How Christians React to Huang Kuo Lun’s Concert

Evening scene: The National Stadium or Bird's Nest (left)
Evening scene: The National Stadium or Bird's Nest (left)
By Josiah LiOctober 13th, 2017

Huang Kuo Lun's "All Things Are Possible" concert in the National Stadium (or Bird's Nest) was held on the evening of Sep. 23. Over 20 songs were sung with the theme of "Dreams." However, there were no Gospel songs at all.

There were about 20,000 to 30,000 people at the stadium, covering only one-third of the seats. Most of the front seats with higher prices were empty.

Huang appeared on stage with the cheering of the audience. He sang "The Power of Dreams," "Let Dreams Take Off," and many other songs.  He also talked about his life story as he sang: writing songs in high school, winning music contests, quitting his four-year stable job to pursue music. He also talked about the ups and downs in pursuing the music dream. He worked ten years in variety shows; however, he never gave up his dream on music even though it took him 25 years.

Huang also sang "In the Morning," the very first song he wrote in high school, as well as songs he composed in college and many famous songs.

Guest singers were also invited on stage, including Sophia Huang, Gloria Tang Tsz-Kei, Kim Ji-mun, and Emil Wakin Chau. They all sang songs by Huang, and some also performed their own.

Huang asked Sophia, Gloria, and Emil when they got on the stage if they ever held a concert in the Bird's Nest. They all said "No." Huang then exclaimed that "all things ARE possible" since none of these great singers did it, but he made it.

Huang also talked about another dream of his - love - while talking about his pursuit of music. In the song "Dare to Love," he sang "though hurtful, love always." He asked the audience four times in his singing "Do you dare to love?"

In the song "The Time of Tiny Love," he called for the listeners to give their tiny light of love to society.

Two hours after the concert started, Nancy Kou, Huang's wife, came on stage. Huang thanked his wife for supporting him no matter what. Kou replied that she buys her husband's dream and not luxuries.

By the time people thought the concert ended, (the ticket said two hours) quite unexpectedly, Huang asked the guest singers to guess what he was going to sing. It was a very popular song by him. "'I'm Willing' by Faye Wong," said Sophie. (Note: lyrics by Yao Qian) Huang continued, "This song was the turning point of my life. Every love and dream came from this song," ("I'm Willing" was reportedly a gift for God.)

Prior to this concert, many Christian Wechat subscription accounts gave publicity about it. Some even claimed that the concert was a revival to attract Christians around China to attend.

It was not hard to spot Christians at the concert. While queuing, a sister told a bystander that she was attending Huang's concert and Huang is a Christian; Some audience members had "Holiness to the Lord" and "Jesus" on their clothes; a brother in his 30s shouted "Hallelujah" twice while checking in; people from different seating areas began singing hymns before it started, like "God Be With Us Here," "We need to Praise the Lord," and more; when Huang was singing "I'm singing in the Bird Nest," someone next to me shouted "Hallelujah" and "Amen," which drew peculiar looks from others.

I interviewed several Christians after the concert about why they came and how they felt. Among the interviewees were locals from Beijing and people from other places, young and old, city folks and people from the countryside dressed very simply.

Over 200 believers from a rural church in Hebei Province rented several coaches and left after it ended.

When asked about why they came, people gave various reasons, including "for the glory of God," "to bless China," "touched by the same spirit as Huang," "being supportive, since they're one family." One also expressed reasons other than the fact that Huang is a Christian. This was their first time watching a concert, and it was in the Bird's Nest!"

People held different opinions about the concert itself. Some gave positive views. "I haven't heard this for a long time that dreams can be true. It really has been so long. 'I don't buy designer handbags or other luxuries, I only buy what my husband deserves,' hearing Kou say this, it was worth it," said one Beijing preacher.

A sister who does music ministry said, "Huang was great. It was very energy-consuming to sing for so long. He is really talented for writing so many songs."

A teacher from a church in Liaoning Province, northeast China, commented, "Though he didn't sing any hymns, it was a different influence to have several Christian family members singing in the Bird's Nest. The whole concert was like the book of Esther in the Bible: it didn't mention God but every word showed the strong Christian culture. I think it was enough."

There were others who disagreed.

A believer said, "It was advertised as a Gospel concert; however, no songs related to Christ was performed. The brothers and sisters in our church are very disappointed, so many left early."

There were other negative reasons similar to the one above. People were disappointed that Huang didn't sing Christian songs nor mentioning God. They thought he didn't glorify God but himself and his wife.

Some raised questions about his singing, saying he was out of tune in his first song and some lyrics were not clear, etc.

(Note: the interviewees were mostly Christians with three non-believers. One couple was given tickets by their friend, so they went. The other was a volunteer.)

-Translated by Grace Hubl

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