Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mayday Nowhere 3D Movie – 五月天诺亚方舟3D电影

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Finally, a review of Mayday’s second 3D movie! Let’s examine the movie posters first. I do not really like the design of the posters. I feel that they are too heavily photoshopped. The one above is still acceptable but one below is just too ‘over’.
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It was as if the designer decided to use all the available editing functions on the poster. The entire poster is overwhelmed by the huge fonts, the concert background, Mayday’s distracting hand gestures and the strange water effect. Our dear Ashin looked like he is doing some ‘dragonball’ stunts with his hands. One of my friend commented that the poster reminded her of a soft drink advertisement.

Mayday also released a series of ‘individual’ posters.
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I really do not like this Ashin poster. The designer photoshopped Ashin’s face so ‘violently’ till I almost could not recognise the strange man in the poster.
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On the other hand, Masa looked quite nice in this poster. I like his cheeky smirk!
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Monster looked weird in this poster. Somehow his face seemed to have shrunk.
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Stone looked ‘cool’ in the poster but his face was also distorted (like Ashin’s).
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I laughed when I saw Guanyou’s strange pose in this poster. He looked so awkward in that unnatural posture.
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I wish they had done a better job with the posters. They worked with Warner Brothers for this movie and perhaps became a little carried away with the ‘photoshopping’ budget.
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The ‘Warner Brothers’ logo in the trailer makes the movie look so cool!

Our boys at the movie premiere!
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You can watch the premeire event on Youtube.

There is also a ‘movie special’ where our boys explained more about the process of making the movie. During the interviews, we could see how Mayday had put in great effort to create the best cinematic experience for the audience. I thought the movie special was quite well done as it presented concise and ‘tantalizing’ information about the movie .

I was lucky to catch the movie in Taichung before the last Nowhere concert in Taiwan. My friend helped us to purchase the ‘early bird’ package.
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The ‘early bird’ package consisted of two movie tickets and ‘door hangers’.
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The movie was aggressively advertised during the concert – look at the cinemas which were showing the movie.
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We did not plan well and failed to ‘book’ any movie tickets in advance. Knowing that Taichung was flooded with Mayday fans, we tested our luck and went to a centrally located cinema to redeem our movie tickets. Unfortunately, all the movie tickets were sold out. We had to quickly rushed down to an older cinema to watch the 310 p.m. show. We could not catch a later show as we had to be at the concert venue by 6 p.m. In the end, we managed to get movie tickets at the ‘Sunrise Cinema’.
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The cinema is like a journey to the past. Check out the ancient-looking display board!
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The ‘retro-looking’ ticket!
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The cinema’s exterior looks rather dilapidated but the cinema’s interior is not that shabby.
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Unlike the other more ‘modern’ cinemas which displayed gigantic movie posters, this cinema only displayed one movie poster.
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The interior of the movie theatre was surprising clean and ‘proper’. The theatre was almost full – with many Mayday fans! After putting on our 3D glasses, the Mayday concert began!

The movie started like the actual concert with the footages of the news broadcaster video. The video was a montage of different celebrities, like Kevin Tsai, Nicky Wu and JJ Lin, who ‘helped’ Mayday during their various stops around East Asia. After the ‘famous’ ten seconds countdown, the movie ‘exploded’ with fireworks featured in the Kaohsiung’s ‘World Games Stadium’ December 2012 concerts. Mayday rocked the screen with the opening song ‘2012’ which was followed by the fast-paced songs ‘爱情万岁’ and ‘叫我第一名’.

I scrutinized the scenes to examine if there were any improvements from the first 3D movie. I feel that the filming and editing technology could be improved. The 3D effects of the indoor concert scenes were clearer and sharper than the scenes filmed in the outdoors venues like ‘Bird Nest’ and ‘World Games Stadium’. The outdoor concert scenes were grainy and somewhat pixelated. The scenes were not consistent as the 3D effects of close-up shots were lifelike but some scenes, which featured the full stage and audience, were not well-defined. I was slightly disappointed by the technical aspects of the movie. For the first movie, the 3D effects were satisfactory but not ‘perfect’ and I thought there would be more achievements in the technical department in the second movie. I wonder if they encountered great limitations during the filming of the scenes during live concerts that were subjected to many variables and uncertainties. The cinematography and editing elements were rather ‘amateurish’ and unsophisticated. Some of the cinema angles were awkwardly positioned. In some scenes, the microphone stand obscured the frame partially. Moreover, on numerous occasions, there was this strange rotation of the cinema, which created a dizzy ‘Blair Witch-like’ effect. I finally understood the function of the expensive ‘spider cam’ which was utilized in thenKaohsiung concerts. The ‘spider cam’ flew over the audience and hovered in the air to take aerial shots/videos of the concert.

Mayday probably needs a bigger budget to purchase more sophisticated 3D filming equipment in order to capture more defined 3D shots. If only Mayday has the ‘money’ and opportunity to collaborate with the editing crew which worked with Peter Jackson on the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series. When I saw watching some of the spectacular concert scenes, I just wish the technology and editing could support the grandeur of the Nowhere Tour – like how the stunning scenes of the Shire and majestic battle scenes of Helm’s deep unfolded on the screen. I guess the Taiwanese film industry still needs more investment and training in terms of the technology associated with the filming and post-production process of editing 3D films. I applause Mayday for their ambition and vision for pioneering 3D concert movies in Asia. However, they probably need more time to master the craft of 3D technology.

