On The Scene: Mao Livehouse 03-08-12


This was the perfect concert to attend before leaving the Big Red – loud, fun, epic, wild, and two bands added to my must-check-out-on-a-regular-basis list. A big show with big names that I haven’t seen yet in the only place that can be packed – Mao. Yeah, of course Hedgehog rocked the place as expected, but hell, I was surprised at just how much I dug and was awed by Casino Demon and The Gar’s performances.


Casino Demon, who have been in hibernation for god knows how long, started things off with a set that was funnnnnn. This is rock and roll that wears its heart on it sleeve. Their influences are all over the place for sure, but hell, these are some catchy, fast-paced jams with such gleeful energy that looks like the three are stroked to be back in the game.

Mischievous and rambunctious for sure, but not one trace of malevolence. The guitar work, especially from Wang Zi was spot on, but really it was drummer Guan Zheng who impressed me the most – this might be the first concert were my friends and I constantly had to remind each other of how great the drummers, from all three bands, were, though at the moment it probably came out as a slurred “thizz drummaar is so fcukingg awessomee” – wise words, wise words.

By the time they brought out the saxophone, I was sold. The place was so packed with dancing crazies, that ice cubes were being passed out, and thrown from one end to one end – a great start to the night.


Next, the Gar came out and as it turned out , lived up to the hype that surrounds them. Unlike the last band, this wasn’t the kind of music one jumps up and down to, these are slow-burners – full of intricate layers, that would feel right at home in a post rock band.

If anything I was reminded a bit of Omnipotent Youth Society, albeit with heavier guitar riffs and edge. These are big songs and I’ll be damned ,they brought it.

Once again the drummer, Wang Xu, left my jaw hanging a few times – literally, some of things he did with those sticks I’m still amazed he pulled off. So yeah, The Gar, though not as groundbreaking of most think, rocked the house tonight.


And of course, Hedgehog were a blast – they got things rolling with their anthem 24 Hour Party and didn’t let up for the rest of their set.

Really, I see these guys too much but I’ll be damned i they don’t impress every time. So yeah, I boogied out like a champ, being a riotous mess that fueled the rest of my night in Gulou – you know you’ve been to a good show when you don’t find yourself grabbin a cab home after.

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