Last Wednesday was bittersweet in many ways but fun and amazing in so many others.
The evening kicked off at Yugong Yishan with Blackwater opening for Hanggai. As expected, every foreigner in Beijing that pretends they enjoy Chinese music was out there with the venue packed to the brim.
Blackwater got the worst of it that evening with their Irish Folk constantly drowned in the chatters of the concert goers that had no idea who these folks were. In their defense, they still pulled off what i thought to be a great show.
Hanggai came on next and pulled off a great set IMHO. Being heavier and louder than Blackwater helped them with the noisy crowd but it was still a struggle. That said, towards the last 3 songs, they managed to win the battle of sounds and were clearly heard all the way to back of the room. I had heard the new songs before and seen the same set at 2 Kolegas not too long ago so there were no surprises.
I wasn’t convinced by their latest record but still, as a friend of mine mentioned, if i had to give one CD to someone outside of China and tell them that it’s something they’ll never hear elsewhere, it might be a Hanggai CD.
< Warning: RANT!!!>
I’m really happy when a band is successful enough to fill yugong yishan but I’m starting to hate that crowd.. It’s the hip venue for acts where the “must be seen” idiots hang out and they’re fucking killing it! If you’re going to a show, listen to the goddamn music or get the fuck out! I don’t understand why this only happens at Yugong Yishan. I’ve seen Mao Live packed to the rafters with the crowd appreciating the music, may it be a local or foreign band. Same thing over at 2 Kolegas when people seem to go in and enjoy the show and Hanggai’s last show there was a perfect exemple.
Only at YGYS do we get these obnoxiously loud fucktards that ruin it for the bands and their fellow concert goers…
< Rant :: Over!!! >
After Hanggai, there was a bit of a stopover at VA for their Open Mic Night organized by David Musket (more on that later) which was one of 2 send offs for Jon Campbell and then we were off to 2 Kolegas for the mother of all emotional send offs: Tofu’s last night in town.
If you’ve spent any amount of time over at the drive in, you’ve me the charismatic multilingual rum guzzler… I’m not going into details on this but suffice to say emotions were running high with the who’s who of musical personalities in Beijing present to say goodbye! and intimate affair of tears, laughs, music and good times …..
Here’s hoping we meet again.