Rock n’ Roll is gonna save us – Arcane Saints preach to the choir at Mao
You know we’re biased here at Daze Central right? So when an Aussie band with a Kiwi singer turns up in Beijing there’s no way I’m missing this show. BD decided to skip this one after not being so impressed by S.A.M.E.’s last offering, Bone and he missed out big time. If these guys are saints, then sign me up to this church deal!
I got to Mao around 10ish, there were 5 bands on the bill, I must have missed Summer Sunshine and Pirate Pistol because The Hippies were just starting as I walked in. I’ve seen these guys once before at the Motley Crue tribute show, but they didn’t make a big impression on me then. They’re ok at what they do, which is dressing up & covering hair metal songs. They opened with a nice try at ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ The singer does a passable Axl Rose impersonation, but seems to be putting his voice under a lot of pressure to pull it off. Wouldn’t go out of my way to see them again, but they’re not bad.
Los Crasher were up next, continuing the 80’s theme. These guys are fun to watch, they really play it up for the crowd. The lead singer can be hard to get a good picture of as he just doesn’t stop moving, He’s also overly feminine in both his dress and movements, it’s only the voice that remind you it’s actually a guy up there! I think they were doing covers? Not exactly sure, it’s all a little chinglish …
Headliners Arcane Saints took the stage next. I’ve been listening to their music over the last week, so I had an idea of what to expect, but was surprised to find I was recognising songs from the opening riffs and able to sing along! They play anthemic garage rock, similar style to Soundgarden and other 90’s alt rock bands I love. But seeing them live adds another dimension, they’re much heavier than their EP and for a band that’s gone through a few line up changes, they’re really tight. There was a crew of people dancing up front through the whole set, who’d seen them last week at D22 and come back for more. An awesome 5 minute drum solo in the middle of the set got them even more fired up. I was impressed that they made an effort to connect with the audience chatting between songs, so many international bands come here and asume the crowd can’t understand them , so don’t speak at all. The set ended with calls for more, so we given a choice, an original or a Black Sabbath cover, which of course was met with the obvious answer: both!
I decided to stick around for a drink and to grab a CD, which somehow turned into getting home at 6am and sporting a wicked hangover the next day, but it was worth it, they’re a really fun bunch of guys to hang out with! They seem to have really enjoyed their time in China and all now have matching 摇滚 tattoos. They’ve promised they will return and are planning on another China tour in May next year. In the meantime their 4 track EP is available on their website, and you can download tracks not on the EP, including my favourites ‘Nervous Breakdown’ and ‘Motorway’ for free!
Thanks to Tenzenmen & This Town Touring for another great show – looking forward to seeing who you bring us next! If you’re reading this in Australia, Beijing’s Carsick Cars are currently on tour there – check out the dates here.