Gig Recap: Midnight Ping-Pong, Heartbroken, SNSOS (MAO Livehouse 2018.01.13)

One of LBM’s New Year resolutions was to check out more Taiwanese bands. Over the past few years, the island has been pumping out one great act after another and more importantly has been building its fan base with mainlanders. Which is great for just about everyone – especially those looking to expand their borders and get a sense of how finely tuned these musicians are over there. Beijing’s SNSOS – one of our cities most underrated acts – and a band I’ve spilled plenty of ink over – hosted two wildly different yet distinct Taiwanese acts – Midnight Ping-Ping and Heartbroken. SNSOS knocked it out of the park – even with a new guitarist they felt more animated than usual, relish each twist and turn of their set, all the while sneaking some killer new sounds. I fanboyed over Midnight Ping-Ping quite a bit – a tight indie pop band that relishes in sun-soaked city pop ditties and guitar heavy melodies with effortless enthusiasm. No bullshit – just streamlined indie ditties that hit their target every time. Heartbroken had a tough act to follow but I’ll be damned, they impressed the hell out of me – a barstool anthemic punk band that felt like a cross between David Bowie (mainly the gangly singers deeply felt voice) and The Hold Steady (with a touch of Springsteen hometown reliability). A bit monotone by the time they reached the end of their set but there was no denying their magnetism. All in all, a killer Sunday night (a rarity for me) and the first of many acts I plan on checking out from Taiwan this year.

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