Let’s be honest, the music scene in Shanghai is weak. The endless parade of has been 60’s bands going through the motions, and the infinite supply of “world class” djs who in all truthfulness could just be pressing play on their iPods, gets pretty old, pretty fast. So it was a nice change of pace to drop by LOgO’s new venue and enjoy an old fashioned do it yourself rock show complete with sweat, blood, and alcohol.
The occasion? Marquee band Friend or Foe’s bassist final show with the band before moving to Indonesia. To bid adieu to their band mate, the members of Friend or Foe decided the most fitting farewell would be to kill their long serving bassist on stage. Thus the “Kill Bill” event was born.
For just 30 RMB you were able to bear witness to the gruesome execution as well as see 3 other local acts in the process, oh—you also got to check out the (desperately missed) LOgO bar’s new location.
Although scheduled to begin at 9pm, the show really didn’t start until two-piece metal outfit Death to Giants came on at 10pm. Since it was still early in the night, Death to Giants played to a demoralizing crowd of about 30 people. Nonetheless the two seemed to be having a genuinely good time on stage, drinking beers in between songs and discussing their love of puns with the audience. It was nice to see a band so relaxed and not taking themselves too seriously (let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to take two white guys screaming “1234567”in Chinese seriously).¬
The downtime between the different bands setting up saw the majority of the crowd leaving LOgO to take a quick Alldays run and grab a few beers before going back inside. Despite the downpour of rain, the atmosphere outside the club was incredibly friendly and had an almost street party like feel to it.
The next band that came on was three member band X is Y. When asked, they described their sound as “math rock”. Although lacking in raw stage presence like the other bands, X is Y clearly were the most talented band there, playing some genuinely interesting tunes. If they had a little more energy on stage, this would be band definitely worth seeing again.
By the time the third band came on, LOgO was just about packed, making it difficult to move around. Dragon Pizza (whose name combines two things we all love; dragons and pizza) dished out some furious head banging, body flailing, punk spirit that the night had been sorely missing. As the band played on, they took off their shirts, which prompted two alcohol fueled men at the front of the stage to do the same and attempt to start a mosh pit. The problem was that no one else really wanted to join the pit, so it ended up just being two topless dudes pushing each other around for the remainder of Dragon Pizza’s set. Our hats off to the two gentlemen for trying put a little life into the fairly tame crowd.
After a 20 minute intermission, the final band Friend or Foe took the stage. True to the context of the event, both the singer and drummer appeared on stage dressed in executioner costumes, the bassist (“Bill”) wore a furry animal costume (meant to be a lamb to the slaughter idea perhaps?). Their set was played with lots of emotion, but it was more the theatrics that caught the appreciation of the crowd. Near the end of their set Friend or Foe’s lead singer brought out a sword, and to the sound of an executioners snare drum he slowly made his way over to “Bill”. After slight resistance, the singer finally managed to cut apart his bassist with fake blood flying all across the stage. Covered in blood galore, “Bill” laid motionless for a while until “rising from the dead” he stood up, stripped off all his clothes (except for his underwear) and led the band into a brutal final few songs.
The event was a great alternative to the typical glitzy Shanghai clubbing weekend we subject ourselves to week in, week out. So if you know of any local bands playing this week, we’d like to encourage you to take a chance, pay the 30 rmb cover fee and enjoy something new.
Support your local musician.
By Patrick Keefe
P.S. Dragon Pizza is playing this Wednesday at Mao. We suggest you drink one too many beers, take off your shirt and start a mosh pit there.