OTS: The Big Wave, Residence A, The Reason, Penicillin, Li Yan, Da Bang


New Year’s Eve came a day early this 2013 and School threw a heck of a bash to remind everyone that yes, the scrappy Wudaoying joint, only a year in it’s new skin, was here to stay. What’s so great about School is how unapologetically ruthless they are in providing good times for all. With a diverse lineup that included screamo outfit The Reason, britpop sweethearts Penicillin, jocular rock and roller Li Yan, along with the always dependable Residence A, synth pop renegades The Big Wave, and indie rockers Da Bang they provided the perfect send-off into 2014.

So yeah, a ball – what can I say? School rules. Check below for more vids and hooliganism.

Glad I was able to check out The Reason again cause these kids have some swag. Whether or not screamo is your thing, there’s no denying how electrifying these four are. They brought their A-game, and went straight for the gut.

Speaking of a band that may not agree with everyone – Penicillin have long been carrying the indie britpop torch for some time and after tonight, heck, I was ready to be serenaded all over again.

There’s no beating around the bush here – these guys are looking to get the ladies swooning at all costs. And they don’t mess around – honest-to-god, sincere indie pop that’s goes down nice and easy, even if you feel a bit violated afterwards.

Li Yan’s a good guy – bit of a horndog – but all around jolly rascal whose rock n roll love runs deep. He’s getting back into the mix, whether or not you like it and if the man’s enthusiasm continues spreading the good faith of rock and roll, I’m all in.

No frills light on its feet fun that’s coasts on a Cheshire cat grin of rowdy sincerity, Li Yan isn’t going to win away awards for originality. But they’re cooking something. And if the prospect of Rustic reforming is indeed true we might be in for a treat this coming spring.

Yes, Zhao Zhao’s outfit is something straight out of a terrible 80s movie, and yes, they are in full-on U2 mode at this point. But you know, I’m just gonna trust these guys at this point.

They’ve got this. Gonna be hard to get this new one out of my head.

But really, this was The Big Wave’s year, a band once playing weekday nights at Mao Livehouse and now are opening for international bands (i.e. anyone check out SplitWorks’ shindig last week). To say they’ve had a big year is an understatement.

They pretty much came and pulled the rug out from beneath us – this is funky, dark, potent with imagery, melodic, with just the perfect amount of edge. And the best part, they’re only getting better. Big things out of the Big Wave this year – can’t hardly wait.

Things ended with an energetic lively performance from Da Bang despite disappointing me last year, gave a sonically delightful performance that sounded full and buzzing with life. And while my associate and I were running low on fumes (i.e. baked out of our gorges) we were bopping right alongside the few last lucky music goers. Something that School knows how to facilitate quite well.


Last show of 2013 – not a bad way to go out eh.

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