Music, tears, and Ang Lee at Taiwanese band Mayday's NYC show
For a student band that started in the late 1990s in Taiwan, standing on the stage of Madison Square Garden to perform must have seemed an impossible dream, but the Taiwanese band, Mayday, did exactly that. On March 22nd, they performed for a 140,000 enthusiastic crowd at the Madison Square Garden. Mayday is also the band that composed and sang the fiery opening theme to the popular drama, Prince of Lan Ling. We have photos taken from the front-row seat and videos of their performance.
Mayday has often been praised as a group that embodies the indomitable spirit of Taiwanese youth. The members write and perform their original Mandarin songs with compelling lyrics that can only have come from the deepest felt passion. In the past 15 years, Mayday has won the Best Band title at Taiwan's prestigious Golden Melody Awards in 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2012, and they have also won over 150 awards worldwide and sold more than 1 million albums. Many of their songs have been chosen as theme songs for movies and special events.
New York is the seventh leg of the five-man alternative rock band's 2014 Nowhere World Tour, which includes Seoul in South Korea; the European cities of London, Paris and Amsterdam; Toronto and Vancouver in Canada; and New York, Chicago, San Jose and Los Angeles in the US.
Here's their live performance of 'Entering the Battle,' theme song for Prince of Lang Ling:
The following is an excerpt of the lyrics written by Ashin with the music composed by Guai Shou:
When a wall only serves obstruction, freedom is wanting
When a belief cannot hold strong, war and starvation is everywhere
When truth can be obfuscated by one hand until it is forgotten
We write an impetuous page in our chapter that used to be glorious
I'm including another live performance of "Entering the Battle" at a different concert because of the closeups.
On the night of their glorious performance , Ashin and his fellow members shed tears on the 'world's biggest stage.' The poignancy is not just about the student band that has made it big, but also about how hard it is to stay true to doing what one loves, and how easy it is when even compassionate words can be misconstrued and misunderstood. The group has performed to 10 million fans globally at over 1,000 live concerts in the past 15 years, but they have not and will never forget Taiwan is their homeland. For the 2014 world tour, Ashin recalled what he said to his manager, 'I don't want a single dollar of pay. Keep the ticket price lower and make the show better.' He then asked the audience to raise their arms up high and hold hands with those next to them to show support.
At the end of the concert, world famous and Oscar-winning Taiwanese movie director, Ang Lee, went to visit them. He said that he wanted to give support to the group that stood for youthful spirit. He also said his favorite song is 'Stubborn' which often inspired him to keep going whenever he felt doubtful about how to continue.
Mayday's 2014 Nowhere World Tour began Feb. 8, 2014 at Kintex Center in Seoul and will end with a celebratory concert at Los Angeles Sports Arena in California on the band's 15th founding anniversary on March 29.
In the meantime, DramaFever fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a new song, 'Do You Ever Shine?' from Mayday. It is a theme song to a new Japanese drama series, Bitter Blood, to be simulcast with Fuji TV.
(Correction, March 25, 2014: Original title stated "onstage" but it was reported that director Ang Lee was actually backstage.)