I can’t believe I was so fortunate to watch Mayday concerts in Japan one week ago. The tickets were notoriously difficult to ballot. Thanks to our lucky stars, we managed to secure tickets for both the Osaka and Tokyo concerts. So we did a crazy weekend trip to Osaka and Tokyo. It was expensive. It was cold. It was so worth it!
The Osaka concert was held at Hatch. We reached the venue at around 2 p.m. as we wanted to purchase some concert souvenirs. The queue was very long. Even though the Elephant t-shirt was not that attractive, it was sold out before 3 p.m.!
As the doors opened at 4 p.m., the area outside the concert hall was very crowded around mid afternoon. Even though the tickets were ‘free-seating’, they were assigned specific numbers which determined the order which you could enter the concert venue. The Japanese organisers were really organised. They erected barricades and displayed queue numbers for crowd control purposes. The fans entered the venue orderly based on their queue numbers.
If you like ‘chops’ or ‘stamps’, you should try to arrive at the concert venues earlier and haunt down local fans who create unique ‘stamps’ for the concerts. The Mayday ‘passport’ has started a tradition of fans creating ‘stamps’ and sharing with other fellow comrades. I was very impressed by the Japanese fans who shared their ‘stamps’ on both days. There was a plethora of ‘stamps’ and they even prepared a rainbow ink pad!
I love the sushi ‘stamps’. They are so 可愛い！The fans thoughtfully labelled the ‘stamps’ with the names of the respective band members.
Over the years, the ritual of attending Mayday concerts has evolved. It has also become a tradition for some fans to plan ‘surprises’ for Mayday during the concerts. Usually the fans will communicate with other fans via signboards or notes that provide certain instructions. The Japanese fans wanted to sing some words of 知足 in Japanese. Unfortunately, Ashin did not sing that song during the concerts. Check out the mega 浪漫的逃亡 stamp! Well done my fellow Japanese comrades!
On Sunday, I went to the concert venue early again as my friend wanted to purchase more souvenirs. The venue was Zepp at Tokyo Bay (Odaiba). I almost managed to purchase the Elephant t-shirt but smallest size was sold out just when I was about to reach the front of the queue. There was no purchasing limit so some fans bought truckloads of goods. Hence, it was very difficult other fans who were stuck at the back of the queue to buy anything as most of the stuffs were sold out after 30 minutes of sale. Well, I could understand if they were buying the souvenirs for their friends but I cursed those who bought extras to sell at a higher price.
I was very amused to see a gift corner which displayed present boxes for the boys. As I reached the venue very early, I just saw one gift in Ashin’s box – a packet of small plushies.
Zepp Tokyo is a bigger venue than Namba Osaka. However, there is only a small space outside the venue and the fans had to squeeze in the cold and wait to enter. Moreover, there are only a few main gates for entry so there was a ‘congestion’ after the concert.
The fans waited patiently till 5.00 p.m. The organisers started to call out the numbers at 5.00 p.m. sharp and the concert began around 6.00 p.m. I spied a special group of people who could enter the venue from the second level. They were probably VIPs who had special tickets.
Special flowers to congratulate Mayday for their sold out Just Rock It concerts in Japan!
Finally, let’s talk about the concerts. It was my first time attending the Just Rock It tour. In Osaka, I was quite close to the stage! In Tokyo, my ticket was designated C so I was banished to the back of the concert hall. After attending a number of big-scale Noah Ark tour concerts, it was so refreshing to attend the intimate Just Rock It concerts.
You can enjoy some videos from the Osaka concert (kindly uploaded by Julian Song).
OA OA日语版 五月天大阪演唱会
返场 突然好想你 五月天大阪演唱会 2014-1-11
I like the song arrangements during the first section of the concert. Mayday did a ‘countdown’ of their 15 years journey and performed one iconic song from every single album, starting from 第二人生 – the representative song from their 8th studio album. The second song was 你不是真正的快樂 from 後青春期的樂. I was so thrilled that they chose to sing 最重要的小事 from 為愛而生. Next, they definitely had to sing the crowd-favorite 孫悟空 from 神的孩子都在跳舞. Ashin was so adorable as he did his usual ‘phone call’ gesture during 孫悟空.
