Just about a week ago was the last day of that Marathon stretch of festivals that kept yours truly along with a few thousand others pretty darn busy. See the previous festival-related posts:
Last day was a bit of a tough choice to make with both Strawberry and MIDI having some pretty darn good lineups. Xie Tian Xiao, Rustic, QSBS in Tongzhou and Miserable Faith, Reflector, AK47 over at mentugou. Having been to both, I elected that MIDI would get me for day 3 despite them featuring the same band i had seen on day 2 at Strawberry… Don’t get me wrong, Modern Sky fixed a lot of problems from last year but i just didn’t enjoy their festival as much as i did MIDI and the ticketing issues + lack of alcohol tipped the balance greatly
We got there pretty late, around 4:00 and missed Velvet Highway, Die From Sorrow as well as Caffeine, all 3 of which i really wanted to check out but still, there was plenty of music to be had.
Spain’s Audio’s Pain was on as we arrived. I had been looking forward to hearing them live based on online samples and they were good. The band was tight, full of energy and played some decent tunes. I was not a big fan of the vocals but on some songs, they did work pretty well.
5-4, Who had opened for Lamb of God when they were in Beijing, looked impressive on stage. They’re really aggressive and have a huge potential. think about them as a younger Suffocated with room for improvement.
Lao Liu and Sand were next on the main stage but I wasn’t able to get overly excited for them. Their eccentric brand of blues kinda got lost in the big festival atmosphere. I’d recommend catching them in a more intimate setting like jianghu or jiangjinjiu for a better experience.
Ming’s Pretty Heroes, from The Netherlands, had some good moments but not really my kind of songs. They were melodic, poppy with a slight rock edge and had a decent crowd going over on the small stage.
Canada’s Your Favorite Enemy ended up being a mixed bag…. I loved the band and the music, but couldn’t care less about the singer’s constant talking. Sure, he was trying to communicate with the crowd but there were not getting the long speeches. When he wasn’t busy with “hey hey hey”, he actually managed to deliver some decent music and it was pretty darn decent.
Reflector, much to my surprise, was better than the previous day. They saved some of their heavier songs for MIDI and the audience was completely into it. They have a way with the crowd and when they’re on, they’re on.
We left them on the main stage and headed over to AK 47… let me tell you folks, this was one of the best sets from any freaking festival ever. The band took control and delivered an onslaught of heavy angry riffs to the audience’s delight. There was moshing, there was jumping, there was dancing, there was screaming and by golly there was fun! I got stuck in the middle of the whirlpool, surrounded by sound, fury, dust and sweat for 45mn of music induced bliss. just thinking about it makes sends shivers down my spine.
As usual, MIDI’s favorite children, Miserable Faith, was on hand to close things. Their appearance the night before at strawberry saw them playing all their crowd pleasing sing-alongs, much to the delight of the 10000+ persons present. They changed things up for their homecoming. At MIDI, we got a glimpse of early heavy rocking Miserable Faith with songs from their younger years to get things going. They also injected 2 new songs into the set that the crowd, me included, absolutely loved before closing things up with Zaijian. The audience was as much into them as they had been for AK47 but in a completely different ways: The moshing and sing-alongs were joyous expressions, reflections of a fun state of mind as opposed to a form of primal scream therapy. both passionate and enjoyable, yet so different.
Notes and Comments:
– The festival was fun and it was everything as festival should be from flea market to music, going through various foods and drinks.
– The liquids were plentiful with no shortage of beer, cocktails, water, soda or anything else.
– A decent variety of chuan’r and other snacks kept us pretty darn busy through the afternoon.
– fun fact: each vendor guestimated they sold on average 4 to 5000 chuanr per day… not a bad number hey?
– I would have loved to get a MIDI T-shirt with the bear logo but there was none to be found… I really wished they had done one.
see you in the fall or next year!