Taiwanese band Mayday evidently likes to play life on Hard mode. Why else would they — their last gig in Singapore was in December at the Indoor Stadium — stage the same show again, albeit at the National Stadium?
The concert venue has been criticised for its awful acoustics (like a pair of, er, made-in-China earphones). And there’s the band's job of entertaining the crowd again with the exact same show less than a year later. But hey, it’s Mayday we are talking about.
The thing about the group, which comprises of vocalist Ashin, guitarists Monster and Stone, bass guitarist Masa and drummer Guan You, is that they come across like good friends whom you like hanging out with ’cos they are just so darn entertaining — even if they’re telling you the same epic story for the umpteenth time. Trust Stone to sum up the night best: “This is the Life Tour, extended version.”
So, on a recent Saturday night (June 2), we thronged the National Stadium with 40,000 other concert-goers. The venue was aglow with neon light sticks, which were provided for free at the last Mayday concert here but had to be purchased this time. “Got mine for $10 at the merch tent,” our seat neighbour told us. There’s no such thing as a cheap Mayday fan — queues were already forming for merchandise in the morning, before the band’s evening show.
Despite its bad rep, the spacious stadium does add to the buzzy atmosphere, and the band was able to expand their stage area to include more exciting visuals. If you’re already familiar with their previous show, we shall not bore you with another rehash; but for those of you who were not there and now have major FOMO, here are five highlights.
#1 The gig may be the same, but their humour is always refreshing
During the start of the show, lead singer Ashin evidently struggled with the stadium’s challenging acoustic system. But trust drummer Guan You to make a joke to lighten the situation, by referencing the gigantic hole in the stadium’s dome roof: “The hole here is for you to scream loud enough so the whole Singapore can hear, ‘Mayday’!”Ashin deadpanned, “I think these people can shout loud enough to be heard in Malaysia.” But it did take a while for the crowd to rev up, which Ashin teased: “I think they like Jay Chou better.”
#2 The band’s endearing bromance
Okay, so the song list may be similar, but one thing different about this show is that bassist Masa is now a father to newborn twins, a boy and a girl (his fashion designer wife Vicky Hsieh gave birth just a few days ago). No paternal leave for this hardcore dad, who was back on the road for his tour immediately, tearing through Mayday’s hits like ‘OAOA’, ‘Superman’, ‘Suddenly Missing You’ and ‘Stubborn’. But he’s in the good company of his band members, who celebrated Masa’s new dad status like it was his birthday. “You’re the main guy here tonight!” chirped Ashin sincerely.
#3 Jonathan Lee is a very sporting guest star
This time, Mayday got music producer-singer Jonathan Lee (and Sandy Lam ‘s ex-hubby) as a special guest for the concert. Jonathan belted out his hit ‘Song of an Ordinary Man’, which Mayday had covered before. We blame it on the fact that millennials make up more than half of the crowd; but some concert-goers didn’t seem to have a clue who Jonathan was. “Do you recognise me? I’m afraid you’re so used to listening to Mayday that you’re wondering why there’s an uncle on stage now,” he joked. Ouch.
#4 Ashin ‘confesses’ his love
Ashin is the only bachelor left in Mayday (the rest of them are happily hitched). Towards the end of the concert, he visibly choked up at the crowd’s enthusiasm, and made an usually emotional statement. “I want to tell you three words: I love you.” Considering that Ashin had been consistently linked to, but never confirmed, a string of rumoured girlfriends, we actually feel kinda honoured to hear his declaration of love.
#5 Mayday’s press meet is just as entertaining
Fact: we once waited over an hour to meet G.E.M after her concert here. But Mayday showed up at their post-concert press conference just 15 minutes after ending their show, looking a little tired but still chirpy as an influencer at a hipster cafe. Journos wasted no time tossing questions at the group, especially at Masa. “It’s great being a dad. I worry that it’s all going to go downhill from here,” he admitted, as Ashin anxiously admonished him: “Don’t say things like that.”
It seemed like no question would faze Mayday, including one where a journo asked about a ‘prediction’ Ashin once made a decade ago about Masa having twins. Monster jumped right in. “It’s not a prediction. Masa heard what [Ashin] said and got to work,” he cackled. The band, which will be in Bangkok for the first time this October, also asked the Thai media present to recommend local musicians to collaborate with. “Do you know [the Thai rock band] Slot Machine?” said a reporter.
While everyone furrowed their brows, Masa eagerly piped up: “Yes! I know! Slot machine, in Las Vegas.”
Never change, Mayday, never change.