[HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

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[HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

Post by agina on Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:10 am

The following night was bond to be hyper. Finally I realized how it felt at the very night 3 years ago, a bunch of my frnds who met Brian in Beijing. The only difference is, I was kinda lingering over the heartbroken feeling about his pelting my pen. Around 9:30 am I woke up, spent some time experiment with make-up like ytd, speculating what color of eyeshadow would Brian use for the gig…XD

Before going to Star Hall, we went to a nearby shopping mall which was actually above the nearest metro station to the venue. I was considering how to hide my camera in case of a possible baggage inspection at the gig. In the end, I came up with stuffing all my frnds’ shopping bags into my bag with one of them packaging my camera wrapped in a piece of clothes I brought for disguise…no way for crazy shopping girls to be recognized as paparazzi with a big camera…

Carol bought a UK limited version of BFTS at an HMV store. There I got a dozen of little posters of the gig, it’s for promotion, piled on a shelf near the cahier, FREE.

Actually I was considering taking all of them into my bag.

After lunch we went to a starbucks waiting for another frnd, Alice, who was supposed to get there at 1:15. However, due to flight delay she could not show up on time. We had to head Star Hall at first. There’s few roadsign that leads to shuttle bus station. We had to ask a cop for help. The cop was super nice that he volunteered to be our guide!!! Follow the cop to the bus station! LOL! The bus station looked the same as its photo suggests on GOOGLE EARTH but the location was definitely impossible to find for newbies!

Cora and Hermione had already been sitting on the ground, at the end of the first queue, for a while when the 3 of us arrived at the Hall. More than 10 ppl were waiting in a queue, all seated on the ground. We were informed that we couldnt make to this ‘first class’ queue, so we were separated from Cora and the others. We sat down onto the ground at a distance of 10 meters away behind them. It’s about 2 o clock in the afternoon, 6 hours left to the show tonight.






There we met a guard auntie who told us that the boys of PLACEBO came to the venue for rehearsal around 10 am this morning. To be honest, I didn’t expect they’d come that early. She’s as nice as the cop we met in the shopping mall, allowing 2 of us sneakily peeping into the hall from its backdoor. All I could see was Brian’s guitar technician tuning the guitar, all the rest of them, were not there. Maybe off for a late lunch.

Then Alice came and managed to find us while latter a boy named Jarvis joined us as well.

I’d thought I would have time to read a book or just listen to PLACEBO, but it turned out neither of them was a need. I was bitchy all the time, telling Alice everything about what happened ytd with some other blabbering. Reciting lyrics was definitely no need to a girl who used PLACEBO lyrics as additional reading materials for her GRE verbal test. XD



oh the first class queue




It’s much like an indoor picnic for us. Reminds me of camps and picnics in the music fests I attended before. Fast food, bread and cake; inside the circle of people, all kinds of snacks, candies and drinks piling on the ground… I did contribute. The afternoon session rehearsal started around 4 o clock. Taste in men, BFTS, never-ending why…etc. Jarvis was occupied by his previous set-lists based lyrics, newly printed; Carol and Vanessa were reading Carol’s UK edition. Everything was fine till…till there came out loud a sound of drum introduction that none of us were familiar with. After a few seconds of silence, I cant help screaming--again just like what I did ytd at the airport—‘it’s breathe underwater!!!! They never played it before!!!! It’s the first time!!!!!!’ Everyone got hyper. It was pretty much like a conditioned reflex for me at the moment: well would they play Bright Lights and KOM as well? *Greedy*

Anyway that was really a big surprise cuz Brian claimed in an interview that only till autumn would they play the 3 songs, which, as I knew for sure, they hadn’t rehearse yet.

