Amazing salesmen salvage an otherwise forgettable night at Yugong Yishan
It”s really hard to describe friday night’s show at Yugong Yishan! The bill featured a bunch of bands that had the potential to make some noise ( Streets Kill Strange Animals, Cassette, Yantiao) along with Shanghai’s X is Y and finally Beijing’s reigning champs: The Amazing Insurance Salesmen
I was quite curious about the first 3 but I’ll sum it up in very few words: They were out of their league! Cassette needs a few more months in the garage before they can even pretend to play a venue like that. Strange Animal showed some prowess but were extremely inconsistent. Yan Tiao…. sorry!
By the time X is Y came on, half of the audience had walked out!
I’m gonna reserve judgement on the Shanghaiers for now since i was fairly tired/pissed off/disappointed by the time they came on and might not be fair towards them. Still, they sounded better than the record and had lots of energy on the stage! I did spend a big part of their show wondering who they reminded me of because I seemed to anticipate every single one of their song progressions. There were some hints of the Verve Pipe if you’ve ever heard them bu no one agrees with me on that
Interestingly enough, someone complained that they didn’t sound like their LP which goes to show that tastes are a personal thing. I hope they had a better audience at D-22 the following evening.
AIS came on to close the show, much to the band’s dismay who had hoped they could go on earlier… and let me tell you guys, they salvaged the evening in style! I haven’t seen them play in a few weeks so I was quite curious to see if there were any changes in preparation for next week’s GBoB. Nay, not really.. These guys are not the kind to change the way they do things. Musically sound, entertaining, and one of the tightest units in Beijing… These guys are becoming a joy to watch. They’ve improved so much in the year or so that I’ve been watching them! Even the usually critical Froog stuck around for the show and sang their praise.
Way to Go AIS…
i’m sorry i didn’t get to see Amazing Insurance Salesmen, i’ve heard good things about them and i look forward to catching them soon.
i agree with some of your points about being “Yugong Yishan-ready”. for some younger bands i think there’s a “big fish, small venue” problem: you cut your teeth at what bar/2kolegas/D-22 but then it’s hard to transition to a high stage in a bigger space. even bands that perform brilliantly at these other venues have problems making the jump (for the record i’ve seen SKSA several times before and i think they’re a tight, talented band, if a little rough around the edges).
i think part of the problem is that the venue is so large and there’s little incentive to go down and watch the bands while they’re performing. this isn’t an issue with the packed out shows that have big name bands, but when YY has <100 people it feels empty. i think this is disheartening to some of the bands, which may also affect their performance.. just a thought, not sure how to resolve this!
Definitely try and catch AIS, they’re different!
As for the situation at Yugong Yishan, it’s hard to put a finger on it! I’ve seen bands play to 20 people there and pull off an amazing show. I’ve also seen bands play to a packed house and completely miss the boat.
In this particular case, the offer was just too weak! By the time the headliners ( X is Y / AIS) came on, the “inexperienced” bands had managed to chase off half the audience! I’ll blame whomever chose that particular lineup for it being weak and disorganized.
There’s nothing against bringing Cassette, SKSA and others to YGYS but you can’t have them play a whole hour each… they shouldn’t get more than 30mn! put on your best few songs on that slot and live to fight another day! if you have to fill a whole hour without being ready for it, you’re just gonna chase people away and do more harm to yourself as a band.
that’s a huge problem with venues around here where they just stick bands on with utter disrespect for their talent level or their drawing power sometimes.. no consistency or whatsoever IMHO