'Old friends' Mayday are much loved

COMMANDING PRESENCE: More than a decade on since their debut in 1997, five-man band Mayday - including lead singer Ashin (right) and guitarist Stone - are still a formidable force in the world of Mandopop.


    Jun 17, 2013

    'Old friends' Mayday are much loved

    ARTIST: Mayday

    VENUE: Singapore Indoor Stadium

    ATTENDANCE: 8,000

    WHEN: Last Friday

    IT'S the seventh year in a row that Taiwanese rock band Mayday have held a concert in Singapore, but fans here are obviously not tired of them.

    The five-man band performed over two nights at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for their Nowhere World Tour, and the turnout - near sold-out last Friday and a full house of 9,500 last Saturday - showed the undying support of local fans.

    More than a decade on since their debut in 1997, the band, comprising lead singer Ashin, guitarists Monster and Stone, bassist Masa and drummer Guan You, are still a formidable force in the world of Mandopop with their multiple awards and string of sold-out concerts.

    Much to the amusement of the crowd at last Friday's session, Masa spouted Singlish, saying: "Long time no the Indoor Stadium. So proud of you."

    Switching to Mandarin, he asked: "We seem to come here every year, aren't you guys sick of us?" To which enthusiastic fans answered with rapturous screams and applause.

    The three-hour gig was one massive karaoke session with concert-goers belting out lyrics spontaneously and singing along in unison during hits such as Wen Rou and Yong Bao.

    There was a good mix of 27 old-time favourites and new material, including their latest release, which came out about a week ago - Shang Xin De Ren Bie Ting Man Ge, literally translated to Sad People Shouldn't Listen To Slow Songs.

    Frontman Ashin's vocals were in tip-top condition that night, pulling off pitch-perfect high-pitched howls.

    Audiences also had a chance to listen to the power-house vocals of guest singers Bai An last Friday and Jia Jia last Saturday. Both are under Taiwanese record label B'in Music, which was co-founded by Mayday.

    But the enthralling sounds were not the only treat of the night - it was an equally visually-captivating affair.

    Glow sticks that changed colours to the music transformed the stadium into a calm sea of blue during melancholic ballads, and then a fiery-red glow during high-octane tunes.

    What I loved about the concert was the palpable camaraderie between bandmates. They joked with each other easily, and teased playfully drummer Guan You, who was, as usual, the target of the members' mischief.

    Towards the end of the concert, Ashin rattled off a list of people to thank - including "virtual" guest star Singaporean singer JJ Lin, who appeared in a clip as a news anchor - leaving out Guan You's name till the very end.

    Then, Ashin proceeded to give the drummer his time in the limelight - but not before asking the audience to stuff tissues in their ears before Guan You started singing.

    Like what band leader Monster said to the audience at the start: "We're all like old friends."

    Mayday, I must say, it's good to have you back.