Five years since his debut in 2013, performing, as the youngest solo act at 28 and first solo artist under 30, back-to-back concerts at a sold-out-in-minutes Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird’s Nest) that has seated 90,000 sports fans for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and held the likes of Mayday, Jackie Chan, Eason Chan, and Song Zuying, Hua Chenyu managed to deliver two magical 2018 Mars Concerts that not only lived up to the stadium’s illustrious legacy, but took it to a whole new level.

Five-year promise

An utterly extravagant affair filled with verve, fervidity, and imagination, the concerts felt more than shows that were larger-than-life — they were a promise honored, and a communion cherished.

Here’s a video of Hua talking about his five-year promise with Martians (as Hua Chenyu fans are called) at the 2018 September 9 Mars Concert.

Video by Hua Chenyu FanSubs

Stage design

In a stadium of this size and scale, grandiose and over-the-top stage designs are not ostentations, but necessities.

Such as this ginormous, glowy hand moving slowly above the audience with Hua standing in its palm — it brings the pièce de résistance closer to the audience.

Hua Chenyu performing “Here We Are” at 2018 September 8 Mars Concert. Video by ya A

Or this jaw-dropping showcase of wire-work that enables Hua to fly freely above his audience and even do consecutive somersaults like he just trained with Cirque du Soleil or something.

Hua Chenyu performing “Mayfly (蜉蝣)” at 2018 September 8 Mars Concert. Video by 小调Der.
Click here to watch a short clip of Hua doing aerial barrel rolls.

Or this giant inflatable demon king that ought to loom ominously on stage but somehow looked adorable and protective around Hua Hua.

Photo by HUAHUA-LOOK

In all the panoply of magnificent lighting and thunderous sound, there was also nuance and meticulous attention to detail, like this stunning stage of a glaring white recliner backlighting a latex-clad Hua in blood red writhing and choking out his experimental masterpiece “Cancer”.

Hua Chenyu performing “Cancer (癌)” at 2018 September 8 Mars Concert. (Warning: This song is intended to depict the dire effects of cancer. Abort if you do not like it.) Video by FDU华晨宇复旦火星村

Costumes & props

Bathed in the riveting stage effects, the costumes and stage props added more spectacle to the already sumptuous visual feast. While Hua was igniting the stage with breakneck rapping in “Call Me Contra”, did you know that the jacket he was wearing featured millions worth of crystals sponsored by Swarovski and was handcrafted by Hua’s long-time friend and fashion designer Jin Chongyu (金翀宇)?

Hua Chenyu performing “Call Me Contra (代号魂斗罗)” at 2018 September 8 Mars Concert. Video by yu A.

And behold this crimson demonic snake of a mic stand that can be beheaded when Hua feels like it.

Band

In this year’s Mars concerts, Hua was accompanied by his long-time band and backup singers, and they settled in like fingers in a glove. Here’s Hua singing “For My Future Child (写给未来的孩子)” backed by lion-maned guitarist Zhao Le. Hua dedicated the song to his good friend and actress Zhang Xinyi. (Zhang is pregnant with her first child.)

Hua Chenyu performing “For My Future Child” at 2018 September 8 Mars Concert. Video by FDU华晨宇复旦火星村

Everyone got their wishes

The three-hour long, 28-song setlist (with variations in the setlists for the two concerts) undoubtedly ticked off a lot of Martians’ wish lists of songs they would like to hear live. Since there are no official videos of the concerts, here are a few high-quality audience-shot videos of songs that might be on your wish list.

After the concerts, many Martians probably also ticked “singing karaoke in the Bird’s Nest” off their bucket list. Wanna know how they did?

And Hua Chenyu also got to fulfill his wish of singing his self-written stadium rock song “Why Nobody Fights” in an actual high-capacity stadium.

Hua Chenyu performing “Why Nobody Fights” at 2018 September 8 Mars Concert. Video by Hua Chenyu FanSubs.

With such heartfelt performances presented with the utmost sincerity, the atmosphere was as incendiary and contagious as wild fire. Here’s a video of a security guard at the Bird’s Nest, Martianized.