They rehearsed BU up to 6 or 7 times. Cora and Hermione left their first class queue for our place to hear the song more clearly. I was absolutely excited and nervous that I frequently feel the natural’s call…

Gradually it became real for real, to some extent too real for me to accept as something real. Once I was a casual fan for CEBO, so I didn’t go to their last show in Beijing, the capital of China, 3 years ago. It was only early 2007 that I listened to Meds for the first time. Nevertheless, my love for PLACEBO was revitalized almost magically. I dig out all the albums and was into the band again. I did everything I could to be cult. I wished I could see their live show before both PLACEBO and I get too old. But it’s almost like a dream cuz they seldom made it to China. Finally everything comes true, a gig, tonight.

Where lies the difference between us and other foreign fans? It is the accessibility to some real fantastic show. Gig is more of a process to get satisfied by the band. But for us things are somewhat on the contrary. A decent gig from some famous band may imply an anxious wait lasting for 3 years, 5 years even 10 years. And the ticket price is somehow unreasonable compared to its oversea counterparts. PLACEBO charges $90 (free standing) and $60 (seated) for HK gig, which I think is okay cuz ticket price in mainland China for Bjork and Oasis were up to $200 for VIP section. This is insane. But still a lot of frnds purchased the tickets at the apparently morbid price. Too long they’ve been waiting for the bands to come.

Oh sry for off topic…on topic:

The best way of killing time is to hanging with frnds, especially when there’s an 6-hour-wait ahead of you. We met the camera guy who took our pics ytd. He cracked a ‘sinister’ smile at us cuz he definitely knew we were the crazy girls ytd at the aiport. We also met Stef’s guitar technician who was absolutely a nice grandpa, in his ‘MAD CREW’ t-shirt. I was kinda staring at him then he winked back with smile, “got a lot of work to do”.

Since 5 pm, ppl kept filing into Hi Tec. Still the queue was not that long as we’d expected. Then something unpleasant happened: new-comers kept cutting in line, especially those local fans. That ‘first class’ queue was double crowded than it used to be.

6 pm, we got a bit anxious.

7 pm, security guys gathered. They carried out some iron fence for separating the queue and preventing ppl from cutting in line, unfortunately yielding very little result. Ppl lining up to a long queue.

Half past 7, everyone standing up. I could not remember how many times I went for toilets becuz of feeling nervous. A few mins later, a security guy suggested me to walk straight forth to merge our queue with the ‘first class’ queue ahead of us. Hermione was super shy and kept murmuring ‘I’m getting nervous’. Yeah actually I felt the same for sure. Anyway it’s been 6 hours since we got here.

2 girls tried to cut in line ahead Cora. Wtf were u cutting in line at a very half an hour before the show started? We kinda shouted at them but it’s of no use. Cora called a security guy to solve the problem and yes they were asked to get out.

8 o clock sharp, ppl were allowed to get into the venue. Ready for fighting positions, ‘For god’s sake, be quick quick quick quick quick’ came to my mind when I did the Check-in, yeah it’s kinda life or death. I dashed inside the hall as soon as my ticket was done. As I thought, there’s no empty in front of Brian’s position, without thinking anymore I went for Stef’s. I was considering standing in the middle of the 2 of them. Aiming at Stef’s microphone stand, I threw myself onto the iron fence, clinched my hand onto it and took a deep breath. All our folks ended up with first row position!!! Well done indeed.

Then we realized that it’s really a small gig, which made us a bit disappointed. Carol said she’s afraid of the band being unhappy cuz only a few ppl came to the venue. More than 3000 ppl the free standing venue could hold, more than 2/3 of which was still empty…

Warm up band started. It was a local band, MR. They were nice enuf to be an opening band but we were just way too eager to see PLACEBO. Ppl got uproared after they finished the warm-up session, especially when the MAD CREW got onto stage for final preparation. Stef’s guitar technician winked at us happily when he noticed us girls at the first row with his thumb up. Tuning the guitar, he played an intro of ‘Twentieth Century Boy’ which made me a bit hyper. The environment was not that good at first, then we started screaming ‘PLA-CE-BO’ and it’s getting better. A foreign fangirl fainted becuz of the extremely hotness and humidity in the venue, triggering dozens of cameras flashing. Several photo journalists took pics of me and Vanessa and a girl, who followed PLACEBO from last show in Taiwan to Hong Kong, took a pic for all of us. A guy from a local journal told us they’d retreat after 2 songs. What came in mind at the moment is, I had to grab the chance to photo with the perfect shield of those cameras. And it turned out I was right about it: I was warned at the 4th song by their roadie. Well, a little price to pay for standing in the first row. =D


