SINGAPORE - The Mayday 2017 Life Tour takes its name from a track titled Life Co Ltd on the Taiwanese band's last album History Of Tomorrow (2016).
It also serves as an inspiration for the humorous and action-packed videos interspersed throughout the concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday (Dec 15). The concept is that the quintet - frontman Ashin, guitarists Monster and Stone, bassist Masa, drummer Guan You - are out-of-job superheroes recruited to work in a company to fight evil once more.
The slick-looking clips were in keeping with the high production values of the gig, from the programmed light sticks given to every ticket holder to the versatile stage, parts of which could ascend and descend. The band performed The Dark Knight on a raised platform and it looked as though they were atop an apartment building with the rest of the city spread out behind them. It definitely made an impact visually.
There was quite a lot going on but it was not quite enough to distract one from the fact that Ashin was not in top form at first.
Perhaps starting with the fast-paced and high-pitched Party Animal was not the best idea and his vocals felt a bit raw. He sounded strained on the high notes and even waded into dubious keys at points.
But just as I was wondering if this would be the first Mayday concert where I did not get up on my feet, the band found a second wave of energy and Ashin's pipes finally warmed up. Following the high-octane Jump and the Minnan number Motor Rock, he asked the fans to help fulfil their dream of holding an outdoor concert in Singapore by lifting the roof with some noise. They duly obliged.
He quipped: "We'll have to see ear doctors when we get back."
The band mark their 20th anniversary in 2017 and over the years, they have built a large and dedicated fanbase.
Some of the fans prepared the mini blue banners ("Mayday is.... Monster Stone Masa Ming Ashin & ME!") that were displayed during People Life, Ocean Wild, the rousing title track of their 2001 album. (Guan You is also known as Ming.)
Others prepped the audience to chant "jia ban (overtime)" instead of "encore" at the end of the set, in keeping with the show's theme.
The band kicked things up a notch during the encore with a line-up that included the fast-paced Sad People Should Not Listen To Slow Songs and the ballad Onion, written by Ashin for Taiwanese singer Aska Yang.
The highlight was 10,000 people - on the first of three sold-out nights - fervently belting out the classic hit Tenderness as lightsticks shone in unison.
By the time Mayday ended their three-hour-long gig with the defiant Stubborn, I was ready for more overtime.