Article by XIANEASE
If you’re looking for a good way to kick off the fall, the 2017 Expo Park Music Festival should fit the bill nicely. It will be held on the third weekend of September (the 16th and 17th) way out on the Expo Park grounds on the outskirts of town. Don’t let the distance throw you though—if you’re a fan of cutting-edge local music (and beyond) this is something you absolutely can’t miss. If that’s not enough of a sell, here are three more reasons to go (and remember that, like a lot of things, this lineup is accurate at the time of writing and is subject to change).
If you’re the kind of mid-90’s emo kid who would instantly go “Chinese Football? As in, like, American Football?” then allow me to confirm your suspicions. These guys are definitely worshipers at the Kinsella brothers’ altar. If you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, let me describe it a different way: Chinese Football plays a brand of emo/indie rock characterized by nimble, delicate guitar leads that have more noodles than a plate of spaghetti and sprawl across peppy melodies and stompy rhythms. That doesn’t mean it’s low-impact music, though—at any moment the song can explode with energy and distortion and kick things up a notch or ten. These guys seem like they’re getting a lot of traction on the festival circuit and it never hurts to try to catch a band on the rise before they get too big. If you’re lucky, you might even catch their spirited cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together”.
It seems there’s been one name on the lips of every local hip hop aficionado lately, and that’s the Higher Brothers. These Chengdu rappers have a trap-inspired sound with slinking, grimy, well-produced beats and a pretty relentless flow (and are definitely not to be confused with any MCs around that area talking about gua laowai). If you haven’t given Chinese hip hop a chance yet (or already did and gave up on it), these guys are making a really great case for another look.
It’s probably no surprise to regular readers of our Entertainment section that pretty much all of our (admittedly metalhead) music writers have a thing for Xi’an’s own Leviathan. Their debut album, The First Blade was a tidal wave of heavy riffs and metallic aggression. Unfortunately for us, as our Leviathan fever was hitting its peak, they took a step back to start working on some new music (or so the rumor goes). If they only play the old stuff it’s more than certain to be an ass-kicking set, but, if the stars align, we’ll probably get to hear some of that heavy metal good-good they’ve been brewing up in the beat laboratory.
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