The 11th KKBOX Music Awards certainly did not lose out to their exciting line ups in previous years, boasting new talents, as well as old friends such as JJ Lin, Jam Hsiao, and Della Ding who perform regularly at their annual awards show.
JJ Lin kicked the show off with a bang, serenading the screaming audiences with a medley of his well-known hits, including “Practice Love” and one of the biggest songs of 2015, his single “If only”, winning over the crowds not only with his velveteen voice but also with his boyish charm and cute smile. He even appeared once again in the middle of the concert to the glee of the audience and explained he had been on water break when accidentally elevated onto stage (not too sure I believe that), but proceeded to steal the show from host Mickey Huang by announcing the next act, Rainie Yang.
Della Ding was another act who brought the house down that night, descending onto the stage atop a giant crystal ball before singing her latest single “Actually you were always there”, followed by a medley of hits that showed off her ridiculously powerful vocals including her rendition of Beyonce‘s “Crazy in Love” and her own songs “Freedom” and “Even if the world doesn’t understand I don’t care”.
Other Taiwanese acts who performed especially well on the night were Yoyo Cen and Fang Wu, who were awarded “Best Indie Artist” and “Best Newcomer” respectively. Clad in a simple white gown and accompanied by a guitarist, Yoyo was the perfect picture of angelic serenity as she sang her song “Empty” to an adoring crowd, while Fang Wu in all her cuteness stood her own, accompanying herself with a guitar and an added Cello as she sang her single “Accumulated Loneliness” in her resonant and moving vocals.
The boys of Magic Power were also an act that were highly anticipated, due to the rumours of frontman Ga Ga leaving the band due to certain romantic involvements. Frontman Ting Ting was absent for the first two songs “Battle God” and “Get Out”, before accompanying them on the piano in “Secretly”, creating a more balladic arrangement for the song. Ga Ga was prompted by host Mickey Huang to say a few words, in which he thanked his record company Bin music Taipei and fans for their continued support, and asked for a second chance over his actions. Overall, the guys had both the moves and the music, making them an infallible combination that brought the house down with their unique combination of EDM and Rock.
Also present were international acts Sekai No Owari (Japan), Apink (Korea) and Tor+ (Thailand), who all received much applause from the audience. Korean girl group Apink were by far one of the most anticipated acts, who got the crowd jumping with their cute dance moves and sweet voices as they sang hits such as “Mr. Chu” and “Remember”. Sekai No Owari on the other hand were the epitome of cool in their eclectic outfits and classical-indie style of music, while Tor+ amazed the crowd with his Chinese pronunciation and piano skills.
However, the highlight of my night was definitely A-Lin‘s 3-song performance which saw her make a diva-like entrance from the ground, passing by thousands of screaming adoring fans. Her exuberant and infectiously radiant stage personality and pitch-perfect powerhouse vocals made for a seamless performance in which she pushed from one song to the next with no gaps in between, executing dance moves and vocals perfectly. Even taking the effort to completely re-arrange hits such as “Big big embrace”, “Gentlewoman” and “Be myself” into more of a heavy rock/funk genre, A-Lin got out of her comfort zone and showed exactly what it takes to be as successful as her. (Answer: A lot)
William Wei was another act who surprised and excited with his performance on the night, re-arranging old and recent hits of his own such as “Stories” and “Girl” into a Swing-Jazz genre, showing off new snazzy dance moves and consistent vocals to match.
But who could forget Jam Hsiao‘s performance which brought the awards ceremony to a close? Hsiao, dressed dapperly in a grey suit with neatly trimmed hair cut a dashing figure as he sang a medley of three songs taken from his latest album “Reminiscence” such as “Moonlight in the city” and “Love Proverbs”, a duet with Mickey Huang. Vocals on point, he had the crowd cheering him on to the end as he was backed by an extravagant orchestral group.
Still getting off on the euphoria from the concert, it was all over too fast, but I can’t wait for the excitement and creativity that will be put into planning next year’s awards! Go KKBOX!
Photos courtesy of KKBox