Diva stands and delivers at last

Diva stands and delivers at last

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Japanese pop superstar Namie Amuro rolls back the years during her first ever concert in Hong Kong.
Japanese pop superstar Namie Amuro rolls back the years during her first ever concert in Hong Kong.
Photos: G Music
It's hard to believe that someone with as much star power as Japanese pop diva Namie Amuro had never played a concert in Hong Kong before her 20th anniversary tour show at the AsiaWorld-Expo last Saturday.

And it seemed like all those years of waiting had her legions of local fans charged up as they were already on their feet even before the show began.

She opened with Body Feels Exit, her debut solo single in 1995. Amuro moved her way up and down the impressive multi-tiered set with ease as she performed the energetic dance number while showing off the deft moves that she's famous for.

The dance moves kept coming as Amuro went on to perform hits from her last album, Uncontrolled, including the bass-thumping Hot Girls, and bouncy Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! before slowing things down with Get Myself Back.

With 10 studio albums and more than 40 singles to choose from, Amuro does an excellent job of balancing the old with the new. Amazingly nimble and looking much younger than her 35 years, she moved seamlessly back and forth through time with her songs; she had the crowd jumping up and down to her new electronic single, In The Spotlight (Tokyo), then tugged at their heartstrings while singing her 1996 hit, A Walk In The Park, as a video of her performing the track earlier in her career was shown.

Amuro's show seemed to come to an abrupt end after Let's Go, but we all knew there was more to come - and she duly obliged.

She kicked off a seven-song encore with hit track Try Me, from her days in the girl group Super Monkey. Things really came to an end with her performance of Say The Word, as the words "My dreams came true ..." echoed around the arena.

The only real complaint about the two-hour-plus show was Amuro's lack of communication. Rather than speaking to her fans, she chose to display dry messages on screens and held up signs.

But I doubt few in the crowd had much to moan about. Let's just hope they don't have to wait another 20 years for her to return.

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