So I only just figured out why Mayday was opening the New Year’s show this year, rather than bringing the house down at the end: they were playing a few opening numbers by Taipei City Hall, then racing off to Taipei Arena for the sixth in the string of seven concerts kicking off this new tour.
I missed it all, but it might not be the end of the world: there are now a string of reports about the toll that the string of consecutive concerts has taken on Ashin’s poor, overworked voice. Last week he was apparently suffering from a violent cold, which had him sliding a bit off key on occasion (more than usual, I think. Ashin is notoriously – some would say “lovably” – prone to these little mishaps). He spent the break in between concerts more or less sleeping (which also doesn’t sound like that much of a departure from his usual habits), and was coming back ready to go. Part of the problem, apparently, is Ashin’s stubborn refusal to lower the key of any of the more tricky songs (because “lowering the key is not rock and roll!”, which means the high notes can get a bit crackly.
So now, with this evening’s double performance, there are already reports of him sounding a bit off on “You’re Not Truly Happy.” Still, the fans didn’t seem to mind, and not even the slightly higher New Year’s ticket prices kept them away. Also in the audience this evening was some family members of the band, including, I believe, the 90-year-old grandfather of Ashin. That’s not half bad – 90 and going to rock concerts. My 94-year-old grandmother is still a pretty formidable Scrabble opponent, but I can’t quite see her willingly heading to a huge concert. Though she has surprised me before….
Anyway, happy new year! See ya on the other side… (no, really. I promise this time….)