Gig Recap: 2019 Sparrow Post Rock Festival (2019.12.15)

Now in its third year, the Sparrow Post Rock Music Festival returned to Tango last weekend with a heavy roster of bands pushing the genre in new and exciting directions. And gotta say I had a blast, enjoying the almost calming effects of the endless crescendos, tremolo picking, and sprawling compositions, particularly considering the remnants of the previous night still swirling in my brain. Things kicked off with The 16th Floor, whose meticulously assembled dense sound, injecting rich emotions as they lead listeners through peaks and valleys of atmospheric tension – even framing a song around the film ‘The Professional’. Up next was Shanghai Qiutian, who threw everything they had into their cathartic, towering performance, rallying up the crowd through their blend of math rock-leaning arrangements, injected with a buoyant jazz sensibility, and an optimism that’s quite infectious. Chengdu’s Fayzz impressed as well, with their vibrant ear-pleasing concoctions, tossing in elements of math-rock, chill-out, and even hip-hop flavored jazz, into the mix, crafting an innovative and euphonic harmony-rich set. Taiwan’s Sun of Morning hit the sweet spot with audiences, manipulating through sheer emotional prowess and bombast – it may have been a bit too on the nose for me, but there’s no denying their pull. The evening closed out with Jinan black metal pioneers Zuriaake whose haunting wraithlike screams blanket the melancholic calm and beauty of its atmospheric long-winded compositions – and they win alone on costume and presence alone, immersing audiences in their mystic world. All in all, a hefty evening of music, one that shows how much post rock has evolved over the years in China.

3 Comments

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