Gig Recap: Zhao Cong, Wen Liang, Cab for Alien, DFA1989 (School 2017.11.29)

Contributor Elie gives the lowdown on mischievous noise kids last week at School Bar 

I went out to School bar on a Wednesday night to pick up an item from a friend, when I was told a noise band from Liechtenstein was playing that night. I had also been warned that the performances might be unequal, so it was not without a sense of dread that I crossed the threshold of the hutong joint. The name for the event on the poster was “错” , mistake, further reinforcing my foreboding. The noise/experimental evening turned out to be one of my most fun nights at School Bar in a little while. 

The first artist in line, Zhao Cong, played a short but highly rewarding set on strange apparatuses, rotating and blinking as the heavy industrial drone filled the room with a compact density relieved at times of her choosing by the occasional bleep. The second performance helmed by Cab for Alien was less risqué and well, slightly clumsy at times, but was also quite enjoyable, especially since the friendly audience of twenty or so was so warm and encouraging, making this particular set more of a community experience (at least that was how I felt about it). Next up was the aforementioned Liechtenstein band, Death for Abba 1989. Three lads wearing masks masterfully delivered a vibrant musical anti-ABBA pamphlet, manifesting itself through a wall of noise interspersed with horn bellows and complemented by a visual display of lines evoking the faulty television of our youths and threatening images. As the curfew approached, I was able to catch two songs from Wen Liang, which seemed to meander on the more melodic spectrum of noise music (I think I recognized a chord once).

To sum it up, the performances of the night might not be the cup of tea of the casual Taylor Swift fan, but they were a treat for the curious and open-minded.

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