Erguang headlines but Nanwu and Zhang Si’an steal the show @ Mako Live House on 2010.5.22

At some point last week, I got a tip about this show at Mako Live House by some band called Erguang who’d been together for a few years and is finally releasing an album. I had never heard of them before but the facts that Nanwu and Zhang Si’an were on opening duties peaked my interest. Ruby and I got to Mako around 9:00PM just in time for the start of the festivities. There was s decent turnout that i estimate at maybe 150 folks hanging out in there.

Zhang Si’an opened up the festivities with his standard songs accompanied by Uighur percussionist Ubuul. The duo played about half an hour of solo material including 幸福在哪里 and summertime much to a few people’s delight. his voice and guitar playing both stood out through Mako’s sound system which seems especially suited to Folk performances. JSB playing and voice were both sharp but what stood out even more was Ubuul’s drumming…. it just worked! good start to the gig!

Nanwu was up next and the audience decided to get off their seats. Did I say that I love the infectious nature of these guys’ performances? I got the CD and listen to it often but when they play live, it’s something else. Their unique brand of crosstalk meets rock just sucks you in and gets you hooked. Saturday night was no different with the band pulling of yet another great performance and the audience eating it up including a few friends i dragged to the show who had seen them for the first time. Apparently, they have the potential to be extremely successful in Belgium 😉

Finally, it was time for the headliners and starts of the show, Erguang! they took some time to set up the stage with props and other goodies then got the party started. I had never heard them play before so I was very keen to discover what they were all about, especially since the crowd really moved up front for this one.
The band seemed to be missing a few members as on of the guitar players on the right hand side of the stage was following the songs on his music sheets. So, what does Erguang sound like? Take Nanwu, remove the comedy/fun element and put in a little serious aura…. If Nanwu is the bastard stepchild, they were the grandparent!
Crosstalk type of Folk music, slightly harder edged and marked with cultural revolution type of gimmicks or mini plays in between songs. The audience was definitely into the whole thing but this is one case where it just went over my head and i felt like I missed the boat but that’s only my opinion.

two notable facts though:

1- I got Erguang’s CD “slap” and while i have not listened to it yet, it is a beautifully packaged and designed beast.. I’ll post pictures and i review of it at some point.

2- Mako is picking up a lot of steam on that side of town and the place is slowly forging its place in Beijing’s music scene. So far, each show I’ve gone to over there was well attended! Biggest problem right now is that the place is freaking hot as an oven and has yet to get their AC going so far and that ain’t cool..literally

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3 Responses

  1. Ruby says:

    I was disappointed with Erguang. The music was OK, but what was going on with that strange Cultural Revolution play in between every song? Not speaking much Chinese, I couldn’t follow it at all, although the rest of the crowd seemed to think it was hilarious. For me it just broke up the show too much. I don’t want to wait 10 minutes between each song.
    But agree Zhang Si’an and Nanwu stole the show. I want to be the multi-instrumentalist from Nanwu! Whistle, maracas, cymbals, wood block, I can do that!

    • Beijing Daze says:

      I’m with ya on that… I think their show was a lot more appealing to Chinese Speakers because of the theatrics. Their Cd is definitely not bad… like i mentioned they’re the grandparents to red headed step child that is nanwu

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