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November 11, 2010

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Long live rock and roll in 'Back to Basics' show

WITH all kinds of live rock music on offer, the "Back to Basics" concert this Saturday at Shanghai Stadium stars the movers and shakers of Chinese rock history.

At the reminiscent concert, 13 stars and bands will perform their signature works, including Lo Ta-yu (Taiwan's "godfather" of rock), Zheng Jun, Wang Feng, Tang Dynasty, Black Panther and Xu Wei.

Cui Jian, known as Chinese mainland's "godfather" of rock, won't perform this time, Lo Ta-yu taking his place.

All musicians left their mark on Chinese rock history. Most are now in their 40s, and say rock and roll is still alive and well, if changing.

Shanghai is the second stop in the "Back to Basics" rock tour that began in August in the Beijing Workers Stadium - that show was sold out and everybody, young and old, sang along.

He Yong, a rock pioneer of the 1980s and 1990s, doesn't consider himself an old rocker. The 40s are a person's golden years, he says.

The core of rock spirit is love and peace rather than rage and criticism, he says, though it is usually presented in a form of rage and criticism. As they enter middle age, people often become more sensible, which makes their criticism more powerful, He says.

"Lo Ta-yu is a cultural icon who is famous for his critical spirit and his great contributions to the Chinese music industry," said Li Hui, the concert organizer.

Many other rockers, such as Xu Wei and Wang Feng, all cite Lo's influence on their work.

There are quite a few rock music festivals and live performances in China these days, and rocker Zheng Jun, who was popular in the 1990s, says rock will grow in popularity. In two or three years the industry will be more mature and professional, he says.

He expresses concern about musicians whose main objectives are instant success and profit.

"I hope rock music can keep its original altitude - music with sincere and true voices," Zheng says. "That's why we joined the field in the first place."

Date: November 13, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Stadium, 666 Tianyaoqiao Rd

Tickets: 180-1,280 yuan

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055


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