Article By Mike Leaner
#2, Defu Xiang, Next to Xiangzimiao
029-8882 8658 152-9419-3529
2:00pm – 3:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费:50RMB
Pros: Great live show experience; decent, if basic, drink selection
CONS: Don’t try the 25RMB “Magic” beer, it tastes like the Muslim District smells in the summer
My punk rock days are likely behind me, but that doesn’t mean I have to give it all up. To that end, I like to check out a show every once in a while. Aperture was, predictably, my go-to place for a night of rock and a bottle of suds, but, considering some recent events it was time to find a backup option. Lucky for me, Buddha Bar fits the bill quite nicely.
Buddha Bar is located at the south end of De Fu Xiang Bar Street, just on the north side of the fork at Xiangzimiao. The front door leads you down a flight or two of stairs and drops you out into a sprawling underground livehouse, with a bar in the front of the house and a stage in back. In contrast to the venerable Aperture Club, this place has a very modern vibe, cleanly laid out and decorated but without being sterile. The stage itself is a nice little number, high enough so that most people will see the stage but low enough to give that feeling of intimacy that a good indie rock show needs. Whoever was working the soundboard also seems to know what they’re doing; the band’s heady sound filled the bar without being oppressive, and, though it was likely louder according to the decibels, I had easier conversations during the show than I’ve had trying to yell over the aural crimes at some other bars.
I kept myself liquored up during the gig with a steady stream of 30RMB Budweisers, but there are over a dozen bottled beers and a full complement of cocktails, so there should be at least one drink on offer to satisfy everyone from crusty, broke punx to higher-budget rockers.
All in all, my time at Buddha Bar was great. It was nice to step into a completely new place and enjoy such a great atmosphere, especially one that was achieved without the cloying sense of trying-too-hard that I get at a lot of newer places. My only hope is that the music keeps going, because this is a great place to catch a show and Xi’an could use a little more of that.
Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org