Spent most of Saturday evening running around like a madman, trying to soak in as many sets as possible before the inevitable descent into Dada. My first stop Yue Space to catch Nanjing trio Schoolgirl Byebye, whose wildly diverse sound found within their catalog had me curious what their live set would be like. And gotta say – it was a lot more lively than I thought – gleefully jumping from laidback dream pop to scrappy hardcore breakdown. It was clear the band knows how to play their audience, who lapped up every second – knowing when to hold back for a slow jam or when to wig out and dive into the unsuspecting crowd. An awareness and dare I say, swagger to their performance that left a bite mark. Respect.
Afterward, I busted my ass over Temple Bar to get my first look at Backspace this year – the psych-infused noise rockers have been quiet since the release of their debut album last year, switching up bass players and bunkering down in the studio. And boy, it’s good to have them back – they’ve still got the juice. And while it’s clear the band is still tinkering with some of their new material, the bits and pieces I’ve heard are solid gold. Can’t wait to see these cats hit their stride again.