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Shanghai Joins in Live Earth's Global Chorus
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China's contribution to the Live Earth worldwide show was a low-profile concert in Shanghai on Saturday. Veteran British singer Sarah Brightman led a pack of domestic pop stars hailing from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The three-hour show went on despite the rain, as part of an international effort to promote further action against climate change.

All 3,000 tickets had been sold by Friday, organizers said, with the concert also being moved back from 8:00 PM to 6:30 PM to allow more people to catch the last subway towards home.

Despite the inclement weather, Chinese people turned out to see mainland actor Huang Xiaoming, Twelve Girls Band, Hong Kong singers Eason Chan and Joey Yung as well as Italian-Macanese duo Soler, Taiwan's Evonne Hsu and Winnie Hsin show their stuff on the Orbis stage, on the steps of the famous Oriental Pearl Tower.

At the opening ceremony, a pro-environment message went out to the audience, encouraging them to use their own chopsticks instead of disposable ones and to use online paying downloads for music instead of buying real CDs.

The concert then opened with Evonne Hsu singing Lost in Venice. Highlights of the night included heartthrob Huang Xiaoming breaking out a bossa nova number with a group of dancers, before the 12 Girls Band delighted the crowd with folk song Jasmine Flower followed by a classical medley. Joey Yung sang her iconic hit I Can Fly, followed by her ballad Xiao Xiao. Winnie Shin then introducer her new song, Answer of Love.

However, the undisputed star of the show was Sarah Brightman who thrilled the crowd with iconic hits Don't Cry for Me Argentina, Anytime Anywhere and La Luna. Microphone failure interrupted her performance for around 10 minutes but the established diva came back with Time to Say Goodbye, before Eason Chan then closed out the display with his song, Gone To Waste.
Live Earth Shanghai was filmed for broadcast by the Shanghai Media Group, was shown live on the Art & Entertainment channel and will be replayed on Dragon TV one week later, with other Chinese stations expected to follow suit within a few days.

"It is the first time that the global environment protection movement issued such a strong call from China," said Khalid Malik, an official from the United Nations Development Program. Lee Charteris, Live Earth China Ambassador, said they also hoped that the movement would be followed by a global effort "to make everybody on this planet realize that we should act now and solve the climate crisis in time to avoid catastrophe."    

To showcase the Live Earth message, tissues and hand soap used at the concert site were recycled, and a team of volunteers worked to keep the site free of litter. Various elements of the show, from lighting to electricity generation, were designed to be eco-friendly and "green", thus becoming part of the "Green Event Standard" touted by the organizers.

However, according to the Oriental Morning Post, most spectators cared little for the environmental protection concept, only turning up to see their favorite stars.

Created by former United States Vice President Al Gore, the international music event aims to promote awareness about global warming and offer avenues for energy conservation to every person in the world. The Chinese government revealed a broad plan to tackle global warming last month, promising to curb greenhouse gas emissions and to promote international cooperation.

The 24-hour concerts, featuring more than 150 artists including headliners like Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi and The Police, were held around the world in Hamburg, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, New York, Washington D.C., Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Tokyo.

Following the model of 1985's Live Aid and Live 8 in 2005, Live Earth reportedly hopes to reach up to 2 billion people through radio, television and the Internet.

Sarah Brightman

Joey Yung

Eason Chan

Evonne Hsu

Winnie Hsin

Huang Xiaoming,

Twelve Girls Band

Anthony Wong

(China.org.cn by Zhang Rui July 8, 2007)

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