Before I get into discussing the music of the evening, I would like to start with a general question that came to me over the weekend: since when did so many foreigners go to D-22? The last time I was there was for an Australian band who had been promoted through the Embassy and around lots of Aussie circles, so it didn’t surprise me then. And even during this gig, it was clear that a large majority of the foreigners in the crowd were a party-going contingent Peking University; and I guess, on Saturday, the headliners were two foreigners from Shanghai and a Chinese girl. Still, it felt very strange to see so many foreign faces in the crowd. I’m glad to see it, don’t get me wrong — introducing Chinese bands to foreigners is a favorite pastime of mine — but it still threw me off.
Anyhow, that’s not what tonight was all about.
Owing to an early dinner and a leisurely stroll from Renmin all the way to D-22, I arrived in enough time to catch a sizeable amount of the first act’s set. Old Fashion were a pretty solid act, interrupted only by the aforementioned PekingU crowd who were clearly friends with the adorable lead singer. It made for some amusing bilingual acrobatics between songs, but really the songs were much stronger than the antics surrounding them. They reminded me of a rockier, less polished version of Queen Sea Big Shark, but then– most any band with a spunky female vocalist with crazy hair and interesting fashion sense seems to have the same effect.