Let me start off my saying I did not make it though the whole show – simply couldn’t. Didn’t have it in me. Exhausted. Metal does that to you. It’s a draining experience, especially with a enormous lineup like tonight with over frigging ten bands on duty at Tango. There’s a rant in here somewhere, but heck, let’s get to who I did get to see – recent MIDI winners Four Five, Crack, A.J.K, Juqi, CMCB, and the Beijing Underground All-Stars. A lot to take in. Here’s but just a taste.
So yeah, one can understand why my roommate and I were zombies by the end of the night. Don’t know how the kids do it. Mosh mosh mosh. Head bang. Head bang. Head bang. Metalllllzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Read below to see who impressed.
First up were MIDI Metal band of the year winners, Four Five, who came outs guns a blazin doing their best to rally up the troops.
Nothing special, though it seems the group has a bit of a more hardcore edge to their sound that I do appreciate. Tango is simply too big a venue to get a proper mosh going
it’s like watching a horde of goldfish in Houhai Lake – it just doesn’t look as cool when you’re surrounded by empty space.
Next up was Crack, who take good ol’ fashion trash metal and turn it up to the nth degree.
Slick, skilled, with a friggin wicked drummer who abuses the shit out of those drums, and of course helicopter hair, Crack don’t mess around. One might even say graceful.
They go right for the kill, landing some big riffs that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Metallica record. And for the most part they pulled it off, not a bad intro boys, not bad.
Nu metal has been done to death before (thanks Marylin Manson) so it’s not always easy going down. But boy, do these guy know how to throw a show. Yuan Qi and bass and vocals has charisma like no other, playing the lead with such gleeful zealous that it’s hard not to get drawn in. A.J.K. was my second wind, a boost to just about everyone’s enthusiasm.
After grabbing some snacks next door we returned to catch this mashup of musicians, of metal, of hip-hop – The Beijing Underground All-Stars (well as far as I can tell). Pretty crowded up there, but surprisingly they pass the baton to each other quite seamlessly, evoking Cypress Hill at their heaviest. A fine little treat – perhaps a bit preemptive, as they stole the thunder from these guys.
Juqi, is a trio of wise-cracking rappers who gave it their all to keep the momentum going. Unfortunately, a lot of it just fell flat.
Granted, their music on their douban page is pretty air-tight – crisp flow, crunchy beats. However, translating that to a live venue, one the size of Tango, well it just didn’t cut it. Again, rap is the hardest genre to swallow in China, mainly for language reasons, but Juqi swung and a missed.
Before the body shut down I got my chance to see the highly trotted hip-hop, nu-rap, crossover group CMCB.
Taking a lot of cues from Linkin Park and P.O.D, among others, and sporting a scratch man on stage, the group did a lot of things well. Their music has an edge, a forward moving arc that gives weight to their songs.
Yeah, it’s a tad too derivative, but what isn’t nowadays. A fine end before things delved into myself laying face down on a floor. Yup, pretty much my roommate here. Out cold.
A shame, as my metal right hand man stuck around and had generally positive things to report back on Ego Fall. But come on Tango, this ain’t a festival, take it down a notch will ya. Geez.