Wednesday night Grandmaster Flash was back for his sophomore appearance at Dragon-i. By midnight the club was packed inside and out, especially the area near the stage that’s built for visiting acts. When I arrived I noticed a large mob of paparazzi outside the club. It turns out that Flash wasn’t the only legend in the house!
Celebrity gawkers had a field day. In addition to Flash, Jackie Chan was in the club along with Albert Yeung, the head of the Hong Kong entertainment behemoth, Emperor Group. In their section alone there were two tables filled with Emperor Group stars including one member of the group Twins, and several new actress-singers.
Other celebs in ‘D.I.’ on Wednesday night included Naomi Campbell, who got on stage to support Flash, as well as Hollywood actor Josh Hartnett, who’s been in town filming for the past month.[photopress:Naomi_Campbell_Hong_Kong.jpg,full,pp_image]
Grandmaster Flash a pioneer and Hip Hop legend[photopress:Grandmaster_Flash_DJ_Legend.jpg,full,pp_image]
Starting his set at around 12:30, Flash began with some classic mid-nineties Hip Hop, before branching out into more recent material. The crowd was extremely receptive, throwing their hands in the air and singing out familiar lyrics when Flash commanded. Three decades of rocking parties clearly made this a walk in the park for the Grandmaster.[photopress:Dragon_I_Hong_Kong_Club.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Dragon_i_Hands_in_Air.jpg,full,pp_image]
Though veering into contemporary hits, Flash still played a good variety of classic songs. One track that stood out was the Run-D.M.C. b-side “Live at the Funhouse,” that seldom gets play. Flash scratched and cut songs frequently, holding the crowd rapt for the next needle drop. It looked like Grandmaster Flash was playing mostly vinyl records – a real rarity these days, as most touring d.j.s go purely digital.[photopress:Grandmaster_Flash_DJing_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Grand_master_Flash_Scratchi.jpg,full,pp_image]
At one point in the night, a surprise police license-check forced a stop to the music and the lights to come on. Flash navigated the inconvenience without losing steam or his cool.[photopress:Dragon_i_club_Hong_Kong_crw.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Club_Dragon_i_HK_Crowd_2.jpg,full,pp_image]
The party went right back on, perhaps with renewed momentum. Flash finished off his set with a Rock segment before playing a few more Hip Hop tracks. As new clubs come and go, it’s nights like this that make Dragon-i itself legendary.