The Asian invasion was back at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort this weekend with the Vietnamese Autumn Breeze bringing some of the biggest names in Vietnamese entertainment. Most of the show was spoken in Vietnamese, but there was a scattering of English thrown in for good measure.
Due to a pretty cold evening, at least compared to recent nights this week, the audience was somewhat thin. Checking inside, it was obvious that many concertgoers made a last-minute decision to try their luck inside the casino rather than brave the elements outside.
Kicking off the show were the emcees for the evening, Leyna Nguyen and Trinh Hoi. As in past Asian shows I’ve attended, it was fun trying to figure out what was going on. At one point, Nguyen and Hoi were talking in Vietnamese, and Nguyen started saying “chop chop” and using her fingers as scissors. Hoi paled and the audience was on the floor laughing, so you can only imagine what they were talking about. Once I realized what they were talking about, I think I went pale too.
The first artists out of the gate were singing duo Truc Linh and Truc Lam. They brought along with them a small dance troop. The audience was pretty non-responsive through their set, as they were for most of the evening, until the later acts. Linh and Lam are sisters in their mid- to late-20s and got their start in 1992, when they performed for the first time in public for a television program in Saigon.
They sang two songs, “Xin Cho Anh Yeu” and “Bang Bang.”
Huong Thuy, a singer from southern Vietnam known for Ca dao and Cai Luong singing, was up next. Thuy appears frequently on the long-running Vietnamese diaspora variety show, “Paris by Night.”
Thuy sang “Ben Song Cho” and “Hop Mat Lan Cuoi.” The audience was a little more upbeat when she first came out but quickly settled down.
Vu Khanh, one of the crooners of the night, came out singing “Yeu.” As he started his second song, Y Lan joined him and they sang “Chieu” and “Tram Nho Ngan Thuong.” This was met with quite a bit of applause.
Lan finished off with a solo of “What’s Up,” which she sang in English. She did an awesome job, hitting the high notes spot on. This got a partial standing ovation ““ remember most of these people were freezing.
My favorite act of the night was Tuan Anh. She ““ scratch that ““ He came out making a couple of jokes. I have no idea what he was saying, but I was on the floor laughing. This guy is just plain funny with his mannerisms, accents and, of course, his style ““ very comical, but once he started singing, it’s obvious he’s a singer first, comedian second. He sang “Em Lat Tat Ca” and “I Who Have Nothing.”
Trieu Minh hopped on stage and sang “Chi La Di Vang” and “Tinh Yeu Khong Quat Ve.” She sounded great,
and at one point she had the dance crew join her onstage.
Bang Kieu was up next singing “Chuyen Tinh Yeu” and “Nang Hoi.” He was a mix between crooner and pop.
Comedian duo Bao Liem and Bao Vy came out to a cool reception, but by the middle of their set they had the audience laughing. It’s at this point I wish I knew what the two were going on about, since I started laughing without knowing why.
The second crooner of the evening was heart throb Quang Dung ““ yes, I said dung. Stop laughing! It’s the guy’s name! So, Dung came out singing “Vi Ngot Doi Moi” and “Vet Thu Tren Lung Nguoi Hoang.” I heard many of the women screaming. I’m thinking they must have sat on a cold chair or something.
Headlining the evening’s event was Toc Tien. This young lady wanted to be a doctor as she was growing up and still aspires to do so, but her singing career has temporarily sidetracked her. She has a wonderfully soulful sound and definitely got the crowd going. She was the only performer of the evening who really got the entire crowd cheering. She is an awesome performer and earned the right to headline such an event.
As I’ve said before, although I don’t speak Vietnamese, it was interesting to attend a concert where you can’t understand the language. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what language you speak when listening to music. It’s what moves you that counts.