Okay so I lied. The Hong Kong show wasn’t the last one. Right now I’m in Taiwan for a few days. I had originally planned to keep this time as purely for vacation but then the opportunity came to do an impromptu show. And so really, the last show of the American Me Tour went down at The Riverside Café (河岸留言) here in Taipei.
Riverside Café, Taipei, Taiwan
The Riverside Café, like Philia in Hong Kong, is another intimate space. The décor, low lighting, and tight sound system make it ideal as a jazz club. They even provided all the back lining (amps and drums) as well as a keyboard. (Next time I’m coming back with my full band!) Playing my set was such a crazy feeling! My aunts and cousins were there, as well as some old high school friends who live in town. Talk about global! It also felt bizarre to be singing about American social issues outside of the US, to a crowd that didn’t necessarily understand English. This show was also my first time speaking Mandarin to a crowd. For good measure, I even closed my set with a cover of Taiwanese artist Chang Chen Yue’s song 男子漢, while trying to remember all of the Mandarin lyrics!
Not really sure how it happened, but within minutes after my set, I collapsed! I remember coming off the stage and sitting down, and the next thing I knew my eyes were closing and I couldn’t keep myself upright. My cousin Karen and friend Robin had to carry me to a taxi where I was sent to the hospital! I remember feeling embarrassed, as I’ve never passed out before in my life. The doctor at the hospital said I’d collapsed due to severe dehydration and exhaustion. I’ve always read about that happening to other musicians and never really understood why. Now I get it. I think all the traveling in the last four weeks – from LA, to NY, back to LA, to HK, and then to Taipei – finally took its toll on my body. I ended up staying at the hospital over night but was released the next morning. Thank God for that!
Through out this whole month I have to say that it’s been an incredible experience. I’ve felt so blessed on this tour! Even with the hospitalization! What a dramatic cap to what might be the craziest month of my life. As I sit here reflecting over a bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup, I think of all the different people I’ve met in all the different cities. 2009 may have been a bumpy road, but what a way to end the year!
Can’t wait to get back to LA. The American Me Tour continues in February. Until then, best wishes for a happy new year!