Hot Cat Club welcomed LiveBeijingMusic into it’s charmingly dingy home at the end of 2016 – a very fitting farewell to the past year as well as a kind exuberant preamble to the exciting times that await our site in 2017. This sentiment was perfectly capsulized in the remarkable, vibrant array of sounds and bands that took the stage this evening. First off, much much credit to the visiting bands – the skittish manic most definitely out there post punk pulse of Panic Worm – wet behind the ears perhaps but a band’s whose looseness and kookiness was both endearing and refreshing. However, the highlight of the night (and already a contender for one of the best performances of 2017) was Yunnan based noise artist Usisi who literally had people running for the door. Pure guitar chaos – this was noise at its finest – a bombardment on the senses that left jaws dropped, people clunking their ears in pain (Hot Cat’s amps got a massive workout), and at one point when he screamed Bloody Mary into the mic, had audience members scared out of their wits and bolting for the nearest exit. The type of music (if you can call it that) that forces a reaction out of you – and the type of performance piece that keeps you glued to the stage (if you wanna relive that experience here you go). However, it was a beautiful lineup through and through – from the dense layered psychedelic jam from The Dice! – a band that actually fully warrants the ‘psychedelic’ label and one that I could listen to in a haze for hours on end (they, to the dismay of the other bands, did indeed play close to a hour). The Sino Hearts – a boisterous happy-go-lucky knock out of pure power pop bliss – catchy as all hell, and the swagger to back it up (and a bass player who’s complete inebriation was a wonder to behold). And finally, Backspace, their second outing on a LBM lineup this month – and they’ve earned it. As I mentioned last time, these cats are gonna be in high demand in 2017. All in all – a glorious way to close out the year for us here at Live Beijing Music. Kudos to all the fans and bands that made it happen!