When I saw them in one of their first comeback gigs earlier this year at the Midi Festival, they had one of the longest festival soundchecks I've ever witnessed. Once again the weather was a problem - they were opening the second day of the festival, an absolute mudbath despite the other two days being gloriously sunny. People weren't in the mood for sound problems. The band got through a full minute of their opening track at one point before cutting it off, shouting at the sound guys and starting all over again. Even the most ardent fans were getting impatient. Once Yuguo got going, they played a great set and won over the vast majority of those who watched them, but plenty of people had drifted away during the soundcheck by that point.
Hopefully the band have put this spell of bad luck behind them. As I write this, the sun is coming out (a bit) in Shanghai. Yuyintang is indoors obviously, but when you get a thunderstorm in this city the roads turn to rivers and it puts people off going anywhere. In a recent post I wondered whether last weekend marked the start of a wind-down for the summer anyway and there's already people on Douban moaning about the start time for tonight's show (9:30pm) being inconvenient now that they're not at university and are out in the suburbs. There doesn't seem to be any support act tonight (though you can win a guitar) and they've even been referred to as a single person in some write ups, which can't help. But the band deserve a break.
They've been all over since launching their tour here back in May, visiting 19 cities in total, and embarking on a national tour is still a big challenge in China. They were once (relatively) famous for being the only full-time indie band in the city and are certainly hard-working guys. Hopefully that hard work will pay off tonight and their homecoming will be more of a triumph than a damp squib.