Now that all the fuss and excitement surrounding Robin Gibb and Air Supply has died down, what do we have to live for during the coming cold and brutal winter months in Shanghai? In addition to our beloved electric blankets and space heaters, there’s going to be a little something for everyone to look forward to as we plunge into the cold.
Next Friday, Christmas is going to come early for fans of contemporary Christian music. Popular 90s mainstays, Newsboys, will be playing their very first concerts on the mainland. In addition to shows in Beijing, Hangzhou and Suzhou, they’ll be stopping by Shanghai’s Luwan Stadium on December 15. Having just released a new album, Go, the Newsboys are aiming to spread their message to an even wider audience.
A month after the Newsboys show, music fans will have the chance at a different kind of religious experience. After playing a sick amount of shows in Japan this month (18!), Eric Clapton will be dropping by Shanghai for a night of fun on the Grand Stage. Grammy winner, Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee (three times), and guitar god, he’s played with just about everyone and their mothers in a career that has spanned over 40 years. Although naysayers will complain that he is past his prime and just another old fart making some extra cash on the mainland (see: Rolling Stones, James Brown, Air Supply, Robin Gibb x 2), the man is still arguably a legend. To get a taste, check out this version of “Layla” on YouTube. Shanghaiist will see you there.
Not a fan of manufactured boy bands? Not really into pop-styled opera music? Well, be sure to avoid being seen by all the other people that will be indulging in this particular guilty pleasure at Il Divo‘s gig at the Grand Stage on January 24th. Formed in late 2003 by Simon Cowell (i.e. the only thing that makes American Idol watchable), this wildy popular “popera” vocal group has taken Josh Groban’s crown as “Non-threatening adult contemporary darling of the moment.” Whether they join him in the bargain bin in a few years remains to be seen. Despite criticism from more discriminating music fans, these guys can still sing better than the majority of us KTV-wannabes could ever dream of. You know you were at the Backstreet Boys show in January, so don’t worry about the additional loss of face you experience when singing along to “Unbreak My Heart“.
And finally, Shanghaiist is aware that this show is still four months away and runs the risk of being cancelled like Robbie Williams and Jay-Z, but it deserves early mention. Since Shanghai seems to have an aversion to international acts that don’t fall into the categories of “over-the-hill” or “mainstream pop”, a visit from the popular rap-rock group Linkin Park should be an interesting alternative, especially for the local fans who wouldn’t normally have a chance to see them. On the verge of releasing their third LP, Linkin Park is arguably the most popular nu-metal band currently producing music, having attracted fans of pop, electronic, metal and rap music with their catchy melodies, angry and woefully depressing lyrics and a smart pop sensibility. They’ve come a long way since Ozzfest. If you don’t know much about them, have a go at their video for “Breaking The Habit” (animated by the same team that did the Kill Bill animation sequences) and the performance-based video for “Faint“, directed by greatestmusicvideodirectorever, Mark Romanek.
So whether you enjoy God-rock, guitar gods or boy bands of the popera or nu-metal persuasion, there should be enough choice of mainstream Western music concerts to keep you satisfied in the coming months. Concert tickets always make great stocking stuffers, so get moving before the scalpers buy them all.
Newsboys – December 15, Shanghai’s Luwan Stadium 上海卢湾体育馆, ticket prices: 800, 600, 380, 280, 180, 80 RMB
Eric Clapton – January 20, 2007, Shanghai Grand Stage 上海大舞台（上海体育馆）, ticket prices: 300, 600, 1000, 1800 RMB
IL DIVO – January 24, 2007, Shanghai Grand Stage 上海大舞台（上海体育馆), ticket prices: 1680, 1080, 680, 480, 280, 180 RMB
Linkin Park – April 14, 2007, Shanghai Stadium, ticket prices: 180, 280, 380, 480, 680, 880, 1280, 1680 RMB
For ticket purchases: http://www.sh-tickets.com/.
* Well, not really everyone.