Most of the movie concert scenes were filmed during the big scale concerts in Beijing Bird nest (2012) and Kaohsiung (December 2012). The movie featured some emotive ‘talking’ scenes where our boys bared their souls to their fans. The first ‘talking scene’ showed Ashin speaking in the Shanghai Nowhere concert on 10 October 2012. There was the famous ‘talking scene’ in Beijing where Ashin told the fans that Mayday took 13 years to hold their first concert in ‘Bird Nest’. I like how they created a montage of concert footages from different countries like Taipei (1 January 2012) and Kaohsiung (30 December 2012) which evoked a truckload of happy memories.

After a sequence of concert scenes from different countries, Ashin took over the screen with ‘星空’ and ‘我不愿让你一个人’, Just like the actual concert, various videos that featured the boy and his grandfather and Jerry Yen and Ariel Lin were inserted into the movie at different junctures. One of the most enjoyable part of the movie was to able to ogle at Ashin as his face was magnified by the movie screen. It was magical when he appeared on screen in full ‘Ashin’’glory and sang ‘仓颉’ and ‘你不是真正的快乐’. It was surprising that ‘盛夏光年’ was included in the movie! I love the song so much!

I was looking forward to ‘诺亚方舟’ as I hoped to see some amazing 3D effects for this song. The result was rather satisfactory as the 3D effects were quite spectacular as the light rays enveloped the scenes. The movie also featured a hidden gem ‘一千个世纪’ from the original version of the 末日 tour. Another of my favorite segment was Ashin’s duet with Jia Jia for the ‘如烟’ and ‘如果还有明天’ medley. Ashin should have won the ‘Best Lyricist’ award with ‘如烟’!

As a 3D movie, it must entertain the audience with the usual bags of 3D gimmicks. During ‘拥抱’, there were adorable 3D butterflies fluttering on the screen. However, I did not really understand why the butterflies… Perhaps the butterflies would be more suitable for the ‘燕尾蝶’? Or mayday I am missing some links between gay themes in the song and the ephemeral beauty of butterflies? There were some 3D dots flying around during ‘第二人生’. The ‘干杯’ segment was quite moving with the footages of fans singing fervently to the song and some fans even ‘干杯’ with bottles of ‘Yakult’. The spectacular segment ended with beautiful fireworks!

After many Mayday classic songs, the movie transited to ‘backstage’ scenes. I was excited to watch the rehearsal scenes because I thought the movie was not just purely about the concert but it will also feature the preparations and rehearsal for the concert. When Masa said something about a philosophical transition (哲学上的转变), I was laughing non-stop. However, my expectations were overturned when the movie launched into the concert version of ‘伤心的人别听慢歌’. I love this song but the transition was just so abrupt. Why did Masa say that? And why did they insert that scene for a few minutes? I was disappointed that was the last and only ‘backstage’ scene. The rest of the movie was all about the concert. I was really expecting more ‘behind the scenes’ content. I think they may be constrained by time and was rushing to ‘complete’ the movie. The movie felt a little ‘rushed’ and unpolished. I guess they had to release the movie by a certain deadline to maximise profits. Without the ‘behind the scenes’ content, the movie felt like an enlarged version of the concert DVD instead.

The movie continued with ‘三个傻瓜’ and ‘OK LA’. For ‘OK LA’, the boys showcased their playing skills during their solo instrumental segments. Stone and Monster were elevated on the runway as they displayed their suave guitar playing skills. Masa was totally dashing as he strummed his bass guitar and when he slammed the last note, fantastic fireworks erupted! Guanyou showcased his drums and ended the segment. Somehow, I felt that the other boys did not enjoy as much screen time as our dear Ashin – especially Masa and Guanyou.

What is a Mayday movie without the classic ‘温柔? We had the 3D confetti-falling effect for this song again (like the previous movie). However, due to the flaws associated with editing and post-production process, Ashin looked so pale, skinny and somewhat ‘artificial’ during this segment. Next, the ‘Mayday tank’ and ‘OAOA’ segment was shown. One of the most amazing experiences of watching the movie was to relive the concert highlights again. Most of the concert footages were taken during the Kaohsiung December 2012 tour. As I attended the December 2012 concerts, it was rather surreal to watch the movie knowing that I was there when the concert was being filmed. When I saw the ‘tank’ segment, I was excited as I saw it ‘live’! After the ‘high’ ‘OAOA’ sequence, Mayday sang the inspiring ‘有些事现在不做 一辈子都不会做了’. I love the lego animation but wished it were more 3D.
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Of course, Mayday had to show one of the most emotional scenes during their tour in Beijing ‘Bird Nest’ when the entire stadium sang ‘倔强’ and formed the gigantic ‘human rainbow’. Ashin removed his shoes during this segment as he wanted to feel the ground – to feel the reality as they had finally stepped in ‘Bird Nest’ and fulfilled their dream! As this juncture, many fans were crying in the cinema. Ashin, in his characteristic poetic style, moved many fans which his words. After an emotional segment, the movie played the energetic ‘离开地球表面’. Shortly, after much ‘jumping’, yellow confetti fell when Mayday sang ‘Yellow submarine’ as their ‘诺亚方舟’ emerged on screen. The reference to The Beatles’ yellow submarine is quite an apt metaphor to illustrate Mayday’s immense success in Asia and their reputation as ‘The Beatles of Asia’.
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Towards the end of the movie, there was a flashback to ‘March 29 1997’ – the year Mayday was formed. At this point, the audience was reminded that our boys were ordinary mortals before 1997. After 13 years of hard work, they are now the most successful Chinese rock band in East Asia.

