Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Found this 2007 Las Vegas Review-Journal Article

Ring in the New Year 

Concerts mark Chinese lunar celebration 


Taiwanese popster A-mei performs tonight, as well as rockers Mayday and Shin Band and singer Jackie Chan.

It's the most celebrated event in the world, and it's coming to Las Vegas, a town that needs no excuse to party -- hey, the sun came up today, let's do a shot.
Commemorated by more than a billion people, the Chinese lunar new year is a massive celebration.

This year, the festivities are coming to Vegas with Fusion, two nights of concerts at the Aladdin Theatre that pair some of China's biggest pop stars with their American counterparts.
Tonight, Asian performers take the stage, among them Taiwanese popster A-mei, rockers Mayday and Shin Band and singer/actor Jackie Chan.
Tomorrow, Fusion features U.S. radio staples Kanye West, Gnarls Barkley, Lupe Fiasco and others.
The show will be broadcast in China on the Hunan television network, where it's expected to draw an audience in the tens of millions, perhaps more.
Televised Chinese new year's events have been in Australia and Europe in the past, but this is the first time something like Fusion is coming to the States.
"Las Vegas is a very popular destination for China," says Dan McKeon, vice president of marketing for AOB Media, which has helped put together Fusion. "They really believe in luck and making sure that the gods are on your side, per see. Las Vegas is kind of the symbol of the American spirit."
Tonight's Fusion headliner, Jackie Chan, is a symbol of this East-West crossover, a famous actor in America who has also established himself as a popular singer in China.
"Jackie Chan is one of those bygone performers that we used to have here in the early days of cinema where they actually put together song, dance and acting," McKeon says. "He's really a jack of all trades. We brought the concept to him of bringing together American and Chinese entertainment, and he just fell in love with it."
Another big Chinese draw is singer Li Yu Chun, who recently starred on "Supergirls," a Chinese equivalent of "American Idol."
"They had 400 million viewers watch the last episode -- more people than in the United States and Great Britain combined," McKeon says of "Supergirl." "She is huge. And we anticipate about the same viewership."
For the American acts on the bill, Fusion provides a chance to get exposed to the mammoth Chinese audience, a largely untapped market that U.S. artists are beginning to crack.
"Kanye West just came back from China -- he's got a huge following there," McKeon says. "They're all excited about getting into China."
AOB Media has a four-year contract to put on Fusion, and it's set to become an annual event.
The event's off to a promising start: This year's installment is as outsized as Las Vegas itself.
"We wanted to do something that's never been done before," McKeon says. "We wanted to bust down the doors and just say, 'In America, we can do it as big as possible.' "

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