PS: You Rocked Me – Hanggai Festival, 2K Anniversary, Shan Ren, Ember and more

Another month gone by, another bunch of live gigs, a lot of good times and some not so good ones. Let’s see what gigs kicked some ass over the past few weeks:

Ember Swift @ Temple | May 17th

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The Canadian rocker was in great form at Temple backed by her live band with a new Bass player. One thing i really dig about Ember is that she’s the ultimate pro, regardless of the crowd. And temple can be a tough one when it’s not full to the brim. She put on one hell of a cool set with old favorites and even some new ones. Always a joy! I look forward to catching her again when she gets back from her North American tour with Longshendao.

Shanren Album Release @ Mako | May 18th
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tractor metal, Yunnan folk, fun times, good sing alongs, costumes changes and about 500 people in shuanjing. That just about sounds like a recipe for a good time! And indeed it was… the mountain men had played a lacklaster show during the SOund of the Xity showcase but this was nothing like it. THey jumped, screamed, took their clothes off, put on wigs and performed much like we expect them to. The first part of the set was a bit soft but once they kicked it into high gear, we got back right where we left them a year and a half ago.

2Kolegas 8th years- Day 1
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I might have missed the big one (day 2) but there was plenty of fun to be had on the first night of celebrations for 2K’s 8th year anniversary. Free booze for a few hours, lots of friends and a special performance by Devils at the Crossroad featuring J-Curls.

Longshendao @ 2 Kolegas | May 31st
I missed day 2 of the Bday bash on account of a wedding but i did make it there the following week when China’s dreadlocked crew was in the house for their annual reggae party. It was a packed house affair with pretty much not a small little space in the the house free. LSD proceeded to deliver one hell of a performance where anyone who wasn’t a believer joined the fan club. A sweet good party with plenty of good times.

18 Years of Buyi @ 2 Kolegas | June 9th
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who know what i’m gonna say… noodles, ningxia, rock, fun times and a packed house yet again. The band went through all the motions, played all the songs and even had bunch of guest musicians come in to share the stage with them. I could call them one of the hardest working bands in show business but that wouldn’t be enough to describe them. Mojo is fitting in really well on guitar and the band has a new lease on life.

Hanggai Festival at Mako | June 14,15,16

3 day extravaganza to rival any other in the city. Class acts, class bands, good music and an amazing crowd that stayed in until the wee hours of the morning on sunday night. I might get around to doing a full review at some point but for now, the strong points: Hanggai, HUun Huur Tu and Yemen Blues delivered performances that lived up to our expectations. Djan San folk trio was a revelation, so were Holland’s Vanderbuyst. Mamer, dawangang and the tribe all had great sets. Randy Abel Stable put on a good show but should really consider adding some percussion/bass when they play such huge venues.

THere were plenty of other shows but this is la creme de la creme…

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