Early Thursday morning, I saw Matt (of local rockers DaHaHa) had posted about a Ticket Battle promo run by 24/7 tickets. You can either put some money in your 24/7 wallet or share the link among your friends and bump up your chance of winning. I decided to give it a go, within a few shares I already saw my percentage chance go up! Nice. Within a couple of hours the event was over, I was well on my way to see the band!
I arrived at VAS Livehouse in Putuo District around 8:30pm. I had walked past the venue many times before without realising it! VAS used to be the location of a 19RMB ticket cinema (don’t bother looking for it, long gone now!) and it really still shows its cinematic roots. When entering the venue you are struck by the low stage, stadium style rows and high ceilings. The venue was packed, wall to wall. Truly a sold out show. I quickly found a spot on the stairs with a great view of the stage. Not a minute or two later the lights went down and we were away. Perfectly sound checked, sounding mature, confident and deserving of their legendary status - Jesus and Mary Chain come out swinging.
Their stage set up had more lighting varieties than an Ikea living room section; flashing, swirling and popping behind each song. Before the audience could begin to process the spectacle, a flash of what appeared to be military-grade floodlights, flashed off and on to announce the start of “Head On”, a classic the local audience all seemed familiar with.
As "Blues from a Gun" came on, the lights behind them turned a soft blue, perhaps too on the nose but another chance for a quick snap of the band. New lighting never goes amiss with the local fans.
As we launched into the midway point, the background changed to a stylized version of the bands logo. Truly a moment-worthy picture. No doubt, you know which image I’m talking about having already seen it for two nights on your moments.
Much like seeing any of the great legacy acts, everything was so impeccably executed, that these pure fan moments of background or light changes only enhanced the experience. Moments so well weaved amongst the songs and pauses between them that formed a spectacle.
By the end of the show, as the lyrics for “Just like honey,” rung out - audience members remained singing and nodding along; thinking of letters written to ex's, past relationships, or simply - Bill Murray’s ageless face.
Big legacy acts playing refitted cinemas; if anything Shanghai’s music scene has always at least been interesting.