Finally, I managed to catch the Mayday’s concert documentary – LIVE IN LIVE! It was a mad rush as I dashed from the airport to the movie theatre. I reached Taipei Main Station at 1.05 p.m., cabbed to the hotel, dumped my luggage, cabbed to Xinyi’s Vieshow cinema, bought the ticket at 1.50 p.m. and the film started at 1.55 p.m.!
Each film ticket was entitled to one packet of these cute stickers!
Mayday’s declaration in the beginning of the film: The film is dedicated to the comrades who devoted themselves to make one night perfect.
LIVE IN LIVE!
I did not really know what to expect from the film. Initially, I was quite shocked that Mayday was releasing another film shortly after their ‘Nowhere’ film. I was wondering why did they have to make another film about the concert. Couldn’t they just include more backstage footages in their ‘Nowhere’ film instead of making two separate films? Were they trying to ‘cheat’ the fans’ money? But after watching the film, I understood why it is not feasible to combine both films. ‘Nowhere’ is a concert film that showcases the Nowhere, Noah’s Ark’s tour while ‘Live in Live’ is a film is about evolution of Mayday’s concerts over the years and the efforts and sacrifices involved in creating live concerts.
This video provided some clips of the film.
The director, Peter Liu Ming Feng (劉名峰), spent a few years making this documentary as well as the ‘Nowhere’ film. In this interview, he talked about how the entire concert crew, who work so closely with Mayday, also embodies the ‘Mayday’ spirit.
The film is a tribute to all the warriors who fought with Mayday during all those endless days and nights of live concerts. The film started with the 6th DNA concert in Shanghai. The concert producer, Ocean Yang, was so ‘stressed’ before, during and after the concert as the night was plagued by many ‘technical’ problems. Ocean’s mobile phone kept ringing before the concerts as many people needed his advice on various matters. His job is incredibly demanding and he seems to be always running around. Many other concert ‘professionals’ like the stage engineer, sound director, lighting director, artistic director were interviewed throughout the film. A couple actually met and fell in love when they were working together during the concerts. The film showed snippets from their wedding which was attended by many of the crew members and Mayday themselves.
Jay Huang (世杰 ) enjoyed quite a lot of screen time in the documentary and I guess he deserves it as he devotes almost his entire life to Mayday. There is a very long segment showing him pouring out his sorrows to Monster. I feel that that segment is a tad too long and the intimate ‘chit-chat’ session between the two men is a little ‘bromantic’ or even homoerotic. Jay feels very exhausted as he has been working for Mayday for so long and he seems to struggle with his quest for self-identity and self-fulfilment.
It is interesting that Ashin had the least screen time as he was not interviewed ‘directly’ in the film. Ashin is like the narrator in the film as he does the voice-over for most of the scenes. I guess this is fair as Ashin enjoyed extensive screen time (as compared to the others) in the Nowhere film. The other boys were filmed and interviewed separately by the director. The film showed what each Mayday member was doing in the morning before they went to the concert venue to prepare for a long day/night of rehearsal and performance in Taipei Arena (台北小巨蛋). Masa stayed at a hotel near the concert venue as he said it was convenient and he could mess up the room. Guanyou spent some time with his family before heading to ‘work’. Stone biked around Taipei during his usual morning exercise routine before a concert. Monster stopped by a convenient store to buy some food and took a cab to the concert venue. Unfortunately, the fans will never know what Ashin usually did before a concert as the film did not show any private interviews with Ashin.
Masa was interviewed mainly in a cafe setting. In this video, he was interviewed in the concert venue and he discussed how a concert must be analysed logically. A concert should consist of different segments like ‘introduction’, ‘rising action’, ‘climax’ and ‘conclusion’. Masa said that they always felt very anxious during the first concert of a brand new tour as they were not sure how the fans will react to various segments in the concert. One unique aspect of Mayday concerts is that there is a concert theme in every tour since the DNA tour. Mayday tried to integrate a theme in the ‘Leaving Surface of the Earth’ (離開地球表面) concert but the theme was not that clearly shown. If you compare the theme in ‘Leaving Surface of the Earth’ to the theme in the ‘Nowhere’ tour, you can see how much Mayday concerts have improved over the years. Mayday has been working so hard to push boundaries and ensure that their new concerts surpass the previous tours.
