Hanggai, Dream Factory

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hanggai.jpgThere can't have been too many people who did both the Pet Conspiracy and Hanggai shows this weekend, but if you were to ask anyone who did which was the more entertaining, they'd be hard pushed for an answer. If it was your first time seeing the former, then maybe the stage antics would have sealed it. If you'd seen them before but it was your first time watching Hanggai's raucous traditional folk music, you might be tempted to go with the Mongolians.

Although they're based in Beijing these days, they haven't forgotten their Mongolian roots and, dressed in traditional costume and playing traditional instruments, their music has an authenticity and energy that is hard to match. Apparently, Hanggai had been against having a support act on the bill. They didn't need one. The audience - with a strong Mongolian contingent - were only here to see them. They were called back to the stage for three separate encores, with some audience members blocking the stage exit at one point and pleading with them to continue.

It was no over reaction - Hanggai were simply an immensely entertaining band. It wasn't the only stage invasion of the night either. Earlier several Mongolian girls had taken to the stage to present the band members with white scarves - a traditional greeting. During a song about drinking (so good that they played it twice), a man got up to offer the lead singer a bottle of Mongolian baijiu (ridiculously strong stuff), which he promptly necked. One of the Mongolian girls who'd been showing off their traditional dance moves during the gig, also got on the mic to accompany the lead singer in one of the encore songs - Ulan Bator - and to lead the crowd in saying "Hanggai we love you" in Mongolian. I imagine everyone meant it as well, Hanggai were outstanding.

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I should have got off my lazy ass and joined you. Ah well, next time.

Same with me. I wish I had been there...

I went to both and, as you said, I was more excited during the Pet Conspiracy show (Pet Conspiracy virgin), but the Hanggai show was really interesting and moving. One issue for me was the length (or lack thereof) of the show. I could not believe, when they left the first time, that the show was going to be over. Thank goodness for the encores. The open-throat singer was phenomenal, as well as the lead guy.

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