Gig Recap: Absolute Purity, Li Jianhong, Boiled Hippo, Run Run Run (DDC 2018.03.24)

The wheels on the hype machine spun and spun and by the time Saturday rolled up we knew DDC was going to be a packed house. Most folks showed up to catch a glimpse of Wen Jun, the former singer for Beijing indie cult band Guai Li, and her new project Absolute Purity created in Shanghai with some talented musicians. While in no way did the band live up to the hype surrounding them (and really how could they – you can count the number of shows they’ve had on two hands), there is something utterly unique about what Purity is bringing to the table. 

It’s alluring, affected, and heightened – and while the separate components didn’t always blend as seamlessly as they could, it was also impossible to keep my eyes off them. I think by the end of this year, Absolute Purity is going to be one of the most sought after bands and for good reason – they’re shaking it up.

The night also provided other treats as well for audiences, including the first sighting of Boiled Hippo this year, who continue to be one of my favorite live bands at the moment. They’re downright sexy in their groove and psychedelic shimmer, with serious chops – in some ways a more upbeat, joyful version of Chui Wan. 

Li Jianhong once again captivated – he’s a master of his craft, breathing life into every distortion and sound that emerges from his axe, and having those personalities move through him –guitar shamanism at its finest. 

And finally, Run Run Run gave low-key, breezy set whose looseness and mellowed-out grooves provided the perfect mood setter for the evening. And before I forget to mention – kudos to the supporting acts for keeping their sets to around thirty minutes – making for a lean and mean showcase that didn’t tire itself out (in Beijing that’s a blessing). So once again, cheers to the folks who made it out, cheers to DDC and the ‘beaten not but broken’ 69, cheers to the lovely supporting acts, and cheers to Absolute Purity for making the trip from Shanghai – you’re all beautiful.

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