|Wow. I don't even know where to start to describe the five fantastic concerts I attended in September and October 2004 in Taipei (2 shows), Xinzhu (1 show), and Gaoxiong (2 shows). I think I'm still in a daze. I can barely remember the song lineup!
These shows were much better, from my point of view, than the concerts in 2002, mostly because the venues were indoors and we didn't have to queue in line for days to be up front. The only one we waited in line for was Xinzhu, and that was only for a few hours, not for days. Hey, don't get me wrong, a Wu Bai & China Blue concert is definitely worth queuing for, but it's sure a treat to just show up a half hour before the show begins and still be in the first or second row!
I decided that attending a WB&CB concert is like a cross between being a cheerleader for a football team and attending a midnight showing of the classic film, Rocky Horror Picture Show. You have fans dressed in matching uniforms, performs routines along with the music, and you have fans bringing props with them to use during special songs. One of the funniest things I saw was on the DVD for the concerts in February 2004 (which sadly I missed). This crazy bunch actually brought white bathrobes to wear during the song "God Help Me" (¤W«Ò±Ï±Ï§Ú) to emulate the guys in the music video - you can see them in the robes on the index page of this site. These folks are coordinated, let me tell you. They bring materials to make rainbows out of balloons, signs to hold up, everyone gets a lightstick to wave (and you must wave it correctly, depending on the song), and it seems as if all these people become one entity as the show progresses. It's an experience like none other, and if you love this band but have never seen them live, you have to do it. Period. Save your money, save your vacation time, and go to Taiwan for a show. You'll never regret it.
I think one of the best things about the fans here, at least the group of hardcore, give-their-all-for-WB&CB, front line fans that I go with is the way they respect the band. You would not believe how close we were to that stage, which was only about three feet high (if that) in Gaoxiong, and how easy it would have been for the fans to dash forward and grab Wu Bai when he stood in front of us at the edge of the stage to do solos. But he knows that these fans will never, ever do that to him, and he can safely get close to all of us without worrying that some crazy person is going to attack him. There's a solid feeling of mutual love and admiration that flows between the band and the fans - the four of them know they are loved, and they return that love just as strongly to those loyal fans who present themselves at each and every concert they're able to make. I know that the guys notice when familiar faces are absent, and I know those fans are missed. This is why this band gets my devotion, my loyalty, my support, and why I will travel 7,000 miles to see them.
One disappointment for me, and it's just a minor one considering the high points of this whole event, was not getting to hear the band perform Broken Radio. Damn, I love that song! I think that it's the best of the lot from the Tear Bridge CD, and I would dearly have loved to hear it live. On the other hand, getting to experience a lot of the older songs live was awesome. Those are the ones I know best and can actually sing along with!
Speaking of singing along.......it's just a fact of life that Wu Bai will forget the lyrics to at least two songs during a concert :) Maybe he does it on purpose just so the fans can catch him, I don't know. I remember reading an interview where he said he doesn't listen to his own music (what?! are you nuts?!), so I suppose it's not surprising that he'd forget what he'd written. I mean, the rest of us are playing this music over and over and over, day in and day out, and I even have it running through my head all night long. I wonder what tunes Wu Bai does listen to?
As fans, we're incredibly greedy. We're not happy with a two-hour concert, we want more. We demand that the band return to stage for at least two encores, and we usually get it. If we had our way, they'd never get to leave that stage! When they walk off, the chant begins, "Wu Bai! Wu Bai! Wu Bai!" until they return, or until the house lights go on, at which point we know that that's all there is and sadly pack up our gear and leave. Do we demand too much? Maybe. But do these guys love to give us what we want? I think so. They all seem to have just as much fun on that stage as we're having dancing all over in the audience. I know they must be exhausted, because they usually rehearse beginning at noon and going until around 5:00, then just take a short break before the show. And it's hot, flippin' hot. They may have fans blowing on them, but you can see the sweat drenching Wu Bai beginning with the first song. OK, well, Xiao Zhu and Da Mao seem to be cool cats, but Wu Bai and Dino look like someone dumped them into a shower :)
Out of the five shows I attending, Gaoxiong was the best. One reason was that for the first time ever I was in the front line, not the second. Freaked me out at first when I realized I was going to be that close, with no security buffer in between me and Wu Bai. Yikes. But, once I got used to the idea, I was jazzed. The second reason is that I think Wu Bai put double the effort into his performance for these two shows because his parents were there. I know they must be so proud of their son for his accomplishments, and I know how much he loves his parents. His mom came down to say hello to all the regular fans she knows (she's like a mother to them, too), and it was a real treat to see her again (I had gotten to meet her in May 2002 at the concert). She is a fine lady, very friendly, smiling the biggest smile - and Wu Bai looks just like her, with the same smile. I only wish I knew enough Chinese to thank her for raising such a great kid, a man who brings so much joy to so many people, who has a way of encouraging his fans to keep on no matter how difficult life is, to keep pushing toward their goals. Maybe next time I see her I'll be able to express my sentiments.
So now I'm sad because tomorrow I have to leave Taiwan and miss three other concerts. But my heart can't be too sad, because next year my dream of moving to Taiwan will be fulfilled, and I'll be back here where I can see all my friends and go to any darned concert that happens!
I may write more here later, after I have a chance to assimilate the whole thing (and get some sleep so I can think clearly). Right now I'm at the end of my energy with no Wu Bai & China Blue to look forward to in order to perk up.
|Follow Wu Bai home|