Last edited by agina on Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

Post by agina on Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:10 am

MAD CREW seated or standing still, we know everything’s settled. All of a sudden, lights out, red flashing ‘PLACEBO’ on the background of the stage. I raised my camera, unscrupulously shooting. Ppl screamed to death when Brian and Stef appeared on stage, they got their guitars loaded without any introduction, the show started.

Kitty Litter. To be honest I was focused on taking pics. I didn’t feel too much passion except for the sudden rampaging burst out from the crowds almost synchronizing their guitar intro. It felt like you were piece of steak, get stuck onto the iron fence with considerable pressure from the ppl behind you. I didn’t expect that STEF could be that CLOSE to me, less than 2 meters right in front of me. He had his golden scarf wrapped around his left wrist, I wonder if it means he’s got some injury there cuz I remembered he often did the same in the past few years. *tears*

Ashtray heart, crowds got hyper when singing ‘cenicero’ with the band. I could hardly hear the keyboard, maybe it’s due to right in front of me in the aisle there sat two amplifiers. Drums and guitars washed my ears. Stef was so flaming hot with his non-stopping movements.

Battle For the Sun. All of a sudden I burst into tears. I thought I would cry at the very first moment I met them at the airport or when they were on stage. Emotions required a gradual accumulation and finally exploded. It felt strange that suddenly I realized how incredible it was, I mean, what’s going on. I could hardly believe it’s really happening. I asked Vanessa to pinch my cheek, I needed this extra physical stimulus to convince me it was all real. Everything was like motion pictures flooding thru my mind, starting from Mar.18th, staying up late at nights for hearing Brian’s voice via radiowave, arrival of the boxset, my first serious music review for PLACEBO, the very first moment I learned they’d have a gig in HK…I cried like nuts with Brian’s voice making all my memories so vivid.

Brian finished a whole bottle of REDBULL to pull himself up more hyper. (plz off drinking that!) He greeted the audience and recalled his last visit to HK, it was 2004 and he almost passed out on stage.

For what it’s worth. I got warned for taking pics. Now I can say I LOVE it though it was once my least favorite.

Brian started talking again, there he went ‘It’s a song about the future, not about the past, it’s about the future life, FUTURE.’ For a few secs, I thought it would be ‘Bright Lights’ or ‘Speak In Tongues’. But the intro is SOULMATES. I couldn’t hold my tears for a second time. It’s my first PLACEBO song and it was the song that brought me into this band. All in my mind was a frnd who introduced PLACEBO to me, without whom I could never be the person I am today. And for Brian, calling the song ‘a future song’, how revealing and how tender it was. Seriously I thought it referred to STEF.

‘Queen of Sweden!’ I shouted at Stef for several times then joined me other folks around. I did perceive an obvious smile on his face. Ahaha I knew you could not resist ppl yelling that old joke at you.

Speak In Tongues. From the very start I knew, all I want was the final climax of the song.“don’t give into yesterday, we can build a new tomorrow today”it’s the 3rd time I couldnt help shedding tears at the gig cuz it speaks of my life.

Follow The Cops Back Home. Reminds me of the nice cop we met during daytime. I filmed the whole song with another pocket camera I brought with me. I noticed a security guy kept staring at me when I took another camera out of my bag. I knew. Yeah, I’m the kinda weirdo who took A SET OF CAMERAS to placebo show.