Banter

And there was levity, too, and bantz galore. Martians and Hua Hua fell comfortably into the old routine of Martians chanting “Strip!” and Hua Chenyu reluctantly removing a jacket, followed by Hua proclaiming loudly “This is a PG concert”. And this year, with Hua denoting himself as “uncle” of Zhang Xinyi’s unborn baby, Martians were quick to claim the title of “aunts” for themselves. Zhang later posted on Weibo that she’s happy her baby gets to have 90,000 aunties and thanked Uncle Hua Hua for the lovely song.

A new world

This year, after singing a tear-jerking “I Am What I Am (我)” — the customary ending song for all previous Mars Concerts — Hua added a new song “A New World” to wrap up this two-day revelry. And we’re happy to accompany Hua Hua into this stunning new world of unbound possibilities and exciting unknowns, and wish him the best on his journey to explore new boundaries of music and in all his future endeavors.

Hua’s new songs performed at the concerts to get you through the days till the next Mars Concert:

Hua Chenyu performing “Bullfighting” at 2018 September 8 Mars Concert. Video by 華晨宇全球歌迷會港澳分會Chenyu Hua HKnMAC Fan’s Club.

17 Replies to “2018 Mars Concerts Recap: A Promise Honored”

  1. Thank you for the detailed recap and videos/photos!

    I hear Hua Hua’s throat is in pretty bad condition—to the point that he had to get an injection. I’m also hearing Mars is calling for the resignation/firing on Hua Hua’s manager for overworking Hua Hua. What in the world is going on? 😱

    1. I’ve been seeing similar things on various platforms, but the machine translation is difficult to understand. Perhaps someone on the HCYN team can give us an update?

      1. Unfortunately the machine translation is correct. It’s exactly as Martian Drumstick said. Hua’s throat is in pretty bad condition and he said he had a numbing injection for his throat at the Sept 9 concert. As you can see from Hua’s schedule, he’ll be very busy in the near future. (Please note that I did not include rehearsals and unannounced events in the Schedule page. But Hua also has to film Hunan TV’s mid-autumn festival gala on Sept. 17. The event hasn’t been officially announced. And Hua almost always goes to rehearsals for his shows/events, he even went to all rehearsals of The Coming One except Ep 11 when he had to prepare for his concerts, because he’s a responsible mentor and wants to help his students the best he can. So for lots of events he had to work for 2 days (rehearsal+actual performance). And looking at the venues of his future events, you also have to take into account time spent on the road. He’d be flying from one city to another daily in the near future. And these events all require him to sing when his throat is already feeling unwell. But none of us Martians actually works at Hua’s company so it’s impossible for us to know what’s really going on. And sometimes we do tend to overworry. But still… And since Hua’s company holds all the cards, posting on Weibo is probably our only recourse😭😭😭

        He also rehearsed (Sept 14) and performed (Sept 15) The Giant Deer on last week’s The Coming One, and now someone on Weibo is saying that he has a four-hour interview on Sept 19 😭😭😭

  2. Thank you for your answer. Unfortunately, this is a common practice by management companies of well-loved and admired singers. They want to “cash in” as much as possible for as long as possible with no regard to the health and well-being of the performers. The singers themselves get little to nothing in return financially; most of the profit – sometimes as high as 90% – goes directly into the pockets of the management companies. They do it because they can – because restrictive and horrendous contracts force singers to comply with all of the management’s demands. Almost all K-pop groups work under similar conditions, and even many western singers and groups (like One Direction) have had to suffer under the same things. We can only hope that he will be free of them as soon as possible and find a management group that will treat him with the respect he deserves.

    1. This is the fifth year of his eight-year contract with the current company (EE-Media). So there are still three years to go 😭. We’re worried his voice might suffer irreversible damage if this gruelling schedule continues.

  3. Still do not understand what was happened this night (machine translations are not that GREAT, ah?), I just want to tell the world that I do only believe in Huahua alone and also ‘For Forever’, will also love you ‘For Forever’, will care about you, waiting for you and I am so proud to proclaim myself as a ‘Martian’ but also because of YOU.

    I really do not love to do somethings so publicly, such as post my comment on the site, it really is not my style. But now I just want to stand up here to say something in my mind.

