Local King 3 "Genohmang" @ Mao Livehouse
A lot to get through tonight. Local King 3 went down at Mao - for free - and featured five bands:
Bomb Shelter are an AC-DC cover band and went on last so I wasn't around for them, sorry guys.
So, free. Yes, the place was full and jumping. Great. Although everyone's patience was tested when the doors didn't open until 20 minutes after the first band was supposed to be playing.
First on was Pinkberry. I wrote about them at the recent Yuyintang show and said they were coming back to their best. They were better again tonight and the song 'Live in Live' is becoming their signature song. They sounded good from down front and Xiao You is performing well, although she was sick tonight.
Candy Shop came on with their usual energy and were well received. Unfortunately, their set was broken up. They had to run an on stage promotion for the drink you see in the flyer there. Basically, couples had to get on stage and play charades to win free drinks. Alas, it all came apart when they brought up a couple and a non-Chinese girl had to guess the word 'Ge Noh Mang' from her friend's mime. That's Shanghainese slang for the people who crowd round accidents and fights. So that's like asking me and Jake to take Lebron James and Kevin Garnett in 2 on 2 b-ball. It dragged on and poor Candy Shop's set suffered. They made a good come back with their track 'Wo Men'.
Sonnet were next. They had complex video intros to their songs and all kinds of bridges and gimmicks. They presented themselves like super stars and even did their latest single We all have a sorry yesterday acapella with all the members up front. They had the bassist back in the line up, which was good and to be fair, the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves. Personally, I like Sonnet when they play tight snappy tunes with dance rock beats. They closed out with their old show closer, a cover of YMCA.
At that point I'd been keeping my eye on the crowd. At free gigs that feature bands who attract young locals you see a lot of new people. I felt they were having a good time, but were apprehensive as they maybe didn't know what the standard was or what it was supposed to be like.
And then BCR came on and told them with authority.
This is no disrespect to the other bands, I like them all, but ... from the first strike of the guitar, Boys Climbing Ropes owned that stage and filled up the venue with their sounds and presence. They got everyone's attention and were a true headlining act. They rocked the place. They were loud, fast and tight, everyone knows the songs and those who didn't were all impressed. Little Punk's vocals were properly mic-ed up and crystal clear, it made so much difference. It reminded me of the Pet Conspiracy gig in that here was a band who properly owned that larger space.
Can we now have a BCR headlining show at Mao please? Properly promoted, full up and on before midnight, preferably.
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