The place was packed and it was only 9pm. With the new renovations Yuyingtang’s manager Durn (Haisheng) has been working on, a lot more folks can squeeze in to get their live fix, and over 400 turned up for the show Saturday night. After getting us all excited with Yoi and Pinkberry, nice and cozy with Wild Cat (the Asian rock team), and then revved up with Crazy Mushroom slinging us around from a whisper to a scream, Hedgehog made a big entrance. With a giant backdrop covering the back wall of the stage, the Beijing trio promoted the new release of their second CD entitled Blue Daydream, and were warmly welcomed by the Shanghai crowd. Throughout the one hour set there were mild bouncing mosh pits, Atom standing up on her on drum stool banging on her sticks, and of course it’s not a real show if Little Punk isn’t seen surfing her way across the top of the crowd at least once. They played and played their little hearts out, skipping back and forth from their first and second cd’s, keeping everyone dancing without missing a beat while Box’s bass lines just kept us all in the groove. There was quite an impressive energy with everyone jumping and singing along to “Toy and 61 Festival”, a song that reminds me a bit of Neil Young’s “Keep on Rocking in a Free World”. The only song that brought it down a notch was “Waiting for the Last Bus”, a beautiful ballad sung by Atom towards the end of the night, but the crowd loved it as she’s hard not to like. After a fantastic and extended version of “Golden Age Infinite Sadness” for a grand finale, appropriately also the last song on Blue Day Dreaming with a real nice guitar solo by Z.O. and filled with “Bye Bye Zai Jian” lyrics, the entire didian was in an uproar for more, screaming “encore” in at least six languages. With what seemed to be a slight reluctance (it would be hard to beat that ending and it was obvious they had timed it all perfectly!), the band shuffled back on the stage and gave the hungry fans one more morsel of music and called it a night.
Though I really like some of the new songs, my favorite is still “Noise Hit World”, the title song from the first album, also seemingly the highlight of the evening. It’s unique and really defined Hedgehog for me. Blue Daydreaming seems to mellow out a bit in a Smashing Pumpkins sort of way with some added effects and a nice sense of balance in the album as a whole, whereas Noise Hit World rocks all the way through. Correct me if I’m out of line here, but I can’t find much difference between “Apart” on Noise Hit World and “24 Hours Rock Party” on Blue Daydreaming. Hopefully when I can find a magnifying glass to read the lyrics on the new cd insert I will find they are as deep as the passion with which the songs were performed and which makes the similarity between their songs less noticeable. I had a great time at YuYinTang, which seems to be doing quite well these days, with nightly entertainment and at least two good shows a week, and is really using that success for better. For the first time ever I can say that the sound system at Yuyintang is actually good enough for some of the great acts that they play there, which is wonderful because The Dovetail Joints are playing there on 4/24! See you there.
Check later for photos of the night.