FULL blast or variety pack? Last Saturday saw the “next big thing” band from Canada, Japandroids, play a 60-minute-plus set at Yuyintang in front of a capacity crowd. It was an exhausting affair, with some of the crowd not making it through the show.
It’s always a question as to whether to see an undiluted session with one performer (or group) or to aim to see more but in a more limited fashion. Each way has pluses and minuses: When a group doesn’t live up to its hype à la Japandroids it can kill an evening of music. But with a cascade of stars, even seeing a stinker can be OK because the next one will follow soon. This weekend will see three such shows in Shanghai, adding up to dozens of performers in total. Here’s a preview.
The first one up is the latest in the monthly “4 great bands” series at Yuyintang (851 Kaixuan Rd) tomorrow at 9pm featuring expat bands Friend or Foe and XXYY, and Chinese bands Hard Pop and Wheel of Fortune. Entrance is 40 yuan (20 yuan for students). The “4 great bands” series is being spearheaded by “Scottish Mike” Herd (also of XXYY) as a way to bring expat and local bands together, all for a cheap price. These shows have been a great success, buoyed by sound intentions and Herd’s effusive enthusiasm. It will be a good night of music, from pop to pop-punk.
Next up tomorrow is the Shanghai All Stars at The Shelter (5 Yongfu Rd), featuring golden age hip-hop DJ collective Come Correct along with DJs LJ, Cavia, Heatwolves and more. Entrance is free before 11pm, at which point it is 40 yuan. This column has long advocated DJ Caution and T-Plus of Come Correct for their tight focus on high quality but less commercial hip-hop music, mixing tunes from Rakim, The Pharcyde, Ice Cube and related rappers.
Finally, let’s mention the Shanghai Punk Festival at INFERNO (480 Yongjia Rd) and Yuyintang from tomorrow to Sunday, featuring more than a dozen punk bands from all over China. The INFERNO events take place tomorrow at 9pm and Sunday at 11pm and are free. The Yuyintang events are Saturday from 8pm and Sunday from 2:30pm and are 75 yuan per day.