Penang Anime Matsuri (Summer Wonderland) 2017 – a first for May’n
To be honest, this is my First time to Penang Anime Matsuri – Summer Wonderland (PAM2017) on the 1st to 2nd July 2017 and to my surprise it’s really fun as Penang (an island off the mainland of Malaysia) has been a heaven for food. The event organizers were the same folks that brought the ever awesome AFA (Anime Festival Asia) around the region. The moment I arrived, a fellow May’n fan has been posting where May’n might be on the island.
Sure enough, May’n was at a place call Syed Bistro, quite close to the venue and had her fill of 'Roti' etc. The next morning we dropped by there and met my fellow fan there and he showed me where May’n sat last night (fans will be fans). After breakfast, we headed out to the event venue itself. There were loads of activity around the many display booths and events on stage. Celebrity Cosplayers offering invaluable advice in their cosplay workshop and one (Ying Tze) even brought her PS4 to engage the audience!
By afternoon, one of my fellow roommate decided to go line up as the concert was a free standing and he wanted to be close, if not - in the front row! And this is like 15.00 and the concert hall only open at 18.30.
At 15.45, Yuichiro Ito, from Nagoya prefecture (same as May’n) decided to do a Latte Art of Sheryl Nome after he was inspired by her presence here. It would have been really fun if May’n had showed up on stage and drank the Latte. Anyway, Yuichiro san brought the cup back stage and showed it to May’n and it came out in May’n twitter post later. Those interested to see how it was done may watch the video on youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akjS-CGUSlQ
After watching the Cosplay singles, we went outside to line up for the concert – already there were like 1 and a half lines. We ended up somewhere in the middle of the 2nd line. More friends joined in and soon a third line formed. We waited about an hour as the organizers cleared the Main stage area.
Just before the first artist goes on stage, some word from the main sponsors – Democratic Action Party’s President Lim Guan Eng, advising everyone to stay away from drugs and fight corruption. Some words from Penang’s Tourism Minister and the concert could began.
First up was Kradness and he put on his choice of upbeat music (he sings too!) and soon has the crowd jumping to the beat.
Once Kradness has finished his performance, a band began to set up their instruments and tested them. Minutes passed…..seemed like a lot of minutes. Then the stage dimmed and the crowd began to stir. A silhouette appeared in the middle of the stage (clearly everyone knew who it was) and the crowd began to cheer.
The opening song was ‘Brain Diver’, but in my opinion, the band was a bit too loud and it took a little time for my ears to adjust so that I am able to hear her vocals. But then again the audio might be unevenly distributed and some parts of the concert hall, it might sounded just right.
One member of my group suddenly recognize the next song which was ‘Vivid’ and began to move with the crowd on this pop song. The stage lighting system was great, it added dramatically to her performance as at some parts, all the lights would converged behind her, creating a silhouette on stage.
Next up is Chase the World – OP from Axccel World. Another popular song on the list of her favorite songs. Earlier, my gang were predicting what songs she would sing. This number came up in our discussion. Man, we had better buy the local lottery!
When ‘Lion’ started to play, all those who knew her during her debut in Macross Frontier days became extremely excited. This song is still popular that many knew this song by heart and sang along with her. My gang totally lost themselves in this one. Judging from the response from the crowd, we were not the only ones. By the time the song was over, our throats were sore from all the sing along and cheering. And this was just from one song! You can just imagine May'n throat and she's still going strong and on key!
May’n then informed that the next song is the reason why she kept singing for us. ‘Dawn of Logos’ from 2nd OP of Aquarion LOGOS. I looked at my guys and thought – we seriously had better buy a lottery as this was the 2nd song we predicted she would sing tonight!
Next up was Belief, OP from Taboo Tattoo. After the song, she came forward and catching a breath, May’n informed ‘This next song is the last song’. The crowd moan. She continued ‘Malaysia is very special for me as this is where I had my first overseas full concert (BIG Waaaaave in 2009, Kuala Lumpur), my next song is also very special to me…..’
The girls in my group said excitedly ‘Please be Diamond Crevasse!’
There was silence for a few seconds and she said Diamond Crevasse.
The girls in my group jumped for joy! So did the crowd!
A very meaningful song for many in the crowd. As this was a ‘slow song’, the band did not have to play so hard and so her voice was crisp and clear. You can hear the crowd singing along with her. By the time the song reached its end, many felt their eyes were teary as the magic of this song touched their hearts and souls. As the last notes of the song faded away, the crowd remained silent. Then suddenly like a big wave, the cheer and applause flooded in from every part of the concert hall. May’n stood there with a smile on her face, fully satisfied that she had delivered it perfectly. One of my gang, whom usually cosplayed as Michel Blanc (TV version) said ‘If I die tonight, I’m fully satisfied!’
Once the cheers subsided, May’n called out to her band members and gathered in front of the stage and introduced them one by one. Then its May’n turn- ‘vocal wa’ and everyone shouted May’n!!!
With a wide smile, she thanked everyone and moved on to the next part of the ending. She held hands with members of her band, but before she can proceed, the crowd shouted ‘Encore! Encore!’ You can see clearly she was taken by surprise by the crowd’s reaction! She picked back up the mike and in a sad voice ‘I’m so sorry, but I’m out of time.’ But feeling the dampening mood of the crowd she informed ‘I will try my best to come back to Penang and enjoy with all of you again!’ That lifted the spirits and they began to cheer again. May’n then went back into her position and held hand with her band members. She waited for the noise to die down and was about to swing their arms when it happened again! Someone in the crowd shouted! May’n then bend forward and put a finger on her lips to signify ‘Silence Please!’ Then, she quickly swung her arms upwards and shouted at the top of her voice ‘Arigato Gozaimashita!’. It was loud enough to hear it all the way to the back of the concert hall. The crowd loved it and kept cheering until she left the stage.
I met back with my roommate after the concert and enquired his condition (he had a sore throat the night before). He bluntly replied ‘double sore throat!’ A Totally satisfying evening!
1. Brain Diver
4. Chase the World
6. Dawn of Logos - Aqaurion Logos 2nd OP
8. Diamond Crevasse
We would like to thank the organizers, Shaun Chin and Geri of Sozo Pte Ltd to allow us to fully experience this wonderful event.