Gig Recap: Flying Games, Soft Pink, En Route (2020.12.01)

LiveChinaMusic presents Winter Refuge 避寒: Flying Games 飞行游戏, Soft Pink, En Route (Yuyintang 育音堂 2020.12.01)

After a frigid week here in Shanghai it was nice to bundle up (long johns are back in season!) and soak up some tunes Sunday night for LiveChinaMusic’s latest season-themed showcase – Winter Refuge. Featuring a smattering of tender rock and roll that touched on everything from shoegaze to pop punk, it was a low-key and intimate affair for those who braved the cold.

Kicking off the night were Soft Pink, out of Nanjing, who inject their jangly dream pop with both resonance and tension, finding a hushed turbulent beauty to its melodies. The dual vocals play off one another gracefully yet distinctly, and there’s some real craft to their songs that calls to mind everyone from Ride to My Bloody Valentine. Can’t wait to see how they progress in the next year – something tells me they’ll be a hot commodity in 2021.  

Emo pop rockers En Route followed up with a heartfelt yet volatile set, leaning into their metal/hardcore chops (and bit of jazz foreplay for good measure). It’s clear the band has been a unit for some time in one form of another as they charged through their set and while the genre they reside in may not be for me, there’s no denying the refined and committed musicality of the band. Simply put, they know how to deliver.

The night closed out with a set from Flying Games – one of my favorite Shanghai acts currently. Indie rock made with both ingenuity and sincerity – they were in top form whisking away from one catchy single to another. Really dig the way they’re able to balance both their indie pop sensibilities and their math rock/noise rock capabilities – it’s too often bands lean too hard in one direction (more often than not, toward the dark side of pop) and in turn come off as superficial. However, with Flying Games they deliver on rock and roll chops and scrappy charm and are all the better for it. 

Once again, cheers to Yuyintang, the bands, and the fans who came out to support. Will be heading back to Yuyintang in mid-January (on a weekend too!). 

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