Next, Guanyou was interviewed in his house. I guess the director wanted to portray Guanyou as a ‘family man’ and show how the boys juggled their private life and work. Guanyou’s daughter, Rose, was so adorable when she sang ‘突然好想你’. His attractive wife appeared briefly in the movie. Guanyou talked about how his family, especially his children, is a ‘beautiful burden’. It is nice to understand Guanyou more and not just view him as a drummer hiding behind the drums but as a loving husband and father.
Stone was also interviewed in his house as he is the other ‘family man’. Other than interviewing him at home, the director followed Stone during his biking trip and interviewed him in the outdoors. Stone is obviously the fittest member in Mayday. He is obsessed with biking and he said that he needs to exercise daily, especially before a performance, if not he will not have energy to focus. His children did not appear in the film but his wife had a brief cameo.
Monster was interviewed mainly in the taxi on his way to the concert venue. He stressed that watching a concert is very different from listening to the CD. He humorously said that the CD does not provide special lighting effects. Other than showing what Monster did before a concert performance, the director filmed Monster interacting with Jay. As most fans know, Monster lives with Jay and his cousin, 黃牛.
Monster seems to like his pink bear very much. He said that eating cup noodles was a considered a treat as he did not eat much in the hectic days leading to the concert.
In the ‘behind the stage’ scenes in the documentary, the boys are portrayed to be like any other ordinary human beings who like cup noodles and have ‘bad hair days’. Monster looked extremely ‘unglamorous’ with his ‘bombastic’ hair and sloppy attire.
I really love the scenes which showed the boys discussing and planning for the concert. Without the glamourous concert stage, props, lighting, the boys are just a group of friends who enjoy making music. There is hilarious scene where the boys joked about changing ‘Hosee’ to the tune of ‘OK La’ and creating a weird chorus – ‘oh oh Hosee la’!
The documentary showed the memorable DNA concert finale in Taipei. The fans refused to leave the stadium after the tour had ended. Masa and Stone joked that the fans were unhappy as the concert was not worth the money that they had paid.
The concert venue organizers were very adamant and did not allow Mayday to return back to the stage. However, after close to 30 minutes, the fans still lingered in the stadium. Eventually, Mayday convinced the organizers to allow Ashin speak offstage through the microphone. Ashin sang a few verse from ‘生命有一種絕對’ and gently said ‘good night’ to the fans who left the stadium obediently.
About 3/4 of the filmed focused on the DNA tour. Due to time constraints (filming timeframe and screening duration), the director could only include some footages from the recent ‘Nowhere’ tour. The last section of the documentary showed some aspects of the ‘Nowhere’ tour like the elaborate stage designs. However, the coverage was not that extensive and the section was quite rushed. I wish they had more time to fully showcase the pre-concert planning stages of the ‘Nowhere’ tour. It is indeed a very difficult feat to condense the essence of both magnificent tours into the short span of 2 hours.
Kelvin Tsai (蔡康永) succinctly explained how the live concert experiences are priceless. Precious memories are created during the live concerts. The unique memories that the fans share with their friends as they attend the concerts together. The irreplacable memories that the fans share with Mayday. Live concerts are always unpredictable and spontaneous so the experiences can never be replicated. Being a part of Mayday’s live concerts is just such a sublime experience! ‘Live in Live’ – Live is too short! ‘Live’ in life and create beautiful memories! Carpe diem!
Various pictures are extracted from EToday, 小肉包’s Twitter and other fans’ sites.