Last weekend brought to town the first major outdoor summer music festivals here in Shanghai. The MIDI Music Festival took place in the southeast corner of Century Park, which provided great access to us metro riders. Was not able to make it over on Saturday as my day was booked solid with baseball practice and a playoff basketball game but was able to sneak over for the afternoon and evening sets on Sunday. The festival included two stages; a smaller electronic stage close to a sponsor organization interaction area and a main rock stage settled in front of a Tiger Beer VIP Pavilion and Jägermeister inflatable party house. As one walked between the two stages there was a smattering of folks hawking goods from small gas masks (in line with the festivals PM 2.5 air quality awareness program) to eye shades to personal festival sized shade tents. The festival grounds were very easy to navigate and a perfect fit for the crowd size. It was easy to scope out an area and find a spot among the picnicers.
Due to the late start on the day I only saw two Chinese bands (Brain Failure and Hao Yun), UK’s Little Fish, and a festival French outfit named La Souris Deglingue. Overall the music was not the best but the weather and festival atmosphere was perfect for a recovering live music fiend living in China.
Here are a few snaps from the day.
Something of great interest to me is how cultures/people experience and interpret items from a much different place. Take for instance sport, in Japan the live baseball game is basically the same as in the United States, but the trained eye will see minor nuances in the ceremony around the action on the field. It is within these slight changes that a person can actually undergo a whole new experience from something they thought so familiar. The same is true for music. A sound or style can be created in a far off land, yet when it reaches new populations this new culture will interpret it with a new filter. This is where something interesting happens and for those willing and interested to partake the freshness of the experience is extant.
This weekend Rock Tiger served up some delicious Rockabilly music with a dash of Korean energy and flare to satiate a hungry Shanghai crowd.
What is a Rock Tiger you say? Well let me show you.
Being my first year in Shanghai I am not too sure of the seasons but what I gather is spring is April/May, monsoon season is May/June, a terribly hot summer follows during July/August and a pleasant fall in September/October. More evidence of a short spring is that all the music festivals are crammed into two - three weekends here at the end of April. The inclusion of experiencing a Chinese music festival is totally filling up my weekend schedule between baseball practice, basketball (our team made the playoffs), general walking around, walking backward (a popular exercise with China’s elderly), metro rides, and fried dumpling eating. In spite of all the ballyhoo I was able to walk about and snap some photos of the Shanghai Spring. Enjoy.
I was going through some older photos and realized I had yet to post any photos from the top tourist destination in Wuhan, the Yellow Crane tower. During one of my last weekends in Wuhan I visited the refurbed grand tower which sits upon Snake “Mountain”. The tower is a tourist spot, with a bunch of little kitch shops inside selling miniature replicas of the tower and Mr. Miagi rhythm drums, but overall not a bad way to spend a nice afternoon.
Between the Yellow Crane Tower and the Yangtze River is the Hu Bu Xiang snack street. Which I have posted about here. Pop out the other end of Hu Bu Xiang and you will find yourself at the base of the First Bridge and the great Yangtze River. Following are some images of this colossal structure designed by the Soviet Union.
With spring comes baseball, even in Shanghai. The sports field at East China Normal University (ECNU) is packed with activities and teams during the weekend. On a typical Sunday the field holds an American Football team practice, a cricket game, a Taiwanese Baseball Club practice, the ECNU Baseball Club practice and a Shanghai Baseball Club. Couple this with the nearby basketball courts and the random soccer play and there are balls flying around the complex. Here is a little sneak peak at some of the action. Would have liked to take more snaps but was busy pitching for one side of the intrasquad game. More to come in the following months.