Ron "Ran" Waite Wing

In Concert: Magdalen Hsu-Li

Magdalen Hsu-Li  and link

Magdalen Hsu-Li  
by Ran

     I had missed the chance, a few times, to see her perform, but the third time was a charm.  She appeared at the Shrine Student Center at Syracuse University on November 13, 2005.  I was very pleased that I got the chance to meet her on my birthday—because it was an incredible present.  This was part of her "Smashing the Ceiling" tour—which is also the title of her latest CD (which she wrote, performed, and helped produce). It was a performance that was entertaining from start to finish.  Performing with her was Dale Fanning on drums, while Magdalen played both a guitar and an electric piano.

  With a backdrop of windows and hanging stained glass pieces, when she took the stage she thanked the audience for the applause.  She said "this is so cozy, like a coffee house."  Grabbing her guitar, this OUT entertainer, of Chinese decent, then took us through some of the best of her repertoire.  Her voice is crystal clear, and very melodic.  She started the show with a song from the latest CD, entitled "No Ordinary Girl," and included others: such as "Change the World," and "Mary Magdalene."  A song entitled "That Ain't Me" was a standout, but the song is not currently on any of her CDs.  As she explained it, "when all else fails, you just gotta say 'that ain't me'."  She was open about her bisexuality and chatted about her southern upbringing.  We were also treated to gems like "Fire," "Redefinition," and "Laramie."  Another standout number for this evening was "Spirit of the World."  Magdalen picked up a djembe, threw her hair back and let loose.  She and Dale Fanning rocked the house with this number—the combination of both types of drums was absolutely out of this world! 

  It came as a surprise to me that she had recorded an EP as her male alter ego: Chinga Chonga.  The next song was from this CD, entitled "Chink," another standout song.  She ended the evening with songs from Chinga Chonga.  She added a codicil to the next song "if there are any Republicans in the audience, this is a good time to leave!" She then sang a ragtime-like song entitled "Fuck Bush."  Earlier in the evening she had made it clear how she feels about George W.  The evening was a wonderful combination of eclectic styles, all of them enjoyable.  But the time had come, and she received thunderous applause as she left the stage.  For an encore, she did a rockin' punk-country number from the Chinga Chonga CD, entitled "Country Fried Chinese Girl."

  This live show was musical, original and thought-provoking.  She told us that "I used to be a painter before I became a musician.  Sometimes I think my painting still comes through my songs."  It does: loud and clear, in bright, vivid colors, it is a tapestry of originality for everyone to enjoy.  It is obvious why she has received rave reviews in Curve, The Advocate, Performing Songwriter, Rockrgirl, Voice of America, Girlfriends, Bamboo Girl, Women's Monthly, and hundreds of newspapers across the country.  This truly unique artist can be found on the Internet at <>.

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