Vital Times debut @ Jianghu: The show must go on!
Last week’s big event was certainly 2 Kolegas 5th year anniversary (more on that later) bash but it wasn’t the only game in town, not by far! I managed to catch a few other shows over the week including Vital Time’s debut and only summer show at Jianghu last wednesday (May 26th)
I didn’t really know what to expect out of this show to be honest! Michael Dallin, the mastermind behind it all, has been planning and scheming for over a year to get this baby ready for prime time. He’s also taken a long time to find the right musicians that would help achieve his vision! I think he might just have done that!
The festivities started quite late ( if i could get a penny for every time i wrote that about gigs in Beijing) and not under the best circumstances as Michael’s voice was about to get on the next plane out of town. Still, he soldiered on through a decent 45 mn set of Vital Time tunes, mostly in English and 1 in Italian. The performance went pretty darn good despite the voice problems with Michael urging the crowd to get up and rock the place.. after an initial period of hesitation, the crowd did follow and spent most of the performance dancing and grooving much to the dismay of some people who are used to seated performances at Jianghu.
Despite his voice being shot, i thought Michael did a decent job singing but what impressed me the most is how tight the band was. I had expected it to be rocky shaky and typical hired guns get together style of music since some of the members had only joined recently but it was not! Fei Zai‘s guitar work is impressive, Zhang Yong spent years practicing his trade in and around Beijing with Woodie Alan Blues band amongst others and drummer Yu Wei Min has been around the scene since the mid 90s.
The songs were mostly edgy rock with a Tom Petty feel, especially on songs like “Money Tree” (download a demo here) where the guitars, vocals, drums and lyrics are sharp as a razor’s edge. Other songs, like the Italian one, just didn’t come out right but considering the guy’s voice was shot, it’s hardly surprising. I was actually pretty impressed with the band’s first outing, it’s just a shame they will be on hiatus for the summer while Dallin spends a few months in USAnia! I look forward to catching them whenever he is back!
More on Vital Time here:
Download their 2 song demo:
Vital Time unleashed