirement, and I'd best get my butt in gear! Sometimes it's just difficult to think of a topic, and I want to make my compositions interesting. I suppose I can just wing it, after all it doesn't have to win the Pulitzer Prize. I've been thinking about writing a letter to Wu Bai, so maybe I'll use that as an assignment, be good practice for me.

OK, enough, I have so much that I should be doing before I take off at 4:00, including studying for the test on Monday! Over and out.

3 comments:

Romita said...

The concert sounds like you had a fun time. I agree with you about a concert DVD. Now, that I will buy.

aetherwellen said...

Sounds like a great time! :D

Seeing WB dance would've been funny, hopefully there'll be a DVD, or some pirate vision on Youtube.

scenic said...

Thanks for your concert report! :D

I have to agree with Nat, 500 can't dance! XD (but it's lovely to watch him dance nonetheless!)