The movie ended with our soulful Ashin singing out his heart in ‘突然好想你’. He looked so emotional and vulnerable on stage. I think they selected the perfect song for the movie credits – ‘憨人’. As the credits rolled to the familiar Mayday anthem, I sat back and reflected on Mayday’s journey from 1997 to 2013. The movie effectively documented the 13 years journey of our boys. The widely successful Nowhere tour is a testimony of Mayday’s massive influence on Chinese popular music. Despite some flaws, this movie is still immensely enjoyable for all fans. This is definitely a movie made for the fans. However, like Mayday, I hope the non-fans will have a chance to watch the movie and experience a Mayday concert once in their life. Mayday’s concerts are not just any ordinary music concerts – they reflect Mayday’s impact on popular culture – their songs, their concerts, their fans. Just spend a few dollars and watch the movie – and perhaps you will understand why the fans just cannot stop going for the concerts.
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Nowhere Taichung – Final Stop in Taiwan (诺亚方舟台中 – 台湾最终场)

How do I start? How do I write about one of the most sublime moments of my life? I am totally exhausted, sleep-deprived and suffering from one of the worst bouts of Mayday withdrawal. I still cannot believe that I was able to attend the last two Nowhere concerts in Taichung. Thanks to my super lucky stars, I managed to purchase the tickets via Ibon website. Initially, I could not get decent air tickets and almost abandoned the quest to attend the Taichung concerts. Despite all the difficulties and monetary losses which plagued this trip, I cannot express how happy and relieved I am – I went, I saw, I sang, I jumped and almost cried. Let me attempt to document the once in a lifetime experience…

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Taichung was flooded with Mayday fans over the course of the two September weekends. I bumped into Mayday fans every few metres along Yizhong street. It is very easy to identify Mayday fans – they will be either wearing a concert tee or a Stay Real tee or decked in Stay Real merchandise. From the sheer number of fans who are covered from head to toe in Stay Real paraphernalia, I am sure that Ashin is laughing his way to the bank. All Mayday fans will pay a ‘holy’ pilgrimage to the Stay Real outlet during the concert period. It is a nightmare to shop in the Stay Real stores in the concert vicinity. The stores were packed with fans who did not have any budget constraints. Many Stay Real products were flying off the shelves. I exhibited great self control and just bought a pouch and some notebooks. When I went to Stay Real Yizhong branch on Saturday early afternoon, it was quite crowded already. By Saturday late afternoon, it was impossible to breathe in the chaotic shop. On Monday morning, I saw a long queue of fans who were queuing to dine in the Stay Real cafe.
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I did not go early and queue for merchandise on Saturday as I heard that the queue was crazy. Some fans started queuing at 10 a.m. in order to get their hands on the limited edition Mayday dolls. Even though the concert only starts at 7.30 p.m., many fans will head to the concert venue early to secure their concert merchandise. I eventually made my way to the concert venue around 6 p.m. as my hotel was near the National Taiwan Sport University’s stadium. Unlike Kaohsiung’s World Games Stadium or Taipei’s Arena (Small Giant Egg) which are new and spacious, the Taichung’s stadium is rather retro-looking. The narrow roads leading to the venue were congested with eager fans and busy light stick vendors. I bumped into my favorite light stick seller from Hualian. We became friends in 2011 during Mr Jay’s concert at Kaohsiung and I bumped into him during Mayday’s 2012 Kaohsiung concert and we crossed paths again in Taichung. Amazing!

