Looking back: MIDI 2012
So, that was it. My first festival in China. The whole thing took place in a fenced area at Century Park, the largest park in Shanghai (I think). There basically were two stages, Tang and Yuan. The former hosted rock bands, the latter various DJs with electro and techno. I have to admit, I hardly spent any time at the latter, though. Describing music with words is always rather hard, but I got to know some interesting bands, most of them Chinese.
We heard the last part of “Yuguo” on Saturday, but the first act I witnessed as a whole were the metal bands afterwards. It started with Chinese band “Twisted Machine” which was really good and the crowd went already pretty crazy about them, there was quite some headbanging and crowdsourfing to be witnessed (minus points for the long break in between, though). Next were the two Danish acts “Scarred by Beauty” and “The Kandidate” (both metal). Grounds had emptied rather quick after “Twisted Machine” and I don’t think the former got the credit they’d have deserved. “The Kandidate” was really good again, great music and the crowd really participated again. What followed was Chinese progressive folk rock which wasn’t so much for me – interesting at first, but it got a little boring half way through. I stayed, though, as I was in the first row and wanted to enjoy that for Marky Ramone’s “Blitzkrieg” which was next. They needed almost 45 minutes to finally get onto the stage, but hell yes, it was great! We got almost squashed in at the fence, but the whole performance was really fun. The Chinese band “Miserable Faith” after that seemed to get even more support though, an international band can be as famous as possible, but any Chinese act that’s well known and plays great music will easily outdo them regarding crowd reactions. On Saturday, the crowd at the Tang Stage (= rock stage) mainly comprised of Chinese fans anyway, so that only enhanced that effect. But I liked it, although I felt a little lost when they girls started screaming and guys I’d never heard of before 😀
As it had rained the whole Friday, the area was accordingly muddy during Saturday. Thus, one could easily spot other festival visitors on the subway back home – those with the thick, grey crusts of mud on their shoes had definitely been there…
On Saturday, they were definitely more foreigners around, perhaps due to the sun that had suddenly decided to come out. When we arrived, the Australian punk band Backyard Surgeons” were playing the rock stage which could have been great, but people didn’t go along with them as much as they could have. Next was a Chinese band called “大悲“ . Nothing special, but good, and some deep lyrics as far as my Chinese goes. What was really good was “Nasser” after that, a French electro rock act. Wouldn’t be my music to listen to at home, but they were really good on stage! I basically skipped the next two acts at the Tang Stage – there was more Chinese folk rock and “Little Fish” from the UK which was… well, non-standard. And maybe rather pop than rock at some points. Missed nothing with that. The Chinese band after that was really good again, “木玛 & Third Party” (click the name and find their Douban site with some track sot listen to^^). It was a little slower, but heavier and dark rock music this time, I think the lyrics were kinda deep, too, but I’m not sure. This is the one band I’d like to look into a little more, would be great to see them in concert again and I hope that I might be able to get my hands on some of their releases. Second last for the day was another French group called “La Souris Deglinguee”, comprised of three elderly men which played something I’d classify as Rock’n’Roll. Quite nice. People (Chinese people) went nuts for the Tang Stage’s last act this year – Chinese act “Brain Failure”. They also played fast rock music, a little bit more classic than what you get normally. Mood wise, this was my favorite act and the bets possible end to a festival weekend – in the end, security even let some fans climb over the fence and dance directly in front of the stage.
Sooo… I’d rate the whole thing rather high from a personal kind of view, as I had an amazing time. The crowds only warmed up about halfway through though, that was a little sad, but can’t be helped. And some bands were oddly placed, especially the Chinese folk rock between “The Kandidate” (Danish Metal) and Marky Ramone’s “Blitzkrieg” on Saturday. Apart from that, it was great to see apparently hugely popular Chinese rock bands at the end of each day and generally a good opportunity to get a glimpse at Chinese rock music.