SUBS and Duck Fight Goose, Yuyintang
I got to Yuyintang fairly early last night because I expected it to be rammed. A free gig with SUBS headlining ought to have been, even on a Thursday night. Eventually the crowd did pick up, but I think it was largely swelled by a bus-load of people on a 'Converse tour of Shanghai', which meant that they weren't necessarily dedicated gig goers. The atmosphere suffered a little as a result, despite a dedicated crowd of fans at the front - something Kang Mao herself remarked upon during SUBS's set. It wasn't quite a denouncement in the style of Windows Tembo a few years back when she swore at everyone not in the mosh pit, but still.
More promotion might have helped, although it was always a bit dubious as to whether this was a private event or not. Despite the corporate backing, to be fair there was little in the way of branding on either the bands or the venue and it felt very much like a normal gig in most respects. Not that any of that mattered massively to be honest. You get the feeling SUBS would give an energetic performance to a crowd of three, whether those people were into it or not.
Duck Fight Goose had opened the night, once the Converse bus had arrived, playing a truncated set, but a good one. As mentioned before on this blog, their post-Flow material is very different to their debut EP. They could almost be a different band. People seem to be saying that the new sound is more 'commercial', more 'mainstream' and perhaps that's true, but the quality of the musicians hasn't changed and the ideas are still there. I think the new material is more accessible and will appeal to a wider audience, but then what's wrong with that?
After Duck Fight Goose had cleared the stage, Kang Mao wove her way through the crowd, apparently dressed as a disco glitter ball and proceeded to rip through a great set with the band. I missed SUBS last month when they played at MAO Livehouse so I was glad to catch them again - it's been a year since the last time I saw them. They don't change though, they're still incredible performers, both individually and as a unit. So tight, so professional and so good. They gave it their all, played some of my favourite songs and should have had the crowd wailing for more. As it was, everyone slinked off as soon as they left the stage, meaning there was no encore. I was a bit disappointed, especially as the sound was great at YYT last night - you didn't want it to stop. But I suppose it was a free show and you can't really be that disappointed when you've just watched SUBS up close. They remain one of best live bands in China by far.
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