I was surprised to hear 賭神’ – not an obvious choice from 時光機. They remixed 賭神 and transformed it to more edgy rock. I was expecting them to sing the anthem 人生海海 but they played 相信 instead. I was beyond happy because 相信 is one of my most favourite songs from the Mayday collection! They continued to excite the fans with the fast-paced 終結孤單 from 愛情萬歲. Finally, they ended this amazing 8 songs/albums marathon with the song that started their music journey – 志明與春嬌’ I was very impressed by the meaningful and thoughtful arrangement of songs which perfectly encapsulates the milestones during Mayday’s mammoth 15 years of contributions in the Chinese music industry.
Mayday strives to achieve excellence and perfection during all their concerts. Even for a small scale concert tour, they did not ‘scrimp’ on special effects and videography. I love how the images showcased significant ‘Mayday Moments’ and the visual effects complemented the melody and lyrics flawlessly.
As usual, the boys were playful and did a hilarious Japanese rendition of T1213121. Monster and Stone have the highest level of Japanese language proficiency amongst the boys and they could sing the Japanese version quite well. Guanyou was so comical as he struggled with the pronunciation.
After their light-hearted banter, Ashin slowed down the pace with 我不願讓你一個人. Japanese lyrics were shown on the screen!
Since they were holding the concerts in Japan, Mayday had to show the popular Japanese character ‘Doraemon’ during 瘋狂世界!
I was the happiest person in Japan when I heard 你是唯一 live finally. Stone wrote this song for Zhang Yun Jing (張芸京).
She is a talented singer who deserves much better songs. Some of her more popular songs are written by Mayday.
Mayday performed this song on various occasions!
In these two concerts, I heard many songs live for the first time. 步步 was one of the more memorable songs. After watching how Ashin poured his heart and soul into singing the song, I could not erase the song from my head and it was on ‘auto-play-mode’ for the next few days.
In previous post, I discussed the song from the perspective of a love ballad. However, this song can be used to illustrate Mayday’s long journey since 1999. The boys took small steps over the span of 15 years to reach where they are today. Step by step, they defied the prejudices against Chinese rock band, they created music that echoes the voices of the young generation. They took a short hiatus and returned to the music scene with much trepidation. They persevered and achieved more than any other Chinese bands in history for the next decade. Perhaps the huge elephant symbolises the colossal steps taken by Mayday to achieve their monumental success! Slow, small and steady steps – Mayday’s success is a product of their humility and tenacity.
Ashin sang OAOA in Japanese on both nights. Unfortunately, Flumpool did not share the stage with them. Flumpool actually attended the concert in Tokyo but they just sat on the second level and enjoyed the concert as part of the audience. Mayday probably wanted to be more independent during this tour and performed in Japanese without relying on Flumpool’s support.
Amongst the boys, I think Monster speaks the best Japanese and probably likes Japan alot. He had a huge smile plastered on his face on both nights.
The boys probably enjoyed their mini vacation in Japan. They even had time to go for a hair cut on Sunday. Monster and Ashin spotted visibly shorter hair on Sunday in Tokyo!
Even though L.O.V.E is a trite song at times, the Japanese fans love the song. Monster was so energetic during this song!
Look at Monster’s wide smile again! He loves Japan! Japan loves him!
Even without the big scale stage set up, 諾亞方舟 is still such a spectacular song.
On both days, the boys ended the incredible concerts with 憨人.
I think 憨人 is the best ending song for a concert. It was so surreal to be attending the concerts in Japan. Listening to 憨人 and singing it together with other Japanese fans made the experience ever more surreal. ‘The bone-chilling ‘lalalala’ effect towards the end of the song perfectly summarises the power of Mayday’s music. ‘有我的路, 我有我的夢’ – singing this verse from 1999 till now, Mayday ‘step by step’ has walked closer to their dream, achieved their dream and eventually surpassed their dream. All these years, Mayday has accompanied their fans with their music and walk ‘step by step’ with their fans during their journey through life. This is the power of Mayday – their ability to develop special affiliations between them and their fans.
If you have to choose 1 representative song from each album? What will the 8 songs be?
For me (at this stage of my life), the 8 songs will probably be:
1) 五月天第一張創作專輯 : 瘋狂世界
2) 愛情萬歲 : 溫柔
3) 人生海海: 人生海海
4) 時光機 : 恆星的恆心
5) 神的孩子都在跳舞: 倔強
6) 為愛而生: 最重要的小事
7) 後青春期的詩: 我心中尚未崩壞的地方
8) 第二人生: 第二人生
What a difficult decision! So what will yours be?