You may have known of or even attended Pitbull’s concert on April 7 and Katy Perry’s concert from April 21 to 22. How do you feel about their arrival in Shanghai? Excited? Joyful? Another activity to take part in? Chinese music fans feel that these occasions were marvelous and unbelievable! I say this, because it is their first time coming to China and one of their few times coming to Asia. Moreover their performances mean that there will be a lot that we can expect in the near future.

I went to Katy Perry’s concert on April 21, the first day of the concert. It was just as I expected: so many people were coming to fill the whole stadium. Young students were holding their cameras and kept screaming; couples hugged while sharing this moment when they were listening to the sound that they have listened to on iPods for years; some people smiled, some people went crazy, and some just burst into tears. It was just like the time when Americans watched the concert of Paul Simon and Garfunkel in 1960s, when they heard the lyrics of the sound of silence.

I remember years ago when there was only one radio station broadcasting the American Countdown every Sunday afternoon. It was during my time in junior high school that most people around me heard for the first time about Katy Perry, Eminem, Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, Rihanna, Justin Bieber…. All of those big hits that were thought as fashionable, but rustic by American high school students became super idols of ours. We download the MV of Love Story, though we didn’t know Taylor Swift was actually famous for regularly changing boyfriends; we talked about Linkin Park, without knowing any other rock bands, and girls from all ages went crazy for Justin Bieber, totally uninformed that he was a symbol of disgrace… Years ago when One Direction came, we finally knew that they sound quite “gay” and may better suit teenagers rather than adults —— thanks to the Internet!

However, we are not shy about all those awkward and funny experiences that we’ve shared together. Believe it or not, the sound of Westlife (Yeah how old they are! Still popular in China), though they may not have even known of this huge Eastern market at that time, encouraged hundreds of young people in China. Avril Lavigne became a huge fashion icon in China and totally changed people’s view of Rock ’n’ Roll. It’s just like magic, opening a window for all of us.

This is why people are so excited that Katy Perry came to Shanghai. In my view, these experiences can be far more than a concert, like realising a dream of your childhood, a time that you cherish your dreams most. So, thank you, Western music for coming to Shanghai!

This article was written by Allison Chesky. Send an email to to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Emma Tao

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