For the first show of the new year, I decided to check out two bands, though high on my list of bands in town who always throw a good time, haven’t be easy to catch. Well it’s been too long WHAI and The Amazing Insurance Salesmen – as they proved at Yugong Yishan just how vital they are to the scene here. And of course, my recorder had to be on the fritz again (think its about time for rechargeable batteries) – so alas, deal with the piss poor sound. At least I have another excuse to see these two again sooner than later.
WHAI is all testosterone rolled up into heavy psychedelic progressive swagger. It’s catnip for my ears.
While they are most certainly heavy, there’s something calm about the band and their sound – a zen like approach to how they attack music. Very monkish. I bet you could place these guys in a temple and they’d fit right in.
Heck, I’m advocating putting right now- WHAI at Strawberry or MIDI, even INTRO – big stage and everything – you’re going to get a swarm of kids going nuts. It’s hypnotic – puts you in a trance that’s hard to shake off. Not sure about the silkscreen obscuring the entire band. Dig the effects and all, but heck, I wanna see me some WHAI. They’re onto something.
Everyone loves a good jam. The Amazing Insurance Salesmen take that to heart, and while watching the trio tear it up on stage, you realize how much Beijing needs a band like this.
Inventive, jaw-droopingly impressive, AIS can be a circus act of sorts, as they juggle various influences and genres whilst unleashing untainted rock and roll – but what they pull off – damn. For starters, I’ve never seen a band have so much fun up on stage.
Their joy in the process is evident every second – the chemistry, the buildup, the solos, flailing to your knees clutching your guitar – it’s all there. Each one of them gets their moment to shine, reveling in their instruments as if it were their lady. There’s a fluidness to their jams – old and new (and they played a lot of new stuff that hopefully sees the light of day) that gives an improvised yet distinct tone to their tunes.
As a fellow esteemed music lover giddily exclaimed – they could be the Phish of China. Hyperbole, perhaps, but I see where she’s coming from. If audiences could manage to have this much fun, they might catch the bug that is AIS. Rock on boys, rock on.