It is strongly advised to go to the concert venue at least 1-2 hours before the commencement of the concert. The area outside the concert venue is like a carnival! You will need more time if you want to buy merchandise. You may also want to have sufficient time to soak in the festivities and explore the area to collect freebies or even cam-whore. The venue map was very useful for navigation.
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The concert venue was quite chaotic due to the massive crowds. There were many helpful ushers everywhere to guide lost fans. I wonder how much they are paid.
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I went to buy merchandise after Saturday’s concert. The queue was shorter compared to the crazy queue before the concert. However, we still had to wait for awhile in the queue as there were many fans who wanted to grab some merchandise.
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Some items were sold out – especially the popular Mayday figurines (公仔). Apparently fans queued for the figurines from 10 a.m.!
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The merchandise ‘board’!
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The ‘sold-out’ items.
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Free Mayday fans sponsored by Toyota! I took many for my fellow Mayday comrades.
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Besides the merchandise booths, fans could contribute to the ‘Mayday’s fund’ by preordering their Nowhere movie DVD.
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There was a gigantic promotional poster for the movie.
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On Saturday night, we did not have much time to explore the area as we were quite late. We headed directly to the very important ‘Chop’ station. Luckily the queue was not long and we ‘chopped’ our passports smoothly.
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I was rather disappointed by the ‘ordinary’ designs. The designs for the Hong Kong tour were more attractive and unique. I thought they would at least put in more effort to create more ‘extraordinary’ designs for the final leg in Taiwan.
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I was very lucky throughout this entire trip. On Sunday night, I was lost and somehow I bumped into a very special group of fans who dedicated their lives to Mayday. Thanks to them I had a nicer chop as a memento. I salute this man who ‘chopped’ so many passports patiently.
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This group of fans gathered after the concerts every night to sing Mayday songs with great gusto. It was quite an incredible sight to see so many fans singing the songs with such intense emotions.
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After ‘chopping’, we immediately entered the concert arena. It was extremely crowded and we had to queue to get into the stadium. The stadium oozes character and attitude as its facade is like a flashback to the eighties.
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As part of the crowd control measures, the ushers ‘chopped’ our hands to ‘label’ us as ‘legal’ concert participants in case we needed to exit the stadium.
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First-aid stations for any distressed fans who are unable to withstand the ‘power’ of Mayday during the concert.
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To my surprise, the portable toilets were equipped with good quality toilet paper. The toilets at the outdoor venue are usually very dirty and disgusting. Hence, it is always wise to empty your bladder before the concert.
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Warning: No eating, photography, videography!
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Many fervent fans who bought strange ‘pirated’ Mayday related goods from the illegal vendors.
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Very retro-looking spectators’ stand!
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I feel sorry for these fans as they were so far from the stage.
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The rock zone!
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This was my view – I was initially quite disappointed with my seat as I was very far from the stage… but…
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My seat was located at the outermost region of the rock zone and it was just next to the barricade.
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On Saturday, I watched the concert alone as my friends were seated somewhere else. A few fans from China (Beijing, Shanghai) sat beside me. They are super fans! They wore Mayday’s high school uniforms (附中) and the pockets of the uniforms were embossed with their names. They said they just walked into the school and bought the uniforms from the store. They even recommended a place in Ximending which will do the embroidery. Just when I thought I was crazy to sneak into 附中, I have met more ‘powerful’ fans than me. When Ashin sang ‘干杯’, they suddenly passed me a bottle of Yakult! I was so shocked as I stared at how they ‘干杯’ with their mighty bottles of Yakult throughout the song. I have met so many ‘experienced’ Mayday fans that surpassed me in terms of madness – I just a small-fish-fan in this ocean of Mayday fandom-ness.

