Ris­ing to the top

> Vi­o­lin mae­stro Den­nis Lau’s re­cent con­cert fea­tured an evening of mag­i­cal en­ter­tain­ment and su­perb per­for­mances

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - AL­BUM RE­VIEW BY JEREMY CHEONG

Rida’s Good Feel­ing and Usher’s O.M.G with pop­u­lar vo­cal per­cus­sion­ist Kou­jee Beat­box; and the per­formed the dra­mat­i­cally jazzy

Pre­lude in F Mi­nor with sax­o­phon­ist Jimmy Sax. He also played tracks from his lat­est al­bum The Jour­ney, such as the jaunty pop-in­spired Don’t You Wanna Know fea­tur­ing Soo Wincci, and var­i­ous power-pop bal­lads like Love is By Your Side fea­tur­ing Michael Leaner, Awan Yang Ter­pilu fea­tur­ing Ning Baizura, and Mahkota fea­tur­ing Sya­fi­naz Se­la­mat.

The tal­ented multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist also shared the story of how he got into mu­sic.

Un­ex­pect­edly, he started with the pi­ano – an in­stru­ment that he was forced by his mother to prac­tise ev­ery­day from a ten­der age.

The loath­some task soon turned into pas­sion when he dis­cov­ered the in­spir­ing world of mu­si­cal com­po­si­tion.

Lau demon­strated his pi­ano-play­ing skills on a glossy white grand pi­ano, with young singing ta­lent Abi­gail Chew belt­ing out John Leg­end’s power bal­lad All of Me.

It was not just about mu­sic. Lau in­cor­po­rated two rhyth­mic gym­nasts – Sa­rina Sun­dara Ra­jah and Eva Goh Hann Ning – dur­ing The Des­ti­na­tion fea­tur­ing smooth vo­cal­ist Es­mond Chong.

The con­cert reached its peak with the un­veil­ing of the ma­jes­tic Phoenix vi­o­lin.

The vi­olin­ist rose from be­neath the stage on an el­e­vated plat­form with a sin­gle spot­light over his head, cre­at­ing a sil­hou­ette show­ing the highly an­tic­i­pated 23k gold-plated, peri­dot-stud­ded Phoenix vi­o­lin wrapped around his body.

The mere sight of its wings’ crenu­lated edges and its golden sparkle sent the en­tire con­cert hall into rap­tur­ous cheers.

It was a jaw-drop­ping seg­ment as Lau broke into a ren­di­tion of his orig­i­nal track The Jour­ney, while two speed-pain­ters – Haze Long and Vinn Pang – grace­fully worked their magic on sep­a­rate can­vas boards while he played.

When the song ended, both can­vases were turned over and joined to re­veal the mu­si­cian him­self in ac­tion with a vi­o­lin.

The pas­sion­ate vi­olin­ist also played sev­eral heart­felt trib­utes, in­clud­ing a mel­liflu­ous ren­di­tion of Jay Chou’s poignant Zui Chang De Dian Ying ( The Long­est Movie) for the late Brian Tan, the kl­pac or­ches­tra founder and Lau’s close friend.

He also paid homage to Prince, one of the big­gest mu­sic leg­ends of all time, with Pur­ple Rain fea­tur­ing Vince Chong, whose im­pres­sively smooth and ver­sa­tile vo­cal range hit all the right notes.

Most of us would know that no Den­nis Lau con­cert is com­plete with­out a Michael Jack­son song, since he of­ten cites the King of Pop to be one of his big­gest mu­si­cal in­spi­ra­tions.

As if sav­ing the best for last, Lau per­formed a Michael Jack­son med­ley as the crowd waved their hands and sang along.

The sub­lime med­ley in­cluded fa­mous crowd-pleasers such as Bil­lie Jean fea­tur­ing Atilia; Love Never Felt So Good fea­tur­ing Leaner; Man in the Mir­ror fea­tur­ing Rus­sell Cur­tis; and I’ll Be There fea­tur­ing Ning.

The night ended with the en­tire line-up croon­ing along to “just call my name, and I’ll be there …” as the con­cert hall show­ers ev­ery­one in golden sparkly con­fetti – truly a night worth re­mem­ber­ing for a long time.

PHO­TOS COUR­TESY OF THE PHOTOZ

Lau ... (clock­wise from far left) with Atilia; on the pi­ano with Chew; show­ing off his Phoenix vi­o­lin; and tak­ing a bow with his mu­si­cal col­lab­o­ra­tors.

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