Queen Sea Big Shark at MAO Livehouse

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p699497953.jpgI've had a pretty busy weekend this weekend, culminating in a trek out to Ai Weiwei's river crab party up in Jiading district, a party he wasn't allowed to attend (more on that here). It's left me pretty knackered, so instead of going to Buyi tonight, I'm going to blog this show and, if I get around to it, a couple of other things from this weekend: White Eyes at YYT and Ben Houge in Suzhou. Those posts might not go up until tomorrow though, we'll see.

Anyway, Queen Sea Big Shark at MAO Livehouse was on Friday night and was a big deal. This was the release party for their second album, a record that has been highly anticipated for a while now. It was their first show in Shanghai in a long time - provided you don't count the brand showcase things they've done.

It was 80 kuai and there was no support band, but that didn't stop a big turn out. There were plenty of foreigners, but it was a majority Chinese crowd - QSBS remain a big deal and, especially when it's an album release show, people are prepared to pay for them.

When I met the band up in Beijing back at the start of last month, they'd promised something special for their show in Shanghai and upon entering MAO, the crowd was greeted by a stage covered from top to bottom by a huge curtain. The only support was Linfeng DJing, but it was clear QSBS had something special planned - the picture here gives you an idea of what was revealed when the curtain dropped, but before that the band played CBD from behind the curtain with some great visuals projected onto it, climaxing with shotrs from the Beijing Olympic countdown.

It got the crowd fired up and the band ripped through a couple of tracks from the new album, which has seen them take a more poppy, dancey direction. They suffered a bit from the lack of familiarity among the crowd for these songs and from a slightly muddy sound in places, but most people remained transfixed by Fu Han and when they played the old favourites, the crowd went nuts. They also made up for the lack of support with a long set, including two encores.

Queen Sea Big Shark are not a band who appeal to everyone, and they may have alienated some with their commercial work and with their new dance-pop material, but they know how to put on a show and entertain the crowd and they did just that at MAO Livehouse.

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