Magic Power was the opening act during Saturday’s concert. It was my first time watching them live and I really enjoyed their high-powered performances. I was surprised by their appearance as I though that Jia Jia or Bai An will be the opening act again. They started with a catchy ‘感觉犯’ which made the fans jumped to their feet immediately. Next, when they sang ‘天机’, I was fantasizing that Ashin would join them on stage.
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Finally, they ended with their popular ‘射手’ and I almost wanted to dance the ‘射手舞’ with them – but it was just too strange for me to dance alone. They said it was their dream to have Mayday dancing with them. It is also my dream to see Ashin dance – it will be quite hilarious!
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Finally, the concert started! The Taiwanese Queen, 谢金燕, was the reporter for the Taichung leg.
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I thought that the side screens for the Taichung concert were fantastic – they were huge and super clear. Even though I was far away from the stage, thanks to the high quality screens, I could ogle at my dearest Ashin.
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Ashin’s vocals were in top condition during the concerts. He sang out his heart and soul!
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I just want to die every time I see Ashin in this dashing outfit Rip it off!
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The boys were very chatty during the last two concerts in Taichung. I have never heard them speaking so much. One of the most enjoyable part of the concert is to listen to them bantering and expressing their feelings and thoughts. I was so glad that they were so ‘talkative’. They were very introspective during their last few Nowhere concerts in Taiwan.
The ever cool and mature Stone thanked his grandmother in his deep sexy voice. He said that his grandmother gave him his very first guitar. Despite her old age, she attended his last Nowhere concert stop in Taiwan. Stone is aging so gracefully – he is becoming more and more charming over the course of the years.
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Masa seemed to be quite ’emo’ on both nights. He spoke so tenderly and my heart just melted. On Saturday Masa was particularly reflective as he talked about how he used to think music can ‘save’ the world when he was young and idealistic. After playing music for so many years, he realised that music cannot ‘heal’ the world but there is no point feeling disappointed as life still has to continue. Hence, he encourages the fan to build their own ‘Noah Ark’ (方舟) and make small but meaningful changes to their lives. I think he is really happy in his new relationship. Perhaps he has found his ‘Noak Ark’ – his girlfriend. He looked absolutely dashing as played his guitar with such fervor that we could not see his face most of the time. As it was an outdoor venue, Masa perspired so much that his hair was totally drenched. His wet hair just made him look so ‘cool’!
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Monster was in very high spirits during the concerts. He kept smiling and interacting with the fans. He said that he went to some night markets and truly enjoyed himself as he was not ‘discovered’. His disguise must be very professional. I really like what he said on Sunday. The Nowhere tour has been travelling around Asia for close to two years. Each fan has his or her share of personal experiences during the course of two years and might have encounter disappointments and setbacks. Monster humbly expressed his hope that Mayday’s concerts and songs can accompany the fans during their journeys. Monster seems to be the most ’emotional’ member. During the finale on Sunday, Monster stared at the audience with teary eyes for a very long before he left the stage reluctantly.
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Guanyou was very hilarious on both days. On Saturday, he told a joke about how one man had mistaken him as ‘无印良品’. As usual, Ashin and gang made fun of him. On Sunday, we were treated to a rare surprise as Ashin played the drums and Guanyou sang his default hokkien song. Sunday’s ‘T1213121’ was extremely funny as Ashin did special ‘cashier’ sound effects when Guanyou sang the song. They always like to make fun of Guanyou’s ‘thriftiness’ and mock his ‘mercenary’ nature.
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Super clear photographs from B’in music website.
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I totally forgot that there are running tracks in the stadium and the ‘Mayday’s Tank’ will do its round around the stadium. Luckily, my helpful Mayday comrade from Shanghai reminded me and we ran to the barricades which separated the rock zone from the tracks. Suddenly, I had an inspiration. I created a signboard in the airport before I flew to Taiwan and I thought that it would be great if Mayday could see the words on my sign. However, as my seat was so far away from the stage, I abandoned the signboard as they would not be able to to see the words. But once I positioned myself just right at the railings, there was a possibility that they would see it as the tank travelled towards me. Thus, I waved my sign like an insane woman and waited for them to move nearer to the me in the tank.
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The ‘Mayday’s Tank’ segment was very ‘high’ as tank entered the stadium to the energetic ‘第一天’! The ‘high’ atmosphere continued with the upbeat ‘第二人生’.
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I was very amused by the close proximity between Ashin and Monster as I was sensing some homoerotic tensions!
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After singing the crowd-pleaser ‘恋爱ING’, Ashin introduced FLUMPOOL. The highlight of the concert was definitely the surprise appearance of Flumpool. I was speculating that Flumpool could be the guest stars as Mayday is collaborating very closely with them in the recent months.
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The entire stadium was screaming non-stop as the two bands belted out OAOA with Flumpool on the main stage and Mayday on the tank. It was visually stunning to see Mayday facing the main stage and singing with Flumpool. The tank was at the mid point of the tracks when Flumpool appeared and Mayday had to return to the main stage to unite with Flumpool before the song ‘OAOA’ ended. Hence, the tank travelled at a much faster speed at this point. Unfortunately, I was at the second half of the track area and I did not enjoy a longer duration of close encounter with the boys. When the tank was speeding back to the main stage and once it reached my area, I stretched out my short arms and waved my sign furiously! Guess what! Monster was looking at my direction and he SAW my sign. He had a very surprised expression (widened eyes, gaped mouth) and maintained eye contact with me for at least 10 seconds! I believe it was the first time that he saw ‘Okinawa’. Technically, I am not Okinawan but it is like my home now! I think I have to marry Monster now that he had touched my hands in June and ‘electrified’ my eyes in Taichung.
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My dream came through when Mayday emerged on the main stage and Ashin sang ‘证明’ with Flumpool. I was just screaming ‘OMG OMG OMG’ throughout this entire segment. When Ashin and Ryuta sang the song – ‘spirits soared, women swooned, and gods were created’ in that magical moment! Never in my wildest dreams I would think that I was able to listen to the song live – sang by the two most gorgeous men on earth. Ashin was being very naughty when he teased the clueless Ryuta. Ashin attempted to speak in Japanese but he only came up with nonsensical words like ‘ramen’ and ‘superman’.
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I realized that I took the same picture as B’in music even though my photography quality is really bad.
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B’in music’s official photograph.
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My photograph which was blocked by numerous lightsticks and hands.
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After that spirited performance with Flumpool, Mayday continued the concert with a moving rendition of ‘干杯’ (and the Yakults surfaced at this point).
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‘干杯’ was followed by a ‘笑忘歌’ which was very touching as the screen showed all the names of all the concert crew who work so hard during the past few years. Without them, there will be no Nowhere tour. The boys looked at the names with great gratitude.
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I think that is one of the main reasons why I love Mayday so much. Despite their fame, they are so humble and appreciative to everyone who has helped them during their amazing Mayday tour. They never forget to thank everyone (especially their crew and fans) with overflowing sincerity. I love when Ashin said:
在我们唱歌的同时,所有在这70 场跟我们一起走过的每一位家人, 你看到他们的名字了,每个人回家之后, 父母多老了两岁,儿子女儿都长了两岁, 但银行存款,没有多很多… 不过,回忆多了很多,如果可以的话,我想应该把所有参加过诺亚方舟的你们的名字都写下来, 方舟是为你们而造的。而方舟也是你们每一个人一起打造起来的, 妳们在便利商店,在电脑面前,努力的买到每一张票, 而现在,变成了你眼前巨大无比的演唱会, 在明天过后,这一切也将慢慢消失, 只剩下我们心里的回忆, 谢谢你们给我们这么多的回忆