    In my life, I do not believe in forever but I want to learn to trust your ‘For Forever’. So, now, I do not care what other people think, I only need to know about my true mind and have a true care for you.

    I am somewhat stupid when it come to the feeling things (or myself felt like that) Also, English and Chinese are not my mother language so I really do have some barrier here…. (that why in times I’m not that willing to talk with others as I can’t find other Martians in my place (or not be that brave….)) But also, because I am stupid in this so I think that my likes are very pure and simple, just look at you, listen to you, think about you, and I feel I like it, it’s an instinct and I do believe in my instinct, so, please all complicated things go to hell, ah!

    Wish you have all the best, Big bro! Be healthy soon and please do not only love your music and stay true to it but also to love your own body a little more!

    (It took a lot of time to write this…. I am so tired…)
    (Also, thank you so much for your detailed report, I am appeciated it, also I am sorry for only read it but not comment all the time before! Felt a bit bad for this…. Sorry.)
    (Feel somewhat meaningless in doing this but I do a bit crazy this night and need to release it…😂)
    (Supports for Big Bro and all the Martians!)
    (I really do not understand what was happened this night and also do not want to understand it now, being curious is not that good! Also I need to sleep and go to work tomorrow, but maybe I will mail to you in near future? Just maybe now! Thanks for all!!!)
    (Is it really good to appeared here? Very tangle, and used about half a hour to stuggle with myself…)
    (40 minutes now…….)
    (Just be it!)

      1. Hey, it’s OK, no need to panic. Are you sure you want to delete the previous comment? If you’re sure, I’ll delete it for you.

    1. It’s a really beautiful comment! I’m a firm believer that the beauty of good writing is the beauty of passion and sincerity, not of flashy words or rhetoric. Please don’t feel pressured or anything, just do whatever makes you comfortable. Good luck with your work and take care!

  4. I’m hearing now that there’s an audio interview circulating around Weibo. Purportedly, it’s an interview with Hua Hua’s manager badmouthing him. This is so frustrating 😠

    1. Yes, we’re not sure whether the audio is real or not. I saw screenshots of it but didn’t find the actual audio. And it’s just his manager saying his schedule is not busy at all and blaming Hua Hua for not taking care of his own body. It also said that Hua went to the hospital again yesterday and to keep it quiet. It’s infuriating. Hua’s speaking voice already sounded hoarse in the fancam two days ago where he was rehearsing for Hunan TV’s gala. He has visible needle marks on his throat from pictures taken recently. His manager has been utilizing all sorts of PR moves of questionable ethics to counteract Martians’ demand to give Hua Hua his basic labor rights. With Weibo’s built in mechanism of deleting certain trending topics and promoting certain content (for a fee), all grassroot campaigns are doomed from the start against established entities with power and capital. If anyone has any idea on how we can save Hua Hua, please share with us. Time is running out.

        1. Good idea! Baidu and Youku is doable I think. But someone’s saying on Weibo that there’s a recent crack down on illegal crowd funding or something.

          1. Hua Hua posted on Weibo: “Stop.” I think it’s to tell Martians to stop blowing this up (since he said he uses Weibo for the purpose of communicating with Martians). We should respect his wishes.

            In other news though, allegedly the audio interview was an illegal recording between the manager and someone who impersonated an interviewer, so an investigation has begun (awaiting confirmation).

          2. More or less so. But nothing’s getting resolved. Hua still has that gruelling schedule. There’s a picture of Hua at the hospital waiting to take a shot (possibly for his throat) at 10 pm on Sept 16. He was called away for work before he was able to get the shot. He rehearsed until 3 am on Sept 17. He also had to do the actual performance later that same day. He posted on weibo at 2 am on Sept 19. And yesterday while the weibo audio debacle was going down, Hua was doing a photoshoot with South People Weekly magazine (南方人物周刊). He’s been working till the wee hours almost every day for the past week 😢.

  5. Are they still adding more events to his schedule, or is he only fulfilling what’s already scheduled prior to the whole debacle?

    1. Not sure tbh. They haven’t officially announced anything new. But a lot of (especially behind-the-scenes) events Hua attended were never made public in the first place, like this photoshoot (and possible interview) with South People Weekly yesterday, or Hunan TV’s gala a few days ago.

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