In trying to recall the past 12 months of gigs in Taiwan I’m left feeling dazed and confused.
The most significant event was the closing of Underworld.
After that, it all feels blurry.
I know there were shows I wanted to see, like A Place To Bury Strangers, but I was in the USA. I can’t complain as it allowed me the honor of seeing Black Sabbath perform.
So I furrowed my brow, and with supreme focus, remembered that yeah, this year Melt Banana, Ken South Rock, and Nouvelle Vague returned. Cradle of Filth got all up in my face. These were good things.
For local bands, I enjoyed the emergence of Duda Deportiva and Midnight Ping Pong. I have fond memories of several Dronetonics and BHD gigs. But my favorite local band performances were those of Hang in the Air, particularly their set at the GigGuide.tw benefit at Revolver. I know that may come off as self-serving, but they delivered a transcendent performance. What can I do but acknowledge it for what it was: great.
What also elevated that night was the tremendous support of the community. It was a remarkable turnout, and has helped us here at the GigGuide.tw office to feel encouraged with our efforts to continue.
Thank you everyone.
I loved Forests and Slack Tide’s gigs this year. Forests was especially on form at Revolver’s 3rd anniversary party. I thought Slack Tide’s performance at Legacy’s Next Big Thing in August showcased a band on the verge of a possible breakthrough. My favorite performance was the transformation of both Slack Tide and Forests into the Ventures at Revolver’s Halloween party.
A special mention is required for Wonfu’s thoroughly enjoyable Halloween gig at Legacy. Their Halloween show will be an annual pilgrimage now.
Finally, I salute the bands (Midnight Ping Pong, BHD, Sleaze and Hang in the Air) and the crowd at the GigGuide.tw show in December. It was a true celebration of our scene. I have never seen Revolver so packed and so full of life and energy.
My nostalgia for Suede was leading this category until Neutral Milk Hotel came along. That night with Jeff, Julian, Scott, Jeremy and that Chinese-speaking guy was pure spine-tingling magic.
On the other end of the noise scale, A Place to Bury Strangers at Formoz Festival and Ken South Rock at Revolver (again) blew me away. They were raw and loud. Like what rock can be.
White Eyes at Formoz Festival was a band seizing the moment and not holding back. They performed in front of a full house in the air conditioned EcoArk and tore into a high-energy set that kept the crowd cheering and dancing.
Inhuman Band at Formoz festival played in the blazing summer sun to a small but energized group of fans. Everyone was in a great mood and the band fed off the vibe delivering a great set and some hilarious antics. Throwing full beers off the stage didn’t was a nice bonus.
擊沈女孩 (Destroyers) at Roxy Rocker with GoGoRise and P!SCO was an alcohol-fueled punk rock kick in the teeth. All the bands were excellent. But by the time 擊沈女孩 took the stage, everyone was well lubed and started moshing and singing. The band was joined on stage by members of P!SCO which added to the shenanigans.
88 Balaz at Beastie Rock performed late on the final day in the rain and was the epitome of a veteran band teaching us how it’s done. The band showed us their classic rockabilly dance moves, stage diving techniques and even climbed the speaker stacks during their set.
GigGuide.tw was honored to feature Midnight Ping Pong, BHD, Sleaze and Hang in the Air at Revolver. I’ve never seen the venue so packed and every band was fantastic. BHD played the best set I’ve ever heard them play. For me though, Sleaze was the highlight of the night. They had the crowd moshing violently and loving every minute of it.
Forests played on Christmas night at Revolver with Slack Tide, Wake Up! Explosion and HBO. I’ve seen Forests many times, but on that night they were masters of their craft and had the drunken crowd going ballistic.
I’ll start by saying that Deerhoof at Formoz Festival was not at their best. This was probably because most of the crowd didn’t know what they are all about. With that said, Deerhoof always pleases and that day was no exception. It was a rare treat to have them pay Taipei a visit.
The sky was dark and the stage was even darker as A Place to Bury Strangers performed at Formoz Festival on the mountain top stage with Taipei’s night skyline as a backdrop. It was the perfect setting for their ear-shredding set and guitar destroying antics.
Ken South Rock at Beastie Rock was rock at it’s rawest. With rainwater exploding off the drums, audience members being launched onto the stage and a madman with a guitar wearing a kimono, it was a sight to behold.
Earwax served up an amazing lineup at Legacy featuring Sebadoh and Neutral Milk Hotel. I like Neutral Milk Hotel, but I had expected the night to be all about Sebadoh. Well, Sebadoh was a little off their game and Neutral Milk Hotel stole the show.
十月，Forests和Slack Tide，一個超級The Ventures的萬聖節。
十二月，Slaㄎk Tiㄉe、威愷爆炸、洪申豪 & HBOrchestra和Forests。沒有更美好、更溫暖的聖誕節了。結束後，我的雙腿又是滿滿的瘀青，真的是有始有終有GigGuide.tw的一年。
還有很多好玩好看的表演但我不能寫出來 (o´艸｀o) ，因為你們要自己去GigGuide.tw找。
Firstly, what a great year of live music in Taiwan! I saw more kick-arse gigs this year than ever and I could create a sizable ‘best of’ list for every month of 2013. But I won't.
To keep it brief I'm just going to list acts who rocked my socks off this year. Let me start with the locals;
Eyeball Killer, BHD, Dronetonics, Slack Tide, Roxymoron (I miss you guys!), Tight Tight Crotch, Midnight Ping Pong, Hang in the Air, New Sunglasses, TuT, Duda Deportiva, No Order, Sleaze, Hateful Rezpect and finally Forests. Fuuucking Forests, what a year of great shows they treated us to!
Now the internationals…
So So Modern, Mac DeMarco, Suuns, P.K. 14, Ken South Rock, Deerhoof, The Soft Moon, A Place to Bury Strangers, Blood Red Shoes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sebadoh, Gallows, Fucked Up, Nouvelle Vague, Dirty Projectors, Godspeed You!, Apollo 18, Juck Juck Grunzie, Strength Approach…
I don't know how my ears and liver survived, but they did, and I'm sure they're looking forward to taking a beating in 2014!
Thanks to everyone who supported GigGuide.tw in any way this year - it's been huuuge and it's greatly appreciated!