Gig Recap: The Pluto Project, WaChi, DizzyBoy, Mad Mountain (2020.07.31)

I’m not sure what appealed to me more — the prospect of catching Dongguan indie rock act WaChi again or the prospect of ‘all-you-can-drink’. Sadly, it was likely the latter but hey — there’s nothing like feeling like you’re at a formal dance where mystery towers of questionable mix drinks just may lead you down a strange and hazardous path. 

Music-wise, I wasn’t entirely impressed – Hangzhou based Dizzy Boy 舒大卫 brought a serviceable buffet of sun-bleached retro-fitted R&B city pop tunes. Although catchy and vibrant in the end it left me feeling a bit aloof – akin to waking up dazed in a KTV room with no exits.

Up and coming world music psychedelic Mad Mountain 麦德 didn’t quite do it for me either. Meditative and rich in its instrumentation it lacked the edge and musical oomph needed to make them stand out from the swarm of psychedelic bands that seem to spreading like wildfire here in Shanghai. They’re fresh to the scene so I think they’re still finding their sound – so I’ll definitely have to check them out again nevertheless. 

WaChi 蛙池 proved once again they’re no fluke — simply put, they’re one of the indie scene’s most magnetic groups out there at the moment. With a clear idea of the kind of music they’re making and how to connect with audiences, they teared through their set. Minor technical difficulties aside (my friend beside me felt the guitars and bass were being thrown under the bus soundwise) their performance had fans singing their hearts out – a hell of a closing set.

Afterwards, we popped over next door to the more intimate and offbeat M.E Studio just in time for The Pluto Project, a four-piece live electronica outfit headed by local guitarist and sound artist liiii and also featuring Du Jiaxuan on bass, Feng Yucheng on trumpet, and Weird Dane on drums. Arguably a better showcase than what transpired next door, it was a rocking good time – a fever dream of four musicians throwing together some dank and luscious jams that touch on everything from trip-hop to post-rock. A true closing act for the evening. 

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