On The Scene: Yugong Yishan 21-12-2012


Perhaps someone really did feel the end of the world was at hand, cause who ever who put together this show at Yugong Yishan went all out – even though a good half of the bands wouldn’t have made it through the apocalypse considering they went on after midnight. Yup, that how bloated this baby was. Six bands, six styles – I wasn’t quite prepared to handle it. But alas, thanks to some of the most hardcore Chinese fans who supplied me with copious amount of yangjing and the sheer fun factor from these music makers, I survived it though the night to catch The Power Powder, Rolling Bowling, Casino Demon, Hanggai, and Bian Yuan. Rock and roll to save the day indeed.


This was my first outing with The Power Powder, who have been picking up some steam in the past year. Hearing these guys (and gal) go through a set blues classic rock was off putting for some reason.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s some swagger about them and the lead female singer has a nice husky voice that fits the material as well, but something is off. Maybe it’s the keyboard which bugs me. Or the fact that I’m not at some rodeo or bar in the southwest of USA. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, and say let these kids play in the sun, not the dungeon-like Yugong Yishan. Country blues rock needs some fresh air.


Rolling Bowling on the big stage? Was Yugong Yishan gonna be kind to the boys? You better believe it.

It’s been a hell of a year for the trio and they’ve only been getting better. If the Power Powder didn’t seem genuine enough for me these guys are more than genuine. This is pure, unadulterated rock and roll whose influences are clear and proudly worn on their sleeves – but what they give back is so much more than you could ask for.

They’ve got the soul, the presence, and passion – I heartily recommend anyone to take these wildcats out for a spin. Kudos to Rolling Bowling for throwing a hell of a year.


If I had to pinpoint what band made the crowd get most rowdy tonight it would have to be Casino Demon by a longshot. I don’t know what it is about these veterans but there have quite the fanbase. Loyal, passionate, drunk as skunks – my kind of people. It’s easy to see why. Casino Demon are serious no nonsense fun.

There’s a personality up on stage that’s fully lived in – and the plain fact is these are some friggin catchy songs. Yeah, Wang Zi’s voice can feel a bit on the lazy side at times, but the melodies these guys pull out, I’m shocked at easy I can commit them to memory. Hell, I’m still humming along to “Chicago”, one of their new songs off their latest – a little ode to the windy city. But really, most of their songs hit right on target.

The passion and commitment to giving the audience a show was on full display tonight. I’m starting to think that perhaps I have a thing for Casino Demon – might have to add me to the horde of loyal fans they have already.


Hanggai – thou can do no wrong. I don’t think it’s possible for this guys to slack – as soon as those Mongolian garments are donned it’s fucking on.

That’s family up there. I swear these guys must be telepathically connected at this point cause the timing, the dynamic, how fluidly they play off each other, is sickeningly good.

It’s a collective, a rocking horse whipping party with these burly men each and every time. It’s a damn shame we’ll have to wait till next spring/summer to see Hanggai again – a void that just about impossible to fill. Till next time!


Last (at least for me) of the night was Lone, fronted by Bian Yuan, ex-rock legend lead of Joyside who has ditched their staple sound of slick rock and roll tunes for something more melodic, romantic, and definitely not appropriate for after midnight.

Those crazed fans that Casino Demon had – well those same kids were getting riled up for Bian Yuan as well, but really I’m not sure they were prepared for these love ballads. Don’t get wrong – it’s not bad at all. These are some emotionally charged little tunes, with a clear 80s influence.

But after a night of feet tapping, moshing, and swigging this was like a being hit by a bucket of cold water. This was made all the more clear when my best new friend (aka rabid Casino Demon fan #2) came up to me and apologized, though I could see in his eyes he needed to remain loyal and true to Bian Yuan. A touching moment to the end of the night…not the world as some (and now jailed) predicted.

And yeah, I didn’t stay for Go Chic, sue me. Gonna go listen to more of Casino Demon’s latest – god damn this is cheesily catchy (cheesily is now a word damnit). Check below for another Hanggai video, because they got it.

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