For Father’s Day, my wife treated me to Ngọc Hạ Liveshow’s 10 Năm Sân Khấu, which was held in a small auditorium at Northern Virginia Community College. The show is part of a tour that Ngọc Hạ puts together herself to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her professional career. We left the kids with grandma on a Sunday afternoon to attend the show. I thought it would last about two hours the most and didn’t expect much from it, yet the ran almost four hours and surpassed my expectation.
Under the musical direction of pianist Nguyễn Quang and with the support from her good friends Nguyên Khang and Trần Thái Hòa, Ngọc Hạ gave fans around the Metro Area an unforgettable evening. She brought back so much memories from her successful performances including “Tình Hoài Hương” (Phạm Duy), “Đưa Em Tìm Động Hoa Vàng” (Phạm Duy), “Không Thể Và Có Thể” (Phó Đức Phương) and “Mái Đình Làng Biển” (Nguyễn Cường).
Trần Thái Hòa and Nguyên Khang gave their all as well. The duets between Ngọc Hạ and Trần Thái Hòa on “Kiếp Nào Còn Yêu Nhau” (Phạm Duy) and “Tóc Mai Sợi Vắng Sợi Dài” (Phạm Duy) were exceptional. Likewise the duets between Ngọc Hạ and Nguyên Khang on “Chân Trời Tím” (Trần Thiện Thanh) and “Trở Về Mái Nhà Xưa” (Phạm Duy) were outstanding. The surprise, unexpected duet was “Áo Anh Sứt Chỉ Đường Tà” from Trần Thái Hòa and Nguyên Khang.
Although the show was promoted as “nhạc thính phòng” (intimate music), the only performance that was closest to intimacy was Nguyên Khang’s rendition of “Cô Đơn” (Nguyễn Ánh 9), which accompanied only by piano. The rest of the tunes were backed up by the band, which consist of Nhật Huấn (synth), Nhật Hùng (bass), Nhật Hải (guitar) and Doanh Huỳnh (drums).
What made 10 Năm Sân Khấu a memorable show was that the three established singers are at the top of their game. Pianist Nguyễn Quang also had done an excellent job of holding down the keyboard as well as keeping the band in tuned. I am so glad to see Ngọc Hạ made the necessary investment on the show and it well paid off. If the show comes to a city near you, definitely worth checking out.