Other possessing great determination (to sit in front of the computer for many hours to fight for tickets), most Mayday fans have spent so much money to purchase concert tickets in the quest to watch as many concerts as possible. Some crazy fans like me even cleared their bank accounts to pay for enormous travel expenditure when we attended overseas concerts. Ashin seemed to have sense that the Mayday fans are quite broke – my bank account is pathetic yet my ‘brain account’ is filled with many wonderful memories. I am not wealthy but I am blessed to have the ability to pay for my Mayday-related expenditure. I know some people may think that we are very indulgent and even ‘mad’ to spend so much money on Mayday. However, they fail to understand that these memorable experiences which cannot be bought with cold hard cash. I guess we can also earn back money but sometimes when you miss a precious moment in life – you can only look back in regret….
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Where else can you witness such a majestic blue sea at a music concert?
The atmosphere became more ’emotional’ as Mayday sang their ‘憨人’ and the fans went ‘la la la la’! I always had goosebumps when every single fan sang ‘la la la la’ without any background music. The boys just stared at the fans during the ‘la la la la’ moment and I love how they paused to just enjoy that moment of affirmation. I bet they must be pondering at that instance – How did we become so successful? How did we gain so many fans when we were just getting chicken wings as wages for our band performances about 15 years ago? I think this series of quartet-songs (‘干杯’, ‘诺亚方舟’, ‘笑忘歌’, ‘憨人’) is one of the best arrangements I have ever heard – as these uplifting songs celebrate the Mayday’s spirit – Friendship, Love, Dream, Hope and Perseverance.
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Ashin was very 感性 and pensive on both nights. Before singing ‘知足’ he said:
今天的星空,我想为团员而亮, 不知道以后还有多少机会可以唱这样的巡回演唱会, 不知道有多少机会要求大家把星星变出来…今天的回忆我想会是永远的,把灯关掉吧!我们来唱歌了…

He made me want to cry more when he said this after the song:
在很多很多年以前,我们几个团员常开着破破的车子, 一路骑到阳明山上面大家脱光光洗温泉, 洗完了之后,大家就坐在台阶上,看着外面的星空说着未来,如果有时光机,带我们到今天晚上… 我想,怪兽玛莎冠佑石头还有我,都会吓很大一跳, 因为,因为每颗星星都代表着一个人, 每颗星星都陪着我们走过了这13年, 当时的我们绝对想不到,现在就在这里,你们回头,也看看这片星空,看看月亮…期待你们的13年后,也会有你们没想到的风景,等待着你们。到时候,带着你们的故事,来看五月天吧! 晚安!

It is true that all Mayday fans have their private ‘Mayday’s stories’ – like when did they start listening to Mayday? Which was their first Mayday album? When was their first Mayday concert? Which Mayday member do they like more? Which is their favorite Mayday song? Despite our diverse backgrounds and life experiences, during the Mayday concert, for that 3-4 hours, under the same starry starry sky, we cast aside our differences and hope that our lives would become slightly better as we sing along with Mayday:
我不是头脑空空我不是一只米虫
人啊人一世人要安怎欢喜过春夏秋冬
我有我的路有我的梦梦中的那个世界甘讲伊是一场空
我走过的路只有希望希望你我讲过的话放在心肝内总有一天

On Saturday, the encore was very long. I heard the well-written ‘China Wind’ rock song ‘入阵曲’ live for the first time. It is a very good dance-jump concert song. Similarly, ‘伤心的人别听慢歌’ got everyone to their feet and danced along with Mayday. The concert ended on a perfect note with the Mayday anthem: 人生海海. I did not shout for ‘encore’ after Mayday performed 34 beautiful songs. The concert was so flawless that I did not need to ask for more. I just wanted Mayday to rest well so we can rock more on 15 September!

