Bang Bang Tang live @ Yuyintang

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bang bang tang backstage at mao shanghai
Update: It occurred to me just now that YYT's Zhang Haisheng told me recently of his plan to change the band room into a bar room. Maybe that was the case on Friday? The general point below still stands though.

Friday night at Yuyintang and indie-pop act Bang Bang Tang were putting on their own show called Rock My Own Zen. Here was the line up:

Bang Bang Tang 棒棒糖

The night was pushed hard on Douban and the turn out was great. Bang Bang Tang now have a good number of genuine fans and the atmosphere was good on the night. They even went to the trouble of printing flashy tickets.

Ann are are self-styled Brit-pop band that lean towards the longer atmospheric tracks. They started out with regular sounding pop songs and then moved into the longer instrumentals, even utilizing a flute. The Rake were similar in style but leaning more towards compacted tunes.

Bang Bang Tang came on with a bang. Singer Xiao Bai is a real star these days. She has great talent and the band's style revolves around her powerful voice and impressive range. The music is indie-pop with a hint of virtuoso musicianship for good measure. The crowd were here for them and they were well received.

Ultimately though, the show fell way short of its potential. The band have built up a set and a following. They promoted their own headlining event and put effort into the flyers and tickets, succeeding to fill the venue. Bit like the Mushrooms did last year. After a strong start it petered out due to woeful mismanagement of details. The support bands were both newish bands and there was too long a stretch of average show, it undermined the night as a whole.

Xiao Bai is the star attraction but the lighting guy kept turning off the front lighting, often for whole songs, leaving her in darkness. The sound, as usual lately, was messy and forever changing - often dropping her voice right out for whole songs. In moments were we could clearly see and hear her, the audience were captivated.

There was no stage management at all. The band room was just like another bar room, full of random people and smoke, the side stage door was open and unmanned and full of people too. This was a show with breaks and changes and planning, poor Xiao Bai came off stage for such moments and had to just stand in the general bar area, flustered and mobbed. This led to planned moments, such as guest appearances, becoming slowly executed and overlong. It killed the energy and momentum. And the general attitude to this aspect destroyed the mystique and impact of the performance (which was definitely able to be there).

This night should have been a big turning point for BBT and a legendary show but it ended up being a bit of a struggle. Another thought. I don't want YYT to have bouncers or bad tempered rules, so maybe we should all show the bands some more respect and give them space. Just saying. It's becoming a mess of unpaying guests, backstage hangers on and camera enthusiasts. When you operate on a community or friendly open level, then we all have to be responsible, right?

Believe me, Bang Bang Tang deserve our respect and support.

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I would think there might be more order in the band room if you didn't have to go upstairs to use the toilets. That hallway is narrow and can get a little dangerous on a busy night.


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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on April 12, 2010 4:00 PM.

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