It’s very Chinese but it’s also expat friendly. Plus, it’s in Found158 so you can pregame before — it doesn’t start cracking until about 1AM.
I’ve seen RL Grime here (RL mof*ckn Grime man), I was so close, something I could never manage in the States at a festival — those crowds don’t play…
You can always catch the best of the best and 9/10 times enter for free!
*You can also read my RL Grime review here.
Arkham @ Found158 Julu Rd., Jing'an
Also located in the infamous Found158, Arkham is placed at the very end of the strip… or the beginning, depending on where you enter the underground fun-zone. It’s a low key entrance, in a corner by some plush toy machines and the hall that leads to the main bars area.
When you enter, it’s practically a blackout, lights are very dim but the dance floor is vast. Seating is in the very back and left side (from entrance p.o.v.) and the bar is to your right. The stage is also very close and the huge speakers are hanging low to the sides so when you’re in the front or back, you can clearly hear and feel the beat.
A second mini bar is just through a door located stage left (your right) with a lounge that eventually leads you to the restrooms. It may be a weird thing to point out but their restroom aesthetic is pretty dope. The doors to enter the male and female are fence-like mini swing doors, so it feels like your walking into this edgy cantina but really, it just welcomes you to the toilets.
Artists like Young Bae, Lil Yachty, and Masego have done shows here. DJs, rappers, and R&B singers usually perform at Arkham, though it can get pretty diverse.
In July SHFT pres. Noizu - this could be your chance to experience this cool venue!
*You can also read my Young Bae review here.
Mercedes Benz Arena in Pudong
This venue is one, if not the biggest in the city for huge artists like Jason Mraz & Troye Sivan. It’s meant for people who will most likely sell out and hold huge audiences.
Besides it being quite far out in Pudong, the area is new and very well lit with lots of restaurants and sight-seeing to do pre-event. While in the evening, you can gaze at the exterior part of the Arena as it changes colors.
Once you begin to enter, you’ll realize you have to take a lot of escalators just to get to the actual seating area halls; quite the experience. Because it is a very big venue, I would recommend you show up at least 20 minutes prior to the show in order to find your seating gate, go to the bathroom, get some snacks, and actually get to your seat. It can get confusing but the staff is helpful.
When I went to see Jason Mraz with my friend, we were walked to our gate so that was really nice. The sound is clear and it doesn’t echo in there like one would think. The screens are clear and even if you sit in the nose-bleeds on the far side like we did, you still have an amazing view and can still enjoy the show.
The only downside to this location is the distance one would have to travel to and from, as well as finding and flagging down your ride. They close the streets where the public comes out of so it’ll definitely be a sea of people just flooding the streets post-show. But don’t freak out, just walk about 10 minutes to the nearest corner where cars are and pin that pick-up place. If not your driver is gonna be like WTH, not being able to go to the Arena location because the police won’t let them.
Other than that, enjoy it! This July the WWE will be smacking down & The Chainsmokers (sold out) will be throwing down in September!
*You can also read my Jason Mraz review here.
Fusion in Xintiandi
This club is on the 5th floor of the New World Nanli Square Mall in Xintiandi. By the time they open their doors or you get there to make line, all the stores in the mall are closed, so you def can’t get lost.
It’s a pretty small club in my humble opinion but it also gets the job done. You’ll still have fun and enjoy a good quality sound system. Once you enter the first thing you’ll notice are tables — lots of tables, usually VIP sections. There are sooo many, this is what makes the club seem smaller than it is. The dance floor isn’t nearly as big as it should be for the kind of environment it pitches on the weekends.
The drinks, however, are pretty good and the bartenders are fast and efficient which is always nice because…FOMO amiright?
The last time I went to Fusion, was back in March when I went to witness the legendary Black Coffee. The place was sardine-packed, maybe a step below metro rush hour on weekday mornings, to give you an idea.
To be fair, he is a huuuuge DJ back in South Africa and known & respected world-wide so it wasn’t too surprising. Nonetheless, I was still wishing the dance floor was bigger and there were lesser tables surrounding it to avoid bumping and drink-spilling.
The visuals were great, the DJ booth is a little higher than other venues but it’s okay because the people in the back can still see him just fine. At certain points of the night they have go-go dancers perform —so that’s a visual treat.
Post-event it’s fairly easy to get a taxi and the area is still well-lit if you wanted to walk off the drinkies!
*You can also read my Black Coffee review here.