Gig Recap: 2024 Breeze from Taihu (Maze Art Space 2024.1.01)

Silence Ocean 倦海, Deer Island 鹿岛漫车, Who Shout Billy 呼叫比利, Lur:, Huxiaochun 虎啸春, Seven Joys, WaChi 蛙池 at Maze Art Space 迷宫艺术空间 2024.01.01

自从我上次关注迷笛以来已经过去一段时间了——这个某种程度上定义了摇滚乐的厂牌起源于北京的一所音乐学校,如今已经成为了众多音乐节中的一颗元老级炸弹;此外迷笛也涉足了许多其他领域与副业。我最早在北京的时候——同时也是最美好的一些回忆,就是在迷笛的盛会中,与成群的摇滚乐粉丝们一起狂欢。因此,当2024新年第一天有机会去常州看他们最新的演出时,我毫不犹豫地上了车(幸运的是我新年前夜没有宿醉,这帮了大忙)。这场演出在Maze Art Space举办——一个位于时髦且略显荒凉的仓库中的宽敞二楼场地。这是一场盛会,共有七支乐队参与,包含了各种流派——我相信每个人都能找到自己喜欢的。整场演出都洋溢着好心情——我几乎是在最后一刻才赶回上海的。

It’s been a while since I checked with MIDI – the defining rock and roll brand that started in Beijing as a school and has since emerged as a festival wrecking ball, among many other interests and side hustles. Some of my fondest and earliest memories of my time in Beijing were at MIDI festivities amongst hordes of fans. So when the opportunity to pop over to Changzhou on New Year Day to check out their latest indoor bash and some of last year’s most talked about acts, I jumped (I also had the privilege of not having a NYE hangover so that helped). Held in the venue Maze Art Space – a spacious second floor spot in a chic and somewhat derelict warehouse – it was a mammoth event with seven bands that touched on everything – with a bit of something for everyone. 

Things appropriately kicked off with Suzhou’s own post rock outfit Silence Ocean, a band I’ve been keeping tabs on for some time – a great palette cleanser of solid, hearty instrumental rock. 

Next were Deer Island, a band seemingly from Shanghai – leaning into that schmaltzy  fraught indie rock – the band worked for me a lot better when it’s vocalist wasn’t serenading audiences. To each their own.

My first surprise of the evening was Who Shout Billy – a rockabilly-infused throwback that was exactly what I needed – good cheeky fun with some seriously catchy tunes and bonafide musical chops.

It was great to check in with Lur: again – who sound miles better with a drummer on hand – giving their propulsive post punk wave a more natural and explosive quality that filled out the room nicely. 

Meanwhile, Huxiaochun, who broke out this year on The Big Band, seem to be using their new clot to lure audiences in their sprawling folksy socially conscious psychedelia (of course, after buttering them up with some of their biggest hits) – they’re magnetic as ever. 

The next surprise of the night was Xinxiang’s Seven Joys, a no frills electro rock act that brushed aside all that new wave nonsense with a sound that’s rawer and more combustible. 

And last but not least, WaChi, out of Dongguan, came out swinging to end things. The band who saw the release of their debut LP this past year are riding high, and their infectious, rhythmic touch had the crowd in a frenzy of singing, sweating, phone waving bodies. 

Good vibes all around – barely made it back to Shanghai on time. 

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