December’s birthday trip was spent at Anhui Province, a few hours from Shanghai. Boarded a fast train, and the last 1/3 of the ride was done backwards, like we lost our way. I spent a day at Xidi Ancient Town, where I was lead to based on the premise that it was a nice place to take photographs, and that it was the second most touristy ancient town in the area, and therein strikes a good-enough balance for me. Worth going to? Good side-trip, good for an afternoon, but the place is dead after sunset, and I didn’t sense any promise of shooting at night.
Part 1 here.
When news of World’s End Girlfriend playing here got around, there wasn’t any hint of hesitation that I just had to go, though, sure, I’ve only seen a handful of music videos, maybe played a song or two, but there was no legitimate big fan tag to pin with legitimacy on me. Should it matter, though? There’s that admission, and there was this opportunity that this -to put it bluntly- will be just like any other weekend gig I go to, except that it was a Japanese band that has appealed to the discerning music fans outside of their country for some time.
There were too many gigs to specify and put on the post title, hence a “big four” reference came to mind. There was no intent to be definitive at all using it, and sure, it is a slight overreach, but, see, I just saw these giants of Japanese modern instrumental rock for the last quarter of 2016, in my immediate neighbourhood: Mono, World’s End Girlfriend, te’, and toe.
I’ll start with Mono -a band I’ve already seen twice- and toe, another band I’ve seen once before, and they also chose a Shanghai show that falls on my birthday.
As seen here -and I think I have a ticket stub somewhere in my stash- I had definite plans to watch Yuck last year, but couldn’t. I was surprised to see their name again in my Chinese gig schedule source recently (if you must ask), as the event was nowhere to be found in the expat-centric English lifestyle sites.
I knew of Yuck from their first album, but had not actively followed them after that release. Personnel changes happened with the band, I was made known, but I’ve already been on that road that time I saw Sepultura sans Max Cavalera. Admission price reasonable? Event venue accessible? The songs made me excited even just once-before? Then there’s barely any reason to miss this gig.
It was my second time to attend the annual local shoegaze fest, and I intentionally did not research much about the bands playing. All I really knew was there were local and Japanese bands in the roster, much like last year’s gig. That was good enough to convince me from my usual solitary weekends in Minhang.
Soft started the gig with sublime, classic shoegaze riffs that I decided to put my camera away for some time. I highlight “classic“, since having listened to the genre since the mid 90s, there’s a personal attachment involved here.