Every You Every Me. Once I’d been not into its live version but now I was addicted to the RIFF. I knew clearly it’s the only song from the early 2 albums they r gonna play although I still hoped they’d play BIONIC. I knew they would marching together in front of the audience, in the middle of the stage, synchronizing.

Special Needs, then Never-ending Why. Brian said it was about oriental philosophy, holding his palms together as Buddhist. I love this song for it’s the first STEF written one, both lyrics and songs.

Breathe Underwater. Finally Breathe Underwater!!!!!!!! EVER FIRST PLAY FOR HONG KONG!!!!I knew it could be a trial cuz it was such a small gig in HK. However, it’s more than PERFECT.

“To tell you a secret, it’s our first time to play the song and I wonder if you like it.” Said Brian. And, yeah , of course.

“it’s a song I wrote on a boat…”

This time we couldn’t stand anymore. How many times had we heard that intro???? I couldn’t remember. Since the first time he talked about the song at the warm-up secret gig in London, those bootlegs that I used to wash my ears for dozens of time. “HAPPY YOU ‘RE GONE” screamed me and Vanessa for twice…he looked back and directly started playing the song. At the moment we thought we’d made him embarrassed cuz we acted way too aggressive (which I regretted again for a while). Later reviewing a vid we realized we didn’t ruin it at all, ‘it’s on the river, it’s about nobody’ was inundated by our shouts. The point is, he definitely heard our piercing feedback shouts, the vid was shot from upstairs seating area with our voices clearly recorded…

Meds the slow fuck version…sry for picking of the words but for me acoustic intro was like slow fuck…Brian omitted the ‘and the drugs and the sex and the complications’, I think it’s on purpose cuz all those words hurts, a lot. A biggest BUG of the night occurred when it was nearly finished. The drum paced at an abnormally fast speed and all of a sudden they lost the rhythm, Brian looked back and frown a little bit, for a sec it felt like I was watching the boys rehearsing…kidding, everything back to normal in a few secs.

Come Undone, reminds me of I Know. Time stopped, seriously.

“You guys are fucking amazing audience.” Said Brian.

Special K. Brian didn’t even need to drive the crowds to sing ‘balah ba ba balah lah lah ’ with that ‘com on u motherfuckers’. But I still enjoyed watching him pointing his finger at his ear to suggest the audience get it louder and louder. A frnd told me after the show that dozens of ppl crazily pogoing all throughout SPECIAL K. I always wanted to try shoulder surfing on special k…kidding, seriously I don’t feel like to. Suddenly I realized that my eyes lingered much longer on Brian than on Stef since I got warned for photo. I wanted to keep every tiny movement he made in my mind, although they were so familiar that I could remember and name each of them in the photo portfolio on my computer. Now they were weaved into motion pictures. STEF, everytime he walked away from his microphone stand, standing in front of the audience—yeah it felt like he was playing only for me. The shape of his collarbone, incredibly slim figure, two alien creature-looking legs moving without stillness, you know, there’s no way you would not be entranced by this charming figure.

Song to say goodbye. It’s not a goodbye at all. Everyone knows that.

Steve threw his pair of drum sticks to the audience.

It’s a bit long they got off the stage. A difference between large festival and small gig I guess. You cant let the audience wait too long at a festival, while facing a group of CULTS, a slight torturing would be acceptable and adds more fun. I guess Brian must have finished a whole cigarette while Stef would have something to drink. AFTERALL it was somehow an abnormally long break that I started to doubt if there would be an encore. “PLA-CE-BO” gradually turned into “WE WANT MORE”, I felt like melting in the crowd, the voice and this super night.

When it started with the intro of Infra-red, I knew everything’s gonna be restored. I was not a fan of this song but the live version was beyond my expectation, great and powerful to grab every tiny part of you together, then, squeeze.

Bitter End. I had to admit that it was out of my expectation. I thought they would encored with 2 songs. Although they sometimes ended with Bitter End but seriously they hadn’t sung Taste In Men, basically it meant Bitter End was not the finale; while I thought they would pick one between Bitter End and Infra-red, so when I heard the intro of Infra-red I was kinda disappointed. Brian had too many tricks in the songs to arouse the audience, singing ‘killing time’ with his hands off guitar, a double kill over the neck…no more could I expect.

