Friday night at 2 kolegas was a weird one: I can honestly say I’ve never seen such a motley crowd there! It was mostly made up of international school kids coming to support their friends in Maggie Who, Mr. Ruckus and Operation Bojinka amongst others. Operation Bojinka pulled out of the gig for reasons unknown to me but there was more than enough music to go around.
I missed the first act, some sort of electro rock band as far as I was told. They were OK according some of the people that were there but that’s as much as I know. The Second act came on and had a bit of a shaky start with weird screams.. Most of us listening just discounted it as another crappy band.. boy were we wrong!
By their third song, this unknown band was commending everyone’s attention, even those standing outside, with decent punkish rock, good hooks and tight vocals… problem was, no one knew who they were and we just kept referring to them as “Joyside’s bass player’s side project” as he was one of the few persons on stage that we managed to recognize. A testament to how good they are was that they lost most of us after the first song and then managed to get us back which is not an easy thing to do. Anyways, a little douban and google time managed to clear out the mystery: We were facing what i guess is China’s first Supergroup, The Dancers!
These cats ain’t beginners folks, it’s practically Chinese underground rock royalty with Wang Zi from Casino Demon on vocals and lead guitar, Liu Hao of Joyside fame handling bass and vocal duties, Perdel’s Zhang Chao on drums, and ex-Hedgehog bassist Box on guitar! How is that for credentials? I don’t remember hearing about any band in the mainland that with such a pedigree… more on them some other time!
Mr. Ruckus then took the stage, much to their classmates’ delight.. I can’t really say much about them other than the fact that they sounded like the stereotypical high school band and in fact, they WERE a stereotypical high school band. Not good, not bad…
Finally, the Maggie Who boys came on and I was really looking forward to hearing them again. It’s been quite a few months since i saw them open for Dirty Deeds at Yugong Yishan and was curious to hear what they sounded like live again. They started things up with an original and proceeded with a set of crowd favorites including Bon Jovi and Buckcherry! Their cover of “too drunk..” is just the perfect song for them and got the whole place in a frenzy, adults and kids, chinese and foreigners all alike! I gotta give it to these kids man, they know how to rock an audience and have stage presence beyond their years! It’s funny to call a band of teenagers veterans of the Beijing music scene but that’s what they are!
This show was further proof, if needed, that their CD doesn’t do them justice! it’s a good effort for a first record and their first time in the studio but it failed to capture their energy! It’s weird to say such a thing because most times, in these days of samples and overdubs, it’s more often the reverse with bands putting out great CDs and sounding like shit during their live shows. That said, the song “Dreams” is starting to get stuck in my head right now even though i haven’t listened to it since the gig! A beautiful rocker with great melodies! Keep it up boys, your dreams will take you far..