With a mixture of excitement and bittersweet emotions, I attended my last Nowhere concert in Taiwan. I was very fortunate to able to attend the very first Nowhere concert in Taiwan on 23 December 2011. Hence, it was especially special for me to have the chance to attend the last Nowhere concert in Taiwan. It was liking coming full circle – Start in Taipei and end in Taichung with Mayday. I had a strong feeling that the last concert will be ultra awesome and thus I was quite stubborn (倔强) to do whatever I could to crawl to Taichung on 15 September 2013. The concert was indeed memorable. We were surprised to find the colourful ‘倔强’ papers on our chair. The colourful papers brought back wonderful memories of 23 December 2011 when I participated in the formation of the ‘human rainbow’ for the first time. The visual impact created by the rainbow was stunning. However, due to the intensive labour involved in placing the colourful papers on every single chair in the concert venue, Mayday did not have the ‘human rainbow’ for every Nowhere concert. I guess they decided to conclude their final Nowhere concert in Taiwan with the iconic ‘human rainbow’ to end the tour on a high note.
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Jia Jia (家家) was the opening act on Sunday and she sang ‘知足’, ‘命运’ and ‘填空’. Her love ballads are very popular as many fans sang along with her. I have not listened to her album before as I was not familiar with her song. But she really sounded very good live.
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Just as I thought that Mayday spoke so much the previous night, they were even more ‘talkative’ on Sunday. Just by listening to them talk and bare their hearts, the money I had spent for this trip was well worth it. The night was like a ‘farewell’ (告別) concert as the boys were so ’emotional’. Let me highlight some of my favorite lines from each Mayday member during their introductions:
Stone: 台上的五月天,台下的你们,喜欢听歌、爱音乐的人,这条路没有终点没有尽头。
Masa: 虽然诺亚方舟快结束了,也许我们的世界或生活没有得到很多救赎,希望在没有诺亚方舟演唱会的未来,希望现场每位未来在你们自己的生活中,
遇到困难或挫折的时候,都能找到自己的诺亚方舟。
Monster: 虽然末日没来,但是也够纷纷扰扰了,
常不知道什么事是对的,哪些事是错的?
 但是我想我们在寻找过程中,总要付出代价, 如果五月天演唱会, 五月天的歌,
在这过程中能对你有点帮助,今晚也值得了。
Guanyou: 今天虽然是台湾最后一场,但是我觉得愈早结束,代表下次相聚时候更早到来,你们说对不对?

Ashin: 还是再度感谢大家,因为诺亚方舟开了71场,我们去过很多地方,
所谓的梦想有时候是从这种像白纸一样俗气东西开始,因为大家支持,让我们在71场都能有难忘夜晚,就像冠佑说的,我们也想办免费演唱会或不满意让你退票,但是我们所能做的就是尽力做好每一场演唱会,就像怪兽说的有些东西是胜过白纸,比如回忆或者友情或者团员们,现在我们一起唱歌好吗?

I love Masa’s allusion to ‘Noak’s ark’. In the bible, Noak’s ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative where Noah saves himself, his family, and a remnant of all the world’s animals when God decides to destroy the world because of humanity’s evil deed. Noak’s ark is a symbol of hope and rebirth. Hopefully all Mayday fans will find their salvation eventually and fulfill their dreams in whatever small ways. Ashin reiterated his views on ‘money’ and ‘memory’ on Sunday as he stressed memory and friendship are more important than money.

I had good seats on Sunday, thus I was not able to run to the railings during the ‘Mayday’s tank’ segment. When Ashin was singing ‘恋爱ING’, we saw some shadows on the main stage. The crew was carrying instruments and equipment onto the stage. And guess what! We saw Ryuta! I could not believe that Flumpool was the guest star two nights in a row! I was not expecting to see Flumpool at all. I thought Mayday would not ‘repeat’ guest star as they would want to make their last Nowhere concert in Taiwan special and memorable. I guess they had to maximise the cost of ‘bringing’ Flumpool to Taiwan and the fans were so lucky to enjoy the joint performances between Flumpool and Mayday twice! I was dying of happiness as I heard ‘证明’ again.
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After Flumpool’s appearance, Mayday sang another 3 songs ‘干杯’ and ‘诺亚方舟’ before they left the stage for a well-deserved rest. They returned to stage with the upbeat ‘伤心的人别听慢歌’. Suddenly, when Ashin was singing ‘动次动次’, the words became ‘跳针跳针’! In a blink of the eye, a woman appeared on stage and the words ‘姐姐’ flashed on the screen.
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After just 3 songs after Flumpool’s departure, another guest star emerged on stage. I was flabbergasted! A second guest star for the night?! Only Mayday could pull a stunt like that!
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She is not any ordinary guest star but Jeannie Hsieh (谢金燕 ) – the Queen of Taiwanese Songs! She had never been a guest star for any celebrity until now! She is very popular with the Taiwanese people as she sings popular native Taiwanese dialect songs. She is so pretty in person! There were rumors flying around that she may be the guest star as she appeared in the Nowhere video. However, I was still in total shock! She sang her new song ‘姐姐’ with Ashin. The song is very un-Mayday-like but it was hilarious to see Ashin singing and dancing to a ‘getai-like’ song!