Taste In Men. Brian didn’t fully enjoy his intro striking the guitar becuz he’s so hyper that he kicked one of his effects out of the place it should be and there came his technician to help to place it back. Stef didn’t do the gay dance anymore as I knew. But he’s that good looking that we got killed by his eye moving. =D I got somewhat natural high when the intro started, my body felt lighter and lighter…well it’s only out of DEHYDRATION. XDDDD The final guitar noise play was great that would even guarantee the boys a place in the field of art music/noise only if one day they got bored with rocking themselves.

Stef and Brian threw their picks to the audience while Steve threw his drumsticks for a second time. One of Stef’s pick dropped right in front of us girls, but with the iron fence it’d be impossible for any of us to get it. Then we begged the nearest security guy but he kept standing still!!!!! I was like staring at that pick all the time, almost missed the real goodbye from the boys. More and more often it would be Stef in the middle of the three…I guess it’s for…visual balance?

Then attention back to that pick, we asked another security guy to pick it. He did and gave it to my side. Vanessa got it and gave it to me immediately, ‘you deserve it’. My mind went blank for a while then I took it…sry but I really want this.

Cora got another pick from Stef while Hermione got one of Brian’s. God is watching. Today’s Hermione’s B-day. I told her “Brian said ‘ happy birthday’ in Infra-red and it’s for YOU. ” she hugged me with great joy. Camera guy out for filming the audience again, we shouted ‘you are so fucking amazing’. I was too excited that my fingers didn’t respond well, I don’t know what gesture I made, either ‘ROCK’ or ‘FUCK’…whatever. I knew they filmed that super ugly me for several times during the show…I cried and there were some tears dried black on my cheek, mixed with make-ups…I couldn’t help imagining someone’s reaction in viewing these: frawning with ’ewwww, how gutted’…anyway.

Cora said they finally got the band’s autographs by asking the camera guy to bring their cds to the band resting backstage. I thought they’d already gone, riding on an SUV, disappearing into the neon night of Hong Kong. I thought it was merely a fucking daily show to PLACEBO. But it turned out I was somewhat wrong about it. They released a poster to commemorate the gig and thanked all the asian fans who was there, said it was an incredible night. I sort of didn’t get it. It’s merely a gig less than 2000 ppl, did you really enjoy it, did you boys love us audience?

Yes they did.
And yes, we made it.








Last edited by agina on Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

Post by mrsverlaine on Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:18 pm

That was a wonderful review, I could imagine every sight and sound and it was great to see the photos of you and your friends, your all such beautiful people.

I'm glad you had such a great time, at the gig, pity it was ruined by the airport meeting, maybe Brian was feeling bad then, shame you had to suffer for it .
He should lay off the redbull though, funny how he said he nearly passed out in HK during 2004, too much hyper and not enough water, lets hope from now on he takes it easy.

But back on topic, loved reading that, I almost felt I was there . . thumbsup
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Re: [HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

Post by agina on Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:59 pm

<33333

thank you for your kind words Shirley!

I just tried my best to keep everything in mind then years later you got something to commemorate. =D Call me the detailist!

I'm over that pelting pen part...actually i was quite sleepwalking that day.=D

yeah...i felt so sry for Brian when it came to that Redbull part...hope he'd stop drinking it.
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Re: [HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

Post by mrsverlaine on Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:48 am

Hope he's learnt his lesson over that !
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Re: [HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

Post by agina on Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:31 am

^yeah...and finally i realized why he's so pissed off at the airport...he kinda scared of aeroplane, i mean, flying...seriously. I forgive him ahahaha
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Re: [HK GIG NIGHT] a full review

Post by mrsverlaine on Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:16 am

I'd be scared too, up in the air with nothing beneath !
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