Beijing based indie rockers Gala are obviously quite popular. When I turned up at Yuyingtang on Saturday night it was so packed I could barely get in the door. A quick chat inside and I learned that they have a popular song Young For U that's all over the net. Hence the presence of truck loads of 'regular' students who would not usually come to rock shows. The guy next to me spent the whole show with his fingers in his ears. Coincidentally, another student friend of mine told me they don't like underground gigs because of the noise, but she had recently been to a L'arc En Ciel show at the football stadium. Obviously there must be an urban myth floating around colleges and their net haunts that your ears can be damaged at local gigs. You gotta love rumour panic.
So, after the final warm up band, everyone went out into the park (there's a park out back of Yuyintang) to chill and use the toilets. I took my chance to get a place in the main hall. They started with an intro/lights up track and burst into life. Great sound and enegry and the crowd were obviously 'mad for them'. They then played two Beatles covers and quipped "We're not a Beatles cover band" at the end. In fact half of the set was covers, including Suicide Is Painless. Also, I'm not sure about an underground band at Yuyintang playing two sets with a break and then an encore. The main problem being that the covers were much tighter than the original material.
I saw a bunch of friends/scene regulars there. Chun Shen is a local graphic designer and friend of Cameron's. I also talked to Sophia, Lin Lin and Yixin, who all work there in some capacity. I think everyone was pleased to have a sold out night with money coming in but were not that impressed with the band. The Beijing bands always seem to get a good turnout, even if they are not so much better than Shanghai counterparts, perhaps we've got something to learn from their scene.