By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
The rock band Mayday were just a bunch of students when they got started in the late 1990s, but today they’re the hottest group in Taiwan and one of the most famous bands in the Chinese-speaking world – “the Chinese Beatles”, in fact.
And Thailand finally got to see what the fuss is all about last Saturday when the quintet sold out Impact Exhibition Hall 1 with the help of fans packing in from Singapore, Japan, mainland China and their own home turf.
Singerhead songwriter Ashin (Chen Shinhung), band leader-guitarist Monster (Wen Shangyi), bassist Masa (Tsai Shenyen), guitarist Stone (Shi Chinhang) and drummer Guan You (Liu Yenming) treated the crowd of 4,000 to a show that lasted almost three hours counting the double-track encore.
This was Mayday’s 10th tour and promoted their ninth studio album, “History of Tomorrow”, which won a brace of Golden Melody Awards in Taipei last year. That disc came after a five-year hiatus that began following the release of “The Second Round” in 2011.
Mayday is among the world’s top-selling bands, with more than 200 million digital sales of “History” alone, just in Taiwan and China.
The current tour is called simply “Life”, a title taken from the song “Life Co Ltd” on the album, and the atmosphere at Impact certainly was lively, including lots of laughs as the guys chatted with each other and the fans during the show.
They started the proceedings with pizzazz, kicking off with “Party Animal”, the first single off the album, with its lyric, “Let’s go party, party all night, hey lonely, lonely goodbye.”
Then came “OAOA”, “Zhong Jie Gu Dan” (“Still Lonely in the End”) from 2005’s “Just My Pride” and “Ru Zhen Qu” (“Song of Battle”) from the soundtrack to the 2013 Chinese TV series “Lanling Wang”.
The fans were on their feet for much of the concert, happily singing along on the choruses and waving their light sticks, turning the venue into a hypnotic sea of neon in pulsing yellow, white, blue and pink.
After the first set, the band members sat in a huddle and introduced themselves, cracked a few jokes and sang a romantic rendition of “Ni Bu Shi Zhen Zheng De Kuai Le” (“You are Not Truly Happy”). That was followed by “Gan Bei” (“Cheers”), “Xiong Di” (“Brotherhood”) and “Ren Sheng You Xian Gong Si” (“Life Co Ltd”).
The power ballads continued amid bittersweet piano and strings for “Cheng Ming Zai Wang” (“Almost Famous”), “Wo Xin Zhong Shang Wei Huai De Di Fang” (“The Yet Unbroken Part of My Heart”) and “Zhi Zu” (“Contentment”). “Wo Bu Yuan Rang Ni Yi Ge Ren” (“I Won’t Let You Be Lonely”) and “Wan Gu” (“Tough”) were complemented by endearing scenes projected on the big screen.
It seemed like Mayday were working hard to make everyone’s dreams come true.
The songs and quips were of course sung and spokes in Mandarin, but for subtitles were also projected and nothing was lost in translation.
The soloists had plenty of chances to shine, especially Monster and Stone, who staged guitar duels on the high-tempo numbers like “I Will Carry You” and “Li Kai Di Qiu Biao Mian” (“Jump the World”).
Slot Machine singer Karinyawat “Foet” Durongjirakan and guitarist Janevit “Vit” Chanpanyawong joined Mayday for “Shang Xi De Ren Bie Ting Man Ge” (“Don’ts Don’ts”), and then “Ren Yi Men” (“Dokodemo Door”) and “Ren Sheng Hia Hai” (“People Life, Ocean Wild”) kept the pace hectic.
The sensational encore featured “Zhuan Yan” (“Final Chapter”) and “Jue Jiang” (“Stubbornness”).