ICE (杨长青): 1st World Tour, Crown Melbourne Therapy, Melbourne, March 8th 2024 – Live Review

I first heard about ICE (杨长青) in 2022 through Call Me By Fire Season 2 where I was captivated by his personality and talents. I remember absolutely loving him and all his performances. He was fun, friendly, and very passionate about the arts. Strangely enough, I never found myself looking further into his music after the show ended. Thankfully, with the announcement of his first world tour, Ice On The Way, ICE finally visited down under.

On a beautiful night, ICE took Melbourne by storm on Friday the 8th March at Crown Melbourne Therapy. The venue was instantly hyped up when ICE took the stage to perform ‘OI’ but to ICE, this was not enough. He mentioned it’s his first show in Australia and shared that he may not know what the culture and people are like in Melbourne but told everyone in the audience not to be shy and let their passion out. ICE was happy to be the mediator of emotions for patrons, hoping that the crowd’s energy matched his own.

His words definitely resonated with the Melbourne audience as the cheers were more energetic for his songs, ‘小李飞刀 (Xiaoli Feidao)’ and ‘When I Rap’. Dressed casually in a white tee and beige cargo pants, I felt ICE really tried connecting through eye contact and exerted his energy through songs, ‘潇洒 (Xiaosa)’, ‘像我一样超 (Just Do It Like Me)’, and ‘高手’.

While trying to take a quick sip of water, fans screamed for him to take off his top which he denied and stated that they needed to act more civilized. This response gained laughs and cheers from the crowd. ICE mentioned he may have gained some weight through the Chinese New Year holiday period, with the intention of losing it through lots of traveling and being out and about on his 1st World Tour. Instead, he had been feasting on fried chicken, burgers, and even hot pot. ICE jokingly mentioned that he could invest in buying a fake abs shirt to satisfy the crowd the next time he comes back.

After ‘Make It Real’, the first peak of the night was ‘Rapping Freestyle’ where ICE picked a member of the audience to go on stage and sing with him. The lucky fan earned loud cheers as he followed along without missing a beat. The lucky fan also mentioned that he was a big fan of ICE, had been following him for years, and was happy to be able to see him up close with this opportunity at the Melbourne concert.

Not long after, my personal favourite song of the set, ‘七秒短暂头痛 (Seven Second Headache)’ was played. At the concert there were LED panels were used throughout the night, but this song made me feel that the visuals really enhanced the experience. The colourful and flashing imagery casted shades of blue and red onto ICE, setting the scene of this beautiful RNB track.

The calm didn’t last for long with ICE moving onto ‘Something Real’ and he ended up jumping off stage mid song to walk to the centre of the venue floor. Engulfed in the Melbourne crowd, ICE had the time of his life jumping up and down and singing amongst his fans. To my surprise, patrons were extremely respectful over his personal space and made this special experience streamline and stress free. In comparison, I’ve seen many artists try and get up close and personal with fans, which generally ends up a bit disruptive and messy. But I loved that ICE and his fans were able to have such a great interaction without any of the negatives.

Before I realised, ICE turned the show into a music video set, filming footage for his ‘愿望清单 (Wishlist)’ music video. But the energy was truly revved up during the song ‘荡漾 (Ripples)’ when the Melbourne audience happily waved their arms and chanted the lyrics together.

This next segment was truly my cup of tea and I loved every second of it. Starting with ‘See U Tomorrow’, ‘Vibey‘, ‘某某 (Someone)’ and ‘时间探戈 (Time Tango)’. ICE provided a series of chilled and relaxing songs that you couldn’t help but bop along too. Once again, the LED panels did a great job at setting the mood with shades of pink and purple, and there were also fun animations displayed such as floating cars, greenery, and flying donuts.

Simple and sweet, ICE introduces his next song wishing that everyone is forever surrounded by love, to believe in love and be courageous in love. He too was surrounded by love, with a fan gifting him a bouquet of flowers at the start of ‘爱是 (Love Is)’ that he carefully held closely to his heart. ICE even signed the generous fan’s albums as a gesture of gratitude for accepting her flowers after he finished the song.

The energy was incredible and ‘C.I.D.W.U’ had every bouncing up and down before a starry ocean formed from phone torches during ‘21克 (21 Carat)’ that had fans swaying side to side. The passionate singing chanting was back during ‘Want U Back’ with the excited and passionate voices of Melbourne patrons echoing throughout the Crown Therapy venue.

Noises of negotiation filled the room with all the male fans in audience eagerly raising their hands wanting to be picked to go on stage with ICE. Very quickly, the stage was filled with 7 lucky fans collectively jamming to ‘No Pain No Gain’. The most anticipated song of the night brought‘隆里电丝 (Lonely Dance)’ brought a lot of cheers, very clearly crowd favourite and inspiring every single person in the audience to whip their phones out to capture the iconic moment.

However, the most heart touching moment of the night was when ICE performed ‘陪着你走 (Walk With You)’. It seemed the venue had a strict 9pm finish so ICE tried to rush and squeeze his last song in. Unfortunately, his microphone was cut off before the song began, which prompted a big crowd sing along before the music itself was also cut off halfway through. Determined to finish, ICE led the crowd to an acapella version of the song. At one point, I heard an excited fanboy next to me shout, “This song is my youth! My high school memories are coming back to me!” and he, like many in the venue, continued to sing along loudly to their heart’s content. When the song ended, ICE yelled defiantly, “They can disconnect my microphone but can’t stop me from singing!”.

You could see ICE’s pure love for music. His passion, his love for his work, as well as his fans and how they bonded really stood out to me. This whole situation really stuck with me. Every time ICE interacted with the audience, they were all genuine actions coming from the heart. You could feel in the room the love and respect that ICE and his fans had for each other, collectively, warmly and comfortably basking in each other’s presence.

ICE stated at the beginning of the concert that he was the emotions mediator for us. I didn’t understand it at first, but I sure felt it as I left the venue after the concert concluded. ICE is a born entertainer. He knows how to pull those inner emotions; he would have a song for every situation in life and I can’t believe it took me so long to be exposed to his work. I’m looking forward to hearing more of his music and hope that I have another chance to catch him performing live again. His energy is unmatched.

ICE (杨长青) toured Australia as part of his 1st World Tour proudly presented by Box Live. ICE performed in Melbourne on Friday the 8th of March 2024 at Crown Melbourne Therapy and in Sydney on Sunday the 10th of March at Home The Venue. The Melbourne concert was attended for the purpose of this review.
For more information and ticketing, visit:—australia

Photography by Noah ‘Hogi’ Kwak, supplied by Box Live.

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