Xu Wei may be one of Chinese mainland's biggest music stars but he didn't look the part as he stepped on to the stage to announce his concert tour, The Day, which kicks off at Beijing Workers Gymnasium tomorrow. Sitting around in black T-shirt, jacket and jeans, Xu answered questions in leisurely fashion and only warmed up when he picked up his guitar and started singing some of his hits, like Journey and Blue Lotus. The chilly, cramped room suddenly felt more like an arena.
Xu Wei will start his concert tour, The Day, at Beijing Workers Gymnasium tomorrow.
As it happens, Xu, 41, doesn't need to talk too much - tickets were sold out about a month ago. Back in 2005 when he held his second solo concert, Forever Youth, his guitar skills and classic songs delighted 30,000 fans, who sang along on a glorious summer evening.
Xu is totally relaxed about how it will go at the same venue this time.
"I feel comfortable and relaxed because for me the concert is much more like a friends' gathering," he says. "All I need to do is sing for them and they will join in."
Born and raised in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Xu's love affair with rock 'n' roll began when he got his first guitar at the age of 14 and since that is more than 20 years ago, his lyrics tell of a rebellious youth, courtships and yearning for lost romance. What lifted him to his lofty pedestal, though, was the heartfelt music that echoes in people's hearts.
Mainland singer Pu Shu, a guest performer tomorrow night, says: "His songs are my life. I remember sitting in my bedroom, listening to his albums and thinking 'How does he know what I'm going through better than I do?'". The two are longtime friends and share similar tastes in music but surprisingly, tomorrow will be their first time on stage together.
Xu has his own band called Fly, made up of like-minded friends from Xi'an. They joined the rebellious teenager in 1992 and hit the road to pursue their dreams, singing at clubs and small venues to make ends meet.