Gig Recap: Tropical China 热带赤县 (ModernSky上海 2019.03.30)

China Tropical was always too big a project for our britches – we really bite off more than we could chew. But I’ll be damned that seeing it all come together last Saturday night at Modern Sky Lab in Shanghai didn’t get me giddy (after the nausea of course). Besides some of my favorite Shanghai bands joining in for the occasion, there was something very communal and downright mystical about Ava Rocha and Negro Leo’s sets (though the latter veered a bit too far into Andy Kaufman territory at one point). Tender, unpredictable and sincere in the fullest sense, they left an even bigger impression on me than their first go-around in Beijing. On the Shanghai end of things, I’m digging the hell out out of the jacked-up musicality of Absolute Purity and Dream Can. They may not be for everyone, but they kick all sorts of ass on the big stage and have grown so much since I last saw them. Mirrors had the daunting task of ‘winging it’ alongside Ava and Leo before and after their sets, and knocked it out of the park – spine-tinglingly good. And what can I say about Dirty Fingers – there will never be another band like this in Shanghai ever again (they should have gotten out while they could) – “too weird to live, and too rare to die.” All in all, a monumental evening  – thanks to the Subtropical Asia team, to all the bands, anyone who chipped in a penny, and of course Ava Rocha and Negro Leo. Till next time… 

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