This was a fun show that was a long while in the making, I’m sure. Mega big ups to Splitworks as usual.
Pairs led off the night with a trio performance that placed people’s expectations at odds with their experience, which is what any good band will do. At an earlier show we saw Skinny in the guitar position, but here he played purely a percussive meme, as Pairs clearly toyed with their lineup, as well as the preconceptions that go along with notoriety. All to the better.
Duck Fight Goose are hard as a platypus’s bill. More information keeps coming in about their prospects, and most of it is good. It seems Handsome Furs want to be a bridge between Asia and North America, and DFG is riding the crest of that ambition. Representation on a Sub Pop compilation is within reach. I definitely count Duck Fight Goose as a Right Now band that should represent Chinese Indie Rock. When I watch them play I feel vindicated. That’s a pretty vulgar, narcissistic, and delusional statement, but there it is.
I applaud Handsome Furs for making a commitment to China and following through. It was great to see a band that actually seemed to enjoy and understand the scene, so much so that they came back for seconds with a vengeance. They came back on amid profuse, well-deserved fanfare. The gig was not as obscenely packed as a Yuyintang show can get, but the number of people who wanted to see the show exceeded the venue’s capacity. I watched the gig from the park’s back window, as well as from the stage door’s vestibule entrance.
Capacity problems notwithstanding, Handsome Furs put on a show their mothers could be proud of (assuming their mothers are cool.) I especially applaud them for bravely lolling around on the dingiest industrial carpets in town, like land-bound koi after the World Cup of fish feed-begging.
Bring the energy and Shanghai will respond in kind.
There may still be a need for yet another differently sized venue in Shanghai. Why not let a hundred flowers bloom? I’m thinking 500 people strong, enough to accommodate a large crowd, but not too big so as to make someone feel lonely.
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