Live '08 @ San Diego (Part III)

13 哭

The set list of the evening managed to find its way back to HK Live 2007. Although there weren't musicians playing all the string instruments live on stage, the intro was still as haunting as one could recall, the open-air venue suddenly fell into complete silence. This song was about unrequited love and the never-ending yearning for closure, no matter how much time may have elapsed and life circumstances changed.
Once again, SL delivered this recently rearranged ballad with exquisite precision and heart-wrenching emotions. I quietly sat through the entire song with goosebumps on my forearms and chills running down my spine. I could sense that some of the audience may have been thrown off a little by the strings arrangement at the end of the song, however, everyone was awestruck by SL's performance.

14 詞不達意

This number was not part of the regular set list of HK Live 2007, however, it was a surprise welcomed by all fans during the encore segment last year. Given that the majority of the audience was Mandarin-speaking, I could sense that people could connect to this song a bit more than 哭. Having said that, 詞不達意 was a great song choice after 哭, as the two songs were very introspective and perfect for performing at night. I was deeply touched by the chorus: 我無法傳達我自己 從何說起 要如何翻譯我愛你 寂寞不已. SL's rendition was deeply moving, without any exaggeration or self-indulgence. It was the simplest and sincerest connection.

15 走在大街的女子

SL briefly went backstage and the pre-recorded multi-track background vocals suddenly filled the evening air. SL returned to centre stage and delivered
走在大街的女子 in a cappela, as she so wonderfully did since her concert in HK last year. There may not be any more surprises left to this song, nonetheless, SL's performance was impeccable and the audience loved it. SL also showed everyone what a great vocalist she was.

16 聽說愛情回來過

After changing into her final outfit, SL said a few words about all the ballads that she performed that evening, and wished that we would only remember the joy but not the sorrow brought back by our memories. She also said about the meaning of the following song 聽說愛情回來過 could go beyond romance; it could also include love between families and friends, a bond that could defy time and distance. SL delivered this touching ballad with all the sensitivity and emotions that I anticipated and more. Surviving life's disappointments is a difficult but inevitable lesson that one must learn. Fortunately, her music never failed to provide us with a stream of strength and comfort, and more importantly, the courage to face more challenges. I sang quietly throughout the entire song, and let whatever bittersweet feelings and emotions drifting to and fro my heart. I always found this song therapeutic.
17 當愛已成往事

When introducing this song, SL said that it had almost become a tradition and cheerfully invited everyone to sing loudly with her. SL sang her part with ease. As soon as she finished her verse, we went straight into 別流連歲月中 我無意的柔情萬種, and then everyone just joined in more than willingly. When it came to the chorus where Jonathan Lee echoed passionately, a young male audience uninhibitedly stepped up and sang that part. The duet was good fun, and I could tell everyone enjoyed it immensely. Upon my return from California, this young male audience added me to his facebook and we began to exchange our respective experiences that evening. We didn't know that we sat so close to one another. SL's music is truly magical, which can bring strangers and people that live far away together.

18 至少還有你

Without a doubt, this was SL's anthem of all anthems. SL invited everyone to sing along, well, as if she had to ask! I always found the bridge of this song most touching. We had all waited for so long to be there that evening, and yet time was also slipping away through our fingers. There was so much more we wanted from her, and at the same time we also found that we had received more than we ever expected.

19 愛上一個不回家的人

This was another anthem, which was also her very first Mandarin single. I was very pleased that Anthony altered the arrangement again. The new arrangement was edgier and even more energetic than the "Home again without you 3:00 am remix version". All the male dancers came out to join SL, and seriously, who wanted to go home on a night like this? As soon as this number was over, SL returned to the backstage, and the lights were dimmed.

20 鏗鏘玫瑰

Well, people started to rush towards the stage and within a few minutes, one could not find a free spot. Everyone was cheering like an earthquake and the spirit was simply overwhelming. It did not take long for SL to reappear on stage. I was surprised that 鏗鏘玫瑰 was picked as her first song for the encore segment. I never thought that the title track of SL's last album with Rock Records/Seed would arouse such passion and fervent reactions from the audience! I always loved the lyrics and SL's performance was confident and mesmerizing. After the song, some people were complimenting how beautiful SL was that evening. SL accepted such comments wholeheartedly and joked that as long as it was a compliment (like how young and how beautiful she was), she could always hear it no matter where. SL was adorable.

21 依然
In my mind, 依然 remains as SL's ultimate power ballad - a signature number that can hardly be replaced. Whenever I listen to 依然, whenever I hear the words 風吹我的衣襟, 然後載浪花飛奔, 沾你身, bittersweet memories always come crashing back from nowhere, reminding me of how far we have all journeyed since the debut of Fuir la Cité, City Project Part II. So, I was more than grateful that evening, when Anthony played on his keyboard the ever familiar intro of 依然. The crowd roared emotionally. As if it was second nature, everyone who gathered in front of the stage started singing in unrehearsed, perfect unison. At the end of the song, I truly felt connected. We were there for each other, attesting to the truth that "time melts into nothing, and nothing's changed."

22 傷痕

Frankly, at this point of the evening, everything had become a blur. Everyone was gathering very close to one another, it was a complete chaos and yet everyone knew exactly his/her place! Everything just fell into the right places in an organic, intuitive manner. We all sang along, shouted, screamed, and applauded as hard as we could. The evening breeze was no longer chilly. Nobody wanted the concert to come to an end, but we all knew that this would be the final number of the evening.

SL thanked everyone for being such loyal followers for that night and all the years past. She wished us once again a joyful mid-autumn festival. When she was ready to disappear (for real that evening), a representative of the concert sponsor stepped on stage and brought Anthony a huge bouquet (Anthony, who was so very sweet, thought the flowers should go to SL!). Then the representative introduced some executive from the casino, who carried an even bigger bouquet for SL. The executive thanked SL for giving such a spectacular concert and was certainly pleased with the turnout. SL thanked everyone one last time and the concert officially came to an end on a perfect note.

Looking up the evening sky, where the autumn moon was shining in its immaculate glory, as if I could hear SL's angelic voice still ringing relentlessly in my ears....

Part I
Part II

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