Boys and girls, I learned a lesson last Friday night. A few, actually. Let me share them with you.
1. Apparently, not all music venues in Beijing start an hour after their listed time.
2. Star Live is one of those venues.
3. However, Star Live ticket booth attendants have no qualms in taking your Y100 for the night, 40 minutes before the show is about to end.
So I rocked up to the venue just after ten, when opening acts are over at Mao and Dos Kolegas hasn’t even woken up, only to find myself stuck watching the encores. This was an expensive mistake to make, my friends, made even worse by the sting of Y20 Tiger Beer.
However, while I didn’t get to see The Life Journey, who were the biggest draw card for me personally, I did get to see most of New Pants’ set. Well, it was sort of New Pants. Their sixth album, “GO EAST”, is actually an album filled with remixes of their previous songs. After more than a decade in the business, New Pants deserves to have a Best Of album, and this one — from what I’ve heard, anyway — is a great way to mark the occasion. Getting fellow musicians and producers to remix their songs, they’ve given a new spin to their old music, helping to pave the way for a new New Pants. Celebrating cultural exchange and the way China is slowly becoming recognized in music circles across the globe, the MO of this event — and, indeed, their album and their direction — is to help showcase the East’s rising cultural relevancy both within Asia and overseas.
While I didn’t get to go for long enough to see any of this actually displayed, I enjoyed what I did see. Which I think, sadly, was just encores. By this point there was no dressing up, though the video screens at the back of the stage were still there, on a loop of Tian’an’men, Pyong Yang, the Bird’s Nest, in all their red and yellow kitchy glory. What I did see, however, was great. Their sound was brilliant (the fact that Star Live is classy enough to start on time means they have sound engineers that are probably qualified to run a sound board, unlike anywhere else in this city), and their performance was tight. I especially liked when they got their friends from other bands out to help with a song (Bye Bye Disco). Check out some great photos of the gig over at the event’s Douban page.
And other than seeing the director of the Live House documentary I saw the previous night at D-22, that was just about as exciting as my evening got for this particular gig.
Next time, kids — remember that Star Live starts on time.