Gig Recap: Utopian Daymare (2020.11.11)

Utopian Daymare 乌飞兔走昼还夜, String & Wind 弦风二重奏 (Yuyintang Park 育音堂音乐公园 2020.11.11)

Recalling everything from King Crimson, Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead, there’s an old school earnestness (dare I say geekiness) to what Utopian Daymare strives for – the sprawling prog rock outfit led by Hai Qing and Li Xing full of psych rock sideways, free-wheeling avant-garde breakdowns and roaming grassland folk music.

While the Inner Mongolian background and deep burly voice of Hai Qing adds a rustic rock and roll soul to the proceedings, it’s how the music takes off from there that truly makes them stand out – the reed-based sheng being transformed into an electric organ of sorts with the help of Zhang Meng, the razor-blade guitar playing of Li Xing, and the general idea of pushing a song down a long and winding road. You really have no notion of what the destination will be, and will songs reaching well over the ten-minute mark, you have no choice but to just go for the ride.

Endlessly imaginative and challenging, the band isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to get onto their wavelength, you just might surprise yourself. Support (and more appropriately the overture or prelude) in the form of String & Wind, Li Xing and Zhang Meng’s more minimalist avant-garde guitar/sheng duo.

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