It was bound to be one of the bigger shows since we got back from spring festival and that was on a Tuesday! Never mind that the Tuesday was valentine’s day and that across town, Avril Lavigne was headlining the MasterCard arena. A Show at Yugong Yishan with Subs, Da Bang, Glow Curve and Anarchy Boys wouldn’t fail to draw.. and it didn’t.
As far as I understand, this little setup was put together by SUBS but I can stand to be corrected. It’s one of the few endeavors this year that stood for something, in this case the right to love freely! It’s good to see music promote equal rights for Beijing and China’s GLBT.. it’s good for music to just make a stand!
The evening started a bit later than expected considering it was a school night with Glow Curve coming onstage just before 10 p.m. I can’t really comment much on those guys because I honestly couldn’t care less about their type of music. It’s not my style! Sure, Ruby and others seemed to enjoy it but all I heard was the same song over and over for half an hour. Their last tune at least had the merit of sounding different. I just can’t find any redeeming qualities to what they do so I’ll shut the fuck up on this one!
Next up was Da Bang… Last time I saw the band, they were called Bigger Bang. they had gone from being one of the most promising acts I knew to one of the most disappointing ones! Could this be an opportunity for redemption? Nah… I’ll give the band credit, they have gotten better musically. The sound is tight, they’re in sync and have the benefit of a good drummer, Li Nan. The weak link at this point is the lead singer, Pupi, who has the potential to be so much more! Last year, she was completely off but at least, she was alive and smiling. This past tuesday, she was nothing but a shadow of her former self.
Towards the end of the set, you could see shades of a wilder Pupi emerging but just in brief bursts! There used to be a sparkle behind the eyes, now, the shoulders are so low, you’d think she’s carrying the weight of the world. The semi indie-electro-pop music they’re playing doesn’t seem to convince even themselves. The band and their songs lost the IMPACT they once had!
Anarchy Boys -or A-Boys- were on next, in charge of getting us ready for SUBS. Now this band is one hell of a mystery and I gotta admit I forgot all about them being one of the earliest punk acts in China until ND reminded me. Well, they sounded and acted like it. It was a mix of rockabilly and punk that the audience bought all the way to the bank.
The music was tight, light and right! I’m guessing this lineup should be more or less permanent since they’re showing up a bit more often. They had the audience going with a decent high energy set that seemed like a breath of Fresh air after the first two bands. Actually, they were the surprise of the night! I’m looking forward to seeing them again in a full punk environment with their brethren to get the full intensity
Finally, SUBS came on a little before midnight! This is pretty much my first time seeing them since last year and they’re just as good as I remembered them! The band was all decked out in white with Kang Mao sporting a rainbow flag over her dress…. and they proceeded to do what SUBS do best: Rock the shit out of the place! Now this show didn’t have their usual energy but this was also a more “sensitive” crowd, not the usual moshers and screamers you get when Subs show up.
The band was tight as usual with Wu Hao being on fire… I think he moved around almost as much as Kang Mao which is shocking! Great set, good release and tons of fun! It’s weird to have seen this band for so long but to still see them evolve and develop new chemistry. The songs are the same, true… but the delivery is different!
The audience was not as big as i expected for this puppy but there was still a good 150 to 200 in there on a school night and Vday. I’ll say that it was definitely a success in term of bringing together a different type of underground.. I can definitely stand behind that! As much as I was disappointed in the first few bands, I have to applaud the initiative that brought so many genres together in support of a common cause! There was a little something for everyone and what counts was that at the end of the day, There is love and healing in music!
p.s: The sound at yugong is going down again…