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.
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