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She molested Ashin on numerous occasions but I forgave her as Ashin was so adorable and shy during her assaults.
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Ashin was really very bashful throughout the performance. Ha! They had very humorous banter on stage. Jeannie asked Mayday if she was better or Jolin was better. Ashin also cheekily asked her to choose a Mayday member. Jeannie also requested to join Mayday and form a six-people band called ‘六畜兴旺’. I almost laughed to death when I heard that terribly ‘old-fashioned’ name.
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Ashin coyly invited Jeannie to the movies with him and passed her a 3D spectacles. I was astounded when the Nowhere 3D movie started to show on the big screen. They actually screen the trailer of the movie! Mayday and Jeannie wore the 3D glasses and watched the screen while their butts faced us. Without 3D glasses, fans could only watch a blurry version of the trailer. What a shrewd marketing strategy! Well-played Mayday! I was lucky to be able to catch the movie on Sunday afternoon – the discussion of the movie will be for another day.
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The unusually lecherous Ashin escorted the Taiwanese Goddess off stage and the other boys felt abandoned and neglected. Masa commented that he had an déjà vu feeling as it was as if they were transported back in time when one of them courted girls and the rest stayed in the hostel. Guanyou was supposed to tell his signature joke but Ashin returned onstage too early.
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Very shortly after the sensational appearance of Jeannie, I experienced the most touching milestone of my entire Mayday career. I was almost moved me to tears when Ashin asked the rest of the boys to share their sentiments as they were approaching the end of their final Nowhere concert in Taiwan. To Guanyou, the ending of the tour marks the beginning of a new album and new tour. Even though I can relate to his optimism, I feared that Mayday will ‘retire’ soon. Ultimately, there will be the last album, last tour and last concert.
如果在很久以后,在未来历史课本上,如果有一页,有提到三个字五月天的话,我想那说的不是我们五个人,而是在我们这一代,所一起经历过的快乐,经历过的感动与灿烂…

Ashin expressed these thought-provoking lines which made me think of the impact of Mayday on the society. One of the reasons why Mayday is so popular and successful is because their songs resonate with the everyday man on the street. Their songs express the sentiments shared by the Generation Y. Many of us grew up with Mayday – we listened to their rock anthems during our rebellious school life , we listened to their love ballads when our hearts were broken by our first love, we listened to their more mature songs when we stepped into the adult world, and we listen to their songs now as we look back at our youth and worry about our future. To a certain extent, Mayday is more than 5 men – Mayday encapsulates the entire generation and their attitudes, beliefs and ideals.

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Finally, how do you end such a fabulous concert? In the true Mayday spirit, Ashin walked down the runway with the blue colored ‘倔强’ paper and urged the fans to form the legendary ‘human rainbow’. ‘倔强’ is such a classic song – it never fails to inspire and motivate me when I encounter obstacles in my life. I am sure many fans feel the same way – look at the sparkle in their eyes as they sang the song together with Ashin.
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On both nights, the concert concluded with ‘人生海海’. It had been a long time since I heard ‘人生海海’ as the final song during a concert. It was the perfect song for the final concert in Taiwan. I was attracted to Mayday instantly when my buddy introduced the ‘人生海海’ album to me. Then, we were clueless teenagers and we did not know whether if we would even pass our ‘A’ levels. We would play basketball late at night and sing:
就算是整个世界把我抛弃而至少快乐伤心我自己决定
所以我说就让它去我知道潮落之后一定有潮起有什么了不起

The stars seemed brighter and our worries vanished for those few minutes as we screamed out these words. I believe many fans had experienced similar moments and that is why Mayday plays such a key role in our lives.

其实以前在怪兽家里,把灯关了,我们聊的都是些芝麻绿豆的小事, 比如哪个班女生很漂亮~为什么她不加入吉他社? 或是我们会聊,石头现在念的水污染环境工程系,以后是要干嘛? 又或是怪兽真的要去当律师吗?又或者玛莎这张嘴,以后可以来做什么, 我们聊披头四、邦乔飞、枪与玫瑰、什么都聊,但是我们就是没想到, 有一天我们会开演唱会唱到71场,这是属于我们五个人的回忆, 不知道你的回忆是什么,也许大家今晚回去路上会与你好朋友聊天, 聊着那些小事,但是你要知道这都是很珍贵的事情, 也许是5年,在10年后,我们再回忆今晚看五月天, 我们一起度过的经过的,你会发现这是生命中最美好的小事, 晚安!!五月天要回家了,你们也要回家了,再见!
After Ashin said the above lines, many fans around me were crying buckets already. My stubborn tear glands refused to cooperate and I did not cry. But I knew that I left a part of myself with Mayday as I exited the National Taiwan Sport University’s stadium. I also took something precious with me as I walked slowly of the stadium and soaked in the post-concert atmosphere – I left with a belief that even if the future is uncertain, I will always have something to hold on to – wonderful memories of the concert which will give me strength to chase my dreams…
五月天跟你们一样觉得演唱会是时光机。
站在舞台上觉得时间过很快,但是当你以后再回想这一天,
今天的回忆又像时光宝盒一样,把我们带到2013年夏天晚上…
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I am certain that many fans left the stadium in high spirits and perhaps similar sentiments…

I could not have enjoyed the fantastic Taichung concerts without the help of many friends. I attended the concerts with friends whom I knew through Mayday. It is very magical how Mayday has helped to forge close friendships among the fans.

Many people think I am ‘insane’ and ask me very frequently, “Why do you need to attend so many Mayday concerts?” I do not bother to answer such questions anymore. Just attend a Mayday concert and you may discover the answers. Different people have different beliefs and ideals. We have our ‘方舟’, you have your ‘方舟’. May everyone find their ‘方舟’ in this ‘人生海海’ world…啦…啦..啦…

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All the super clear photographs were extracted from B’in music website and the unclear, amateurish photographs were taken using my IPhone and Canon camera.