Layabozi

Nice, Nice, Nice … So What?

What the hell, yes, my mood interferes on my feeling of what is going on. Freaking hormones and emotions that don’t let me be in peace. After being a month and a half on the other side of the planet, under the sun in summer, and breathing pure pure pure air, it’s just almost impossible to be negative about anything. This is all about hormones, chemistry, I’m guilty. And so it’s rock.

While I was in Chile, I spent around two weeks being the ultimate hippie, barefoot, native forests all around, the cleanest rivers ever where there to play with water every day, amazing food, beautiful skies, sweet light, awesome friends. All was perfect, just that …after five or six days there, I had this dream of other lights, guitars, horns, machines, bands playing live music in bars. I woke up to realize I was experiencing withdrawal syndrome for the lack of loud live music. Really.

Last Saturday Dan Shapiro told me he thought I was going to stay for the Lollapalooza Chile, maybe I could have, but I’m happy I came back to hear music here. Last weekend was great to be in Shanghai, and it was good to be back for it.

On Friday Mao Livehouse opened its new doors to the people of the music biz, and how nice! I was invited. The new location is fine, nice looking. Of course we need to see how is going to be looking and sounding still after one year or six months of shows, but at a first sight it looks pretty nice. It’s like a shinier copy of the one before. A good copy, because they copied the best to copy of the old one. As Dan said too, the bad thing is that the new one doesn’t have the elevating piece at the bottom of the stage (how’s that call again?) , it’s true that was a sweet part of the other one, but then again, wasn’t used too many times neither. The opening ceremony had it most bizarre moment when the stage was inaugurated with the performance of an Italian piano player named Luca, who played his own music that was right around the corner from the music of Carol King and The Carpenters, probably the most interesting part of this was that he said, “My name is Luca ” and then he giggled, and also the fact that he opened Mao’s stage. I would have chose a rock band to be the first one to open the stage, or maybe an art + music performance, I would have never thought on having a piano player like Luca, to open the stage. Maybe it’s a feng shui ritual thing for the stage, or something like that, anyway it was strange. Eventually Little Nature took the stage and then all became more familiar. All indicates that this location should continue the conquering work of Mao Livehouse in Shanghai at the same rythym it was going before, and it should hopefully make it much more popular around Shanghai.

Later that night I went to The Shelter, the Jue Festival is on, and any chance I’ll have to be there I’ll be, and so everybody should too. Friday night was Vitalic turn. The Shelter was so so so packed that honestly was hard to enjoy Vitalic’s set, and it was harder when Mic, who knew Vitalic much better than me, pointed that it was already half an hour of his set, and he didn’t yet play one of his songs, plus he was mixing and not playing any of his machines live. Music was fine, yes, but I think that Acid Pony duo opening for him, and later the closing set of DJ Blaise were much much better than Vitalic’s. To me it’s good when the house wins the game.

Saturday was Hedgehog‘s concert at the renovated YuyinTang to release their new album. And wow! the new YuyinTang looks and feels nice nice. Yeah, you all know that already, but I didn’t. The new spaces in it are cool and work very well. Sound was really much nicer (although my ears are new too, so, we’ll see). And Hedgehog gave us all there a great concert, they performed around two and a half hours, music was nice all that time. Great riffs, great grooves, great tempo, great energy, great guitarist, great bassist, and yes, great great drummer. Hedgehog is probably the best band we have in China at the time, they are as solid as all those that we can count on the top of the hills of the Chinese rock. Plus they are as alive as they were when they started. They have kept the music, the work, the egos under control, and most importantly the quality of their work. When a band has a solid musical base, and develop strong characters (instead of strong egos), then they can have the luxurious chance of playing creatively with music and have adventures exploring music into places they enjoy to be at. That’s what Hedgehog made me thought while I was funky-headbanging their tunes. For me, this concert was an inspiring concert.

I planned to go to The Shelter for Scan 7, the Void gig, but then it was raining, and the chats on YuyinTang’s park were nice, and then the Djs of S.T.D. started their gig. Electronic clashy music, that’s a lot of fun, specially with Djs that have such loose arms to play. I had a lot of fun taking photos of them, and their movements around the cables and the machines. And this was the first time for me to actually stay long to a dance party at YuyinTang, as it is now it makes more sense for me to stay and dance. Probably that wall that went down and opened the space made it more inviting.

DJ Sosso was playing when I left YuyinTang to go to The Shelter, at that point I didn’t care to miss Scan 7’s set but I really wanted to hear Shanghai Ultra and MHP. I made it in time to hear Shanghai Ultra’s nice set, techno and sound in space in The Shelter, when there’s not a lot of people, so you actually can dance to the music, that’s so easy to enjoy that seems sinful, sooooo nice.

All the withdrawal syndrome for the lack of loud and live music is, of course, over, but still, I want more! I had a great time coming back, being around my friends that love music as much as I do. I met a lot of people that was also having a blast with music. I realize I’m all freshen up and pink and greenly positive right now, and like any other hormonal animal there, my mood could change quickly, but I’m not weak, so I have decided to keep it for a long time. Plus summer is around the corner! And, as a matter of fact, I don’t regret at all to miss Lollapallooza Chile. As I don’t regret all the other huge legendary concerts in Chile that I’ve missed these years I’ve been here in Shanghai. Those don’t compare to what has been to be present at all the concerts I’ve been in Shanghai, and to be part of the growing and evolving music circuit here makes me feel good with myself. Am I annoyingly pink right now? … So what? I don’t care. As someone told me on Saturday, party around music in Shanghai is important, people needs to release the frustrations and the stress of all the shit that’s been happening to them at work, and (keeping it positive) people that’s into music is sensitive, then they need a space where to let off steam, and be comfortable at the same time. Working in Shanghai is challenging, and people has enough complications and negative moments during the working days of the week to keep the shit also during the weekends. Okay, some do, but those are just not possible well into music, or at least they can’t really be enjoying it as much, more probably they are just those party animals that just like to be irrationally wasted and behave like throlls without their boss. So, not them. The ones that are supporting, those, they*, going out during the weekends, they can move to this happy chilled groovy dimension were bands play loud and live, there they recover humanity, all is good, sounds are moving, and people celebrates around music. Mystical times, dudes.

(..and… you should go to South America at least once).

* I don’t say we, just because there’s no frustration for me to release right now, in general I’m into rejecting frustration, and now specially, into peace. So, currently I don’t feel much like them, but I’ve been one of them, for sure. Just that now I’m still into my chilleeenesss.

Check out the bizillion photos I took

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About the author:
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Mache is a hippie witch that was born under Beltane's full moon. She enjoys talking to ghosts and interdimensional beings, and cooking for her friends and beasts. She has Chilean wine in her veins instead of blood,and at the moment she belongs to China.

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