Subs Album Launch: I think I saw Rock n Roll in Beijing.. or something like it!
Last Friday, the SUBS came back to Beijing after a few weeks on the road supporting their new album: Queen of Fuc-ing Everything. The gig was pretty darn good and fans showed up in big numbers at Mao Live house which was refreshing to see considering the last few gigs i’ve been to in Beijing had less than 50 in attendance.
The Dancers whose merits and performances I’ve been praising a lot opened up the festivities and delivered one hell of a performance again. It’s pretty much the same set list for a few weeks back but that’s not a complaint. The guys are just getting started and finding their sweet spots. Their live show is getting tighter with each performance and you just know that they’re good: The way they look at each other during solos, the antics.. they’re a rock n roll band!
Next up was Omnipotent Youth Society ( 万能青年旅店) who was one hell of a surprise. I’ve never seen them or heard of them before but they’ve been around for a little while and hail from the great province of Hebei. Think 80’s arena rock with a trombone… The audience seemed to definitely know who they were and had quite a bit of applause in store for them. I was caught off-guard by the trombone and how well it complemented the guitar.. I’ll be keeping an eye on these kids.
Finally, the kings of Beijing were up! The lights went dim, the video started on a projector and the riffs kicked in before Kang Mao came out like bat out of hell! How can i describe a SUBS show to someone who has never been to one? It’s a toughie! There is an energy, a sort of animal-like urge to jump and scream that overtakes the crowd and the band! Friday was no exception with a gigantic mosh pit taking over most of the floor. Strangely enough, I think it’s mostly fueled by Wu Hao’s work on guitar. I spent a few minutes concentrating on his playing and found it to deceivingly elaborate! it might not sound like it but there are melodies under all that noise. An emotional moment was shared when Kang Mao took out a list of names to thank for their contribution to the record and helping them get rid of the record company. Great coming out party SUBS… loving you
I had to exit Mao about halfway through the SUBS because of a prior engagement. As I walked out, I was taken back by the scene in front of me just outside Mao Live’s doorstep: The who’s who of Beijing rock sitting on a sidewalk sipping tall yanjings, jingjiu, erguotou and munching on peanuts in the heat of the night: about 2 dozen folks amongst which Joyside’s Bian Yuan sitting next to Rustic’s lucifer while Rikki Sixx was carrying a conversation with members of Casino Demon. on the other side, what looked like Guaili’s wenjun was strumming a guitar.. that’s just to name a few…. the scene streched for a few meters… just chilling in the heat of the night with cheap alcohol, cigarettes and peanuts being passed around…. The older generation chilling with the young guns presumably passing on some advice about touring, makeup and tailors… at that time, I think I saw rock n roll in Beijing …. or something like it!