Welcome back to the sounds of Beijing’s music scene
Summer is over folks and that is indeed time to rejoice. The people are coming back and so are the muscians. Everything should get back to normal by mid-September in Old Smoggy. Let’s put on our 21-gun salute for the departed: I think we can safely say that the Gulou Mao Livehouse is toasted, so is the venerable 69 Café in Nanluoguxiang. We loved them both but can’t fathom the idea of another “last ever show at X venue tonight.” Hell, yours truly and his band played the “last show” in one of these venues, twice.
The general Gulou area is still the epicenter of live music in Beijing with the formidable lineup of Tango, Temple, Yugong Yishan, DDC, Yue Space, School, Jianghu, and Dada just to name a few, but other areas are slowly making consistent noise now, none more than Wukesong. We, of course, have the massive Huaxi Live center with its annex, M Space, both used for big name acts. Now, we have the brand new Mao Livehouse set to open in the vicinity. Will music lovers tolerate the trek westside on a regular basis? I’m guessing the promoters are betting on a yes.
Sanlitun has never been able to deliver consistent live music but it might now finally be relevant, with jazz. Parlor started the trend and is now followed by Chao, The Bricks, and Good Bait, all boasting almostdaily shows from favorites like Mademoiselle, Jess Meider, Ember Swift, and The Hot Club of Beijing. No, you’re not gonna get any punk in the area but your fancy cocktails now have a beautiful live soundtrack to accompany them. I’m hoping this trend continues.
While Shanghai is rife with festivals like Summersonic, Beijing however, still can’t get anything nice and that’s maddening! That said, September is not looking too bad from a musical entertainment perspective, especially if you like the heavier side of things. Tango, the venue we love to forget has one hell of a lineup: Local metal heavy hitters Suffocated returned to the city for their first show in over a year on September 9 and heartthrob Hana Turi brings her divine pop on September 21.
Over at Yugong Yishan, Painkiller Mag celebrates their anniversary by bringing in thrash metal legends Kreator, Imarhan (Tuareg desert rock) and for a show on September 29.
Talking about returning legends, the queen bitch, Gia, is back with Hang on the Box for the nth time. However, this go around, the girls have a new album and it might arguably be one of their best. Good enough to make us forget that calamity of a bossanova record from five years ago. Catch the album launch party at Modern SkyLab on September 22.
Of course, check your favorite venue’s social media feed for updated information and get out there, horns up. Just remember that we might be in line for quite a few cancellations during this month as we stare at some big government meetings.
BEIJING HAS SEEN THE BEGINNINGS OF TIKI INFLUENCE, WITH RECIPES RECEIVING LOCAL TREATMENTS
Badr Benjelloun is ready to shake what his momma gave him