The show was labelled “Passing the Torch” this past saturday at Yugong Yishan with really old school bands The Face面孔, Thin Man瘦人乐队 and Zhou Ren. I remembered noticing the lineup a few weeks ago but somehow, it still managed to fly under the radar.
By the time i got there, Zhou Ren had already played but Thin Man was just getting started! These guys have been around the block for a few years now and were one of the first bands whose CD i got in China. Progressive yet classic with a charismatic front man. I remember back in 2007 at the Chaoyang Pop festival kicking the ball around on the grass with them and I’ve kept a little special place for them in my heart.
On saturday, they had clearly slowed down a bit with frontman Dai Qin looking his age. Long gone is the long hair, replaced by a cap. The vocals were slightly off compared to 3 years ago and there was a bit of going through the motions early on in the performance. But then, towards the end of their set, they raised it up a notch or two, delivering the kind of show and intensity I’ve come to expect of them.
One music insider spoke of them as one of the bands whose contributions to the Chinese Rock scene will go forgotten in the grand scheme of things and that’s a shame. They brought a lot to the table and can still rock with the best of them.. definitely more interesting and elaborate than the stuff I’ve heard from Tang Dynasty.
The Face closed the show with probably their best freaking performance to date!!! Chen Hui was in rare form, delivering his characteristic pop-flavored metal with the uttermost mastery. Ou Yang’s bass was flawless and Fu Ning’s guitar right on the money. For a band that’s only released one record, I’m amazed at how many people can sing along to their songs. The one and only Kaiser Kuo, who is quite picky about his metal, was spotted headbanging in the audience and so were some other dignitaries of Beijing’s rock scene. They’ve never disappointed me so far!
I’m not sure if it’s time to pass the torch because these veterans are still doing it better and with more energy than most of the babies out there who haven’t quite figured out how to even work a microphone. The audience at Yugong Yishan, slightly older than the usual crowd, seemed to agree with about 100+ of them sticking around til the end.
If there was a Chinese Rock n Roll hall of fame, these guys would surely belong there!