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Hong Kong pop sensation G.E.M. dazzles


Multi-lingual: G.E.M. wowed fans with some 30 songs in Mandarin, Cantonese and English during her edgy steampunk-themed show in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: M. AZHAR ARIF/The Star

Multi-lingual: G.E.M. wowed fans with some 30 songs in Mandarin, Cantonese and English during her edgy steampunk-themed show in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: M. AZHAR ARIF/The Star

Singer wowed fans in Malaysia with 30 songs in Mandarin, Cantonese and English during her X.X.X. Live World Tour.

RACING down the freeway and careening through a tunnel, the vehicle exploded into a fireball and G.E.M. tumbled out of the burning wreckage, a survivor of the horrific accident, as shown on the LED screen.

The smoke on stage cleared and the Hong Kong-based pop sensation emerged all shiny and sparkly from a metallic capsule amid deafening screams from the packed Putra Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night.

G.E.M.’s stage name is an acronym for Get Everybody Moving and that was what she did as she wowed adoring Malaysian fans with some 30 songs in Mandarin, Cantonese and English during her edgy steampunk-themed show.

Born Gloria Tang in Shanghai, China, G.E.M. has been based in Hong Kong after moving there at the age of four. While she is well-loved since making her professional singing debut at the age of 16, G.E.M.’s popularity enjoyed a substantial boost last year after an impressive showing at the popular mainland Chinese reality show I Am A Singer, where she was placed runner-up.

Highlights of G.E.M.’s show included her inspired rendition of mainland Chinese rocker Wang Feng’s Cun Zai (Exist) – a song that shows why she is so well-loved in China right now – and Jay Chou’s Long Juan Feng (Tornado), which is always a crowd favourite here in Malaysia.

G.E.M.’s stage name is an acronym for Get Everybody Moving and that was what she did.
G.E.M.’s stage name is an acronym for Get Everybody Moving and that was what she did.

G.E.M. also showcased her musical prowess as she performed with a guitar during Wo De Mi Mi (My Secret), tinkled the ivories of a grand piano during the fan favourite Wo Yao Wo Men Zai Yi Qi (I Want Us To Be Together), and even took centre stage with a funky drum solo midway through the show.

Her powerful vocals soared during the high notes as delighted fans sang along to a medley of her favourite Mandarin love songs – David Tao’s Ai Hen Jian Dan (Love Is So Simple), Wang Lee Hom’s Forever Love and Han Lei’s Xiang Tian Zai Jie Wu Bai Nian (Borrowing Another 500 Years From The Heavens).

Gliding down the stairs in a scarlet gown that showed off her gorgeous gams, she chuckled: “My costume designer dreamed up this lovely dress so that I walk down these steps like so, as part of my performance.”

For the first encore, G.E.M. got the 10,000-strong crowd singing along to a rousing medley of everybody’s favourite rock anthems in English, Mandarin and Cantonese – Queen’s We Will Rock You, Cui Jian’s Yi Wu Suo You (Nothing To My Name) and Beyond’s Hei Foon Nei (Loving You).

When G.E.M. got to her second encore the crowd was at fever pitch and surged to the front. Moved by the support from local fans, G.E.M. declared that she “could feel the love”.

“I can really feel how passionate Malaysian audiences are. It’s really awesome. This tour started two years ago and I’ve played over 40 shows to date, but performing here for you, feels like I’m doing it all over again for the first time. I really feel the warmth of your loving reception.

“I’m really thankful. You can’t imagine how much your love and support means to me. Every time I lose confidence in myself, all I need is to see you guys, and my confidence returns. When I am afraid, just seeing you all gives me courage.”

The X-factor: G.E.M certainly has it! 

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter professed her love for Malaysian hospitality and urged fans to follow her on Facebook.

“I would love to read your posts. Most of my Facebook (fans) are Malaysians. I love Malaysia. I love the coconuts. I love the durians, I love the bak kut teh. But most of all, I love the warmth. It’s very cold in Hong Kong now, so I’m really enjoying the weather here.”

G.E.M. kicked off X.X.X. Live World Tour in April 2013 with five sell-out shows at the prestigious Hong Kong Coliseum. Local organiser Star Planet added a second show in KL when the first one sold out in three days.

And to think that four short years ago, this talented young lady was singing in a mall to an audience of only 20. How far she has come.

   

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