By Lukas Steinberg
Midweek Music Preview is a rundown of all the events happening on stages across Shanghai. On the docket this week: International superstars Jennifer Lopez, Blue, and Elton John do Shanghai, and they’re joined by several interesting local and non-local bands of smaller fame. Get ready for My Little Airport from Hong Kong, the Rocksgiving Thanksgiving charity concert at YYT, Kun opera at SOAC, the Bigger Bang and more. Check the details to learn what we have to say about the bands and for links to music streams. And if that’s still not enough, head over to our calendar for more.
My Little Airport @ MAO Livehouse
Indie pop made in Hong Kong. My Little Airport is a two-man project consisting of Nicole and 阿p (read: Ap). What do they say about themselves? “We have to be very strong, if we want to do something very wrong.” Nicely said. Check out their music on Youku or Youtube.
150RMB pre-sale,180RMB door // 8:00pm // Mao Livehouse // 3/F, 308 Chongqing Nan Lu, near Jianguo Zhong Lu3/F, (重庆南路308号 近建国中号)
Big D and the Kids Table @ Yuyintang
Big D and the Kids Table certainly deserve a prize for weird band names and accompanying weird album and song titles. These Bostonians play snotty, good-tempered ska and punk rock, but also don’t shy away from occasionally quiet songs.
50RMB pre-sale, 60RMB door // 9pm // Yuyintang // 851 Kaixuan Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu (凯旋路851号, 近延安西路口)
Rocksgiving @ Yuyintang
Wondering how to spend a memorable Thanksgiving in Shanghai apart from eating overpriced Turkey? How about supporting the charitable NGO BEAN by rocking your socks off at Yuyintang. There’s a big lineup of diverse bands for that night, you’ll be treated with psychedelic rock, hard folk, Brit pop, party rock and Chinese hip hop. All for the friendly price/donation of just 50 kuai. Sounds like a fun night.
50RMB // 9pm // Yuyintang // 851 Kaixuan Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu (凯旋路851号, 近延安西路口)
Elton John @ Mercedes-Benz Arena
Usually Shanghai is surprisingly quiet when it comes to international superstars (considering this city has a larger population than Australia). But this weekend, Shanghai is pulling out all the stops, kicking off with Elton John. He doesn’t really need an introduction. Expect him to play piano at some point of the night. The show is almost sold out, so you’d better hurry up if you want a ticket.
280-1680RMB // 8pm // Mercedes Benz Arena // 1200 EXPO Avenue, Pudong (世博大道1200号 浦东)
The Peony Pavillion: Young Lover’s Edition @ Shanghai Oriental Art Centre
Chinese opera is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re interested in this traditional art form, you can see this nine hour long interpretation of Tang Xianzu’s Kun Opera The Peony Pavillion. Don’t worry, you won’t be trapped in the theatre for nine hours straight, desperately waiting for a break to avoid having to sneak out during performance. The performance is split over the whole weekend. This interpretation of The Peony Pavillion pays respect to the main themes of youth, love and life by featuring a cast of young, emerging Kun opera artists. More information here.
80-680RMB // Daily 7:15pm till Sunday (three parts) // Shanghai Oriental Art Center // 425 Dingxiang Lu (丁香路425号)
Blue @ Shanghai Grand Stage
Ah, Blue. Once one of the most famous boy bands on the planet, or at least in the European bits of the planet. Then after some fame they did what most pop bands do: put the project on indefinite hiatus to follow ambitious solo projects that nobody cared about (at least I assume so). And then Plan B: reunion as mature, slightly haggard men. Worked for Take That, why not for Blue? At least they can sing [Ed: views expressed by Lukas Steinberg do not necessarily reflect the views of Shanghaiist]. So do the “boys” still have what it takes? Frankly I couldn’t be bothered to find out, but I know people who will, and if you count yourself among them, snatch some of the remaining tickets.
380-880RMB // 7:30pm // Shanghai Grand Stage (上海大舞台) // 1111 Caoxi Bei Lu, near Tianyaoqiao Lu (漕溪北路1111号, 近天钥桥路)
Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again World Tour @ Mercedez-Benz Arena
What can we say about
Mrs. (recently divorced again) Miss Lopez? Nothing you wouldn’t already know. She’s made the transition from fiery latino-pop dancer to r’n’b/hip hop bitch and back again to dancy, upbeat pop performer. We all know the all-rounder J.Lo for her dancing and singing, her feminine curves and the world-famous butt, yellow press escapades with her husbands, and for her, *ahem*, acting skills. To sum it up, after all the years, La Lopez is still big business. She makes a brief stopover in China with one big show in Shanghai on her new world tour. And FYI, there’s a J.Lo after party at CD SOHO with 100 kuai open bar. Yeah, CD SOHO on the Hengshan Lu/Wulumuqi Lu corner, imagine that. Sometimes there are things that even leave me lost for words. Somebody please enlighten us how to qualify for these after show parties.
380-1880RMB // 8pm // Mercedes Benz Arena // 1200 EXPO Avenue, Pudong (世博大道1200号 浦东)
Naohai: EP Out Party @ Yuyintang
Naohai (Sea of Noise) are throwing a party to celebrate their first EP, and you can celebrate with them and grab your copy of the CD on top! Apart from some distortion, they’re actually not that noisy, just a bit more unpolished and rougher production than your average “modern Brit pop is the shit” indie band. You can listen to the EP here. Support from Friend or Foe, Forsaken Autumn and X is Y.
40RMB incl. EP // 9pm // Yuyintang // 851 Kaixuan Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu (凯旋路851号, 近延安西路口)
The Bigger Bang (大棒): ‘Celebrate’ Tour @ MAO Livehouse
The Bigger Bang celebrate their new EP appropriately named “Celebrate” with a tour, and you can see them do so at YYT this Sunday. The guys spice up their indie rock with synthie sounds for that electronic special something in their melodies. Don’t let the band name fool you, their music is not about noise and headbanging. Founder and lead voice Pupi sings in Chinese and English, and while they’re probably not the most original alternative rock band on the planet, they’re really good at what they’re doing. Check them out here.
60RMB pre-sale, 80RMB door // 8:30pm // Mao Livehouse // 3/F, 308 Chongqing Nan Lu, near Jianguo Zhong Lu3/F, (重庆南路308号 近建国中号)
Manuel Hermia Trio @ JZ Club
Belgian Saxophonist Manuel Hermia is playing this free gig with his new trio at JZ Club, so don’t miss it out if you like yourself some jazz!
Free // 10pm // JZ Club // No. 46 Fuxing Lu, near Yongfu Lu (复兴路46号, 近永福路)
Have an event you’d like to see listed here? Get in touch with us at [email protected]!