The last few months haven’t brought many interesting gigs on weekdays for whatever reason or maybe i just haven’t been inclined to go check them out. Either ways, this past wednesday, i had a reason to head back to Mao Live midweek when Xi’An’s SUCKER were in town. I had seen them 6 months ago in Xi’An and was curious to see if they had changed at all. It was also a good opportunity to see 2 young Beijing bands I’ve been hearing about a lot lately: Union Bunny and Lifetest.
Union Bunny got things started early for a rather short set. I was a bit hesitant to check them out thinking I’d find another gimmick band with schoolgirl-looks but absolutely no substance. I was half right! Admittedly, they played 4 songs but it was good enough for me to make up my mind. They’re swimming along a current of J-Pop or Emo that is not really my cup of tea but they sounded good at it… i think. I could just picture my hipster friends (if i have any) watching them and going: “ohhh… they’re so cuuuute”.
Lifetest, whom I had not seen before either, came on next. They share a bass player with Larry’s Pizza and that’s as much as I could tell from looking at them. Then they started playing and I found myself just wondering what the hell i was looking at. The band actually sounded alright but throughout their set, I kept thinking that they were on their way to a KTV room, got lost and ended up on the stage at Mao Live. I’m being a bit mean really, but that’s how it was! To be fair, the band had a few things going for them: a good stage presence, lots of energy and a decent front woman so there is potential. They played this type of skate punk that I don’t find interesting… others do!
Sucker time!! Let’s get to the point: They surprised the hell out of me this time around! I really didn’t take to them in Xi’An 6 months ago and thought they sounded like crap. Not this time. touring behind their new record, Skinny Man Reggae, they delivered an outstanding and inspired performance of reggae, ska and punk songs. The songs sound so much better live than they do on the record for some reason especially the one called “boring song“.. one hell of a crowd pleaser and could be one of those generation anthems if given time and exposure. Check it out on their douban.. i had ear worms from the chorus for a few days:
Fǎnzhèng wǒ tā mā de yě wúsuǒwèi
Fǎnzhèng liú xiàlái de jiùshì méiyǒu jīhuì
无聊的时间 不如全都浪费 yeah yeah yeah !
Wúliáo de shíjiān bùrú quándōu làngfèi yeah yeah yeah
Sheí hái xīwàng nǐmen zài zhè děng? ? Shuí hái xīwàng wǒ yě zài zhè děng? ?
I like being surprised and dragged into a song i never heard before singing along to the chorus in Chinese. This was one such case! The rest of the set was impressive if not consistent. The energy dropped off a bit towards the end of the set as people started taking off as the band closed things with an interesting take on Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.
Big ups to the band, really…
Yo, Mao Live/Bands, people are more likely to buy CDs after the show, once they had an opportunity to check out the band, so don’t take away the merch halfway through a gig!!