Yugong Yishan turns 6: still lighting things up with the best of ’em

we’ve come a long way from that dive rotten cavern that was the Yugong Yishan I first walked into located across from the worker’s stadium! Remember those days y’all? Nanjie was the unchallenged king of cheap booze and good times with a decent pizza available at 3:00 am to soak up all the 10rmb drinks.

Front Door of the New Yugong Yishan... quite easy to miss if you don't pay attention!

That particular Yugong Yishan was nothing special: a bar, a stage, a pool table in the back room and lot of good times. I saw Hang on th Box there, Chasing Stars and even caught Dirty Deeds in one of the last performance over there! It was in many ways reminiscent of what 2 KOlegas is nowdays.

Unfortunately, with the Olympic face-lift, the chai hammer fell and they had to move…

The new location is still to this day controversial.. it’s too clean, it’s too far, it’s too hidden, it’s expensive, it’s corporate and it’s this or that… heck I’m one of those that complain about it every so often (and Ruby’s feeling about the are pretty public as well), especially the drinks and the way the stage pit is set … but that’s because i care.

so, in the spirit of giving back to Caesar what is rightfully his, we gotta take time and stop today to give credit to Yugong Yishan and the team behind it for all they’ve done!

– They’re still a reference in terms of live music in Beijing and as relevant as ever! Anyone and everyone can play Yugong Yishan more or less: pop, rock, hip hop, metal, trash, indie… you name it, they’ll play it.

– They’ve been kicking ass and taking names for years now and still get the award for best live music venue year in year out!

– They got a dedicated group of followers that believe in them and likes to see them succeed.

now, unto some “nice to haves”

– Remember before D-22 zooming night, there was Tuesday night at Yugong Yishan. Doro and Gouzi would let anyone play on tuesday nights and if they liked you, they brought you back on wednesday… they gave people a chance! I wish they’d start that again!

– A reason to hang out: The old yugong was a great place to hang out! It was fun and you could chat to Doro while she made a drink or just play a couple of games of pool. The current incarnation is jut not cutting it in terms of hanging out and chilling. I go there for a show and get the hell out of dodge. much like Mao Live… whereas 2 Kolegas, Jianghu, Hot Cat or Old What foster that community/bar athmosphere. I don’t say “let’s go have a drink at yugong yishan and see what’s up there”.. I wish i could!

– Having Gouzi back in charge 100%. Ou Yang is great but Gouzi’s passion is what made Yugong! by his own admittance, he is too busy with other stuff and slightly off the loop.. shame..

still, yugong, I love what you mean and represent in Beijing! Some people refer to D-22 as the CBGB’s of Beijing… I say NO! That honor goes to Yugong Yishan!

Of course, when we say anniversary, we say party and like i mentioned in the quickslants, this one is good! Tonight is live music with Free The Birds, reTROS, Exit A amongst others… be there and pay your respects to the old fool!

next week, we’ll discuss whether the old fool is still moving the mountains or if it has become the mountain

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Ruby says:

    Yeah, Ok, I am pretty vocal about YGYS a lot of the time, but I have to agree they deserve credit for what they’re trying to do. As much as I bitch about it, I still go back there at least once a fortnight because they have the gigs I want to see. And I’ll be doing my best to get there tonight as well.

    My wishlist:
    Cheaper drinks – especially soft drinks, Y25+ for water, come on guys!
    Cheaper tickets for so-so international acts – I hate Y100+ for a gig I walk out of halfway through!
    Sort the sound issues out! Was just there on Weds for LCD and it was just too loud to enjoy, yet other nights it’s not loud enough and you hear the crowd talking over the music!

    As the for the hang out vibe, I just don’t think that’s going to happen in this space. I really tried to stay and hang out there on Wednesday, but the sound was so loud you couldn’t chat near the bar, but you can’t hear the music in the upstairs lounge. 2K will always hold the crown for the best music venue to to just hang out in this city.