After Chinese New Year was officially over, February kicked off at Mao with Swedish post-rock group Immanu El. Glow Curve opened and I loved them as per usual, but Immanu El was something special. Unlike a lot of post-rock bands, even the really freaking good ones (I’m looking at you, Sigur Ros), they actually moved around stage and put on a show. They were immensely tall, and it was weird to realize that all the bands I’d seen on that stage before were really short. But in short, it was a great show, and I’m glad that there’s someone out there bringing good Scandinavian post-rock to Beijing.
The next night I did something I never thought I would do, and that is voluntarily go see a metal band. It was actually a great show, at least when they were playing their more prog-rock sounds. I also discovered that the only reason I dislike metal is the singing, because otherwise I can be totally down with it. I just find the growling/screaming/not even really singing just kind of pointless. But on the contrary, Opeth were amazing, and their lead singer can really sing. Plus, they had a lot of fun talking with the crowd, and there were some amazing headbangers out that night. Some nearby guys doing windmills made me feel like there was a fan on me…
I had a big hiatus because the next weekend I was slated to go see pop DJ Calvin Harris but, well… it was a total clusterfuck. So my third gig in February was JUE Festival’s warm up show, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. skip skip ben ben opened and I didn’t much care for them, but that’s mostly because I was excited to see Pains. They were good, as advertised; reminiscent of 80s groups like The Cure, only a little softer. The songs did, however, start to sound the same after a while. Still, I enjoyed them and it reminded me to get excited for the rest of the JUE lineup (it all looks amazing okay).
Finally, there was the gig I had been looking forward to for a long time: Residence A’s album launch show. I skipped Me Too and poked my head in for most of Glow Curve, and then made a total bee-line for Residence A. They were on their game as per usual, but to be honest, for me personally, I’ve seen them so many times that I definitely have other favorite gigs of theirs. I can’t wait to see them when they get back from their ridiculous 28-date tour of China’s tier 2 and 3 cities! Their first show back is likely in May, so I’ll have to be content with their album (which you can buy on Taobao for ¥60) for the next couple of months.