After a 5-year hiatus, Gary Chaw (曹格) held his long-awaited solo concert titled “Crazy for Live” at the Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting over the weekend. Despite the recent headlines surrounding him, fans were brought back to the golden age of Cantopop as Gary covered hit after hit from the 80s and 90s.
For his first act of Hakken Lee’s “月半小夜曲” (Half Moon Serenade), Gary ascended from the ground while fans cheered him on. The Malaysian Mandopop singer then performed Sammi Cheng’s “放不低” (Never Want To Give You Up), which in our opinion, was a much more emotional version of the original. “Only the 2nd song and he sings like he’s about to cry,” which is a sentiment we heard from the group seated next to us.
It is also worth mentioning that the tour production is 100% Malaysian design-and-build, which included an all-Malaysian musician line-up as well as a rich mash-up of instruments such as Sitar, Malay percussion, Chinese harp, and more. With this, Gary proudly shared he hoped this arrangement could showcase Malaysian musical talents and cultures to the world.
There were many nostalgic KTV moments throughout the night as Gary sang other memorable numbers including Pricilla Chan’s “傻女” (Silly Girl), Jacky Cheung’s “寂寞的男人” (A Lonely Man), and even a medley combining George Lam’s “分分钟需要你” (Need You Every Minute), Sam Hui’s “浪子心聲” (Drifter’s Song), Frances Yip’s “上海滩” (The Bund), and more.
He ended his Cantopop set with Beyond’s “海阔天空” (Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies), a song known to almost every Mandopop or Cantopop listener despite their age. Ironically, it’s also the song we hear some clubs or bars play when it’s closing time. Needless to say, everyone was singing their heart out to the familiar melody and unforgettable lyrics.
When it came time for the encore, we finally got to hear Gary belt his own songs like “Superman”, “寂寞先生” (Mr. Loneliness), and “背叛” (Betrayal). Don’t get us wrong, we liked the Cantopop set. But for those of us who spent our teenage years in the early 2000s, we grew up listening to the songs Gary composed. So it’s safe to say that emotions sprung especially high when he hit the high notes for “寂寞先生”. The atmosphere was incredible!
Last but not least, the Sabah-born serenaded his fans to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” – an English number no one expected it to happen. Our best guess is Gary Chaw simply wanted to end the night “his way” (pun intended).