Shanghai’s inaugural Fête de la Musique went down this past weekend, and what little we did manage to catch of the free music fest was sensational. Taking place at the cavernous 800 Show space on Changde Lu, a near capacity-crowd turned up for an evening of free music provided courtesy of the Institut Français.
Full confession: we previously made no plans to attend the weekend Fête, and only found ourselves there thanks to the urging of a Parisian ami. Something about the marketing concept didn’t whet our appetite, perhaps? The color war between fuschia, baby blue and mustard yellow taking place on the festival poster, the unintentionally offensive name for the festival website, faguowenhua.com…no, this was an event for someone, surely. Just not us.
But the Parisian et moi braved the rain, milled about waiting for the set to begin amongst cool kids and actual children, and then had whatever qualms we might’ve held concerning the danceability of French synth-pop played by two men calling themselves ‘Curry and Coco’ die instantly within the space of a few chords. We stayed for the full set before finding other nooks in which to spend our evening, but not before we were treated to the intense precision and sheer giddiness of hearing and seeing les deux hommes Sylvain Przybylski (vocals/keyboard) and Thomas Priem (percussion/badass coiffe) whip up the crowd something fierce.
Both had their shirts resembling sweaty messes by set’s end, testaments to how hard they rocked it on the evening for the sake of assorted music lovers, and their need for levity to counteract Shanghai’s unending rain.
And so now we know better than to judge a music fest by its gaudy advertising material, and eagerly await next year’s edition of the annual worldwide summer solstice celebration. Vive le Faguowenhua!