Discussion » Music » [6/26] [Beijing 798] Yen 6th Anniversary

  • TProphet
    TProphet wrote:
    Only having been to one electronic music event in Beijing previously, I wasn't really sure what to expect. But it didn't matter--any show in the 706 Factory space at 798 had to be awesome, just by virtue of the venue.

    Arriving at Lush at 10pm in Wudakhou, the departure bus was delayed. Still, lots of people decked out in schoolgirl and schoolboy outfits made the best of the delay, hamming it up for the camera in the adjacent O2Sun bookstore (much to the amusement of the patrons).

    The bus made its way to 798, stopping briefly to retrieve a wayward passenger. The trip was surprisingly fast, despite some heated negotiations with the security guard at the door. The driver deftly squeezed a very large bus into a very narrow alleyway and dropped us right at the front door.

    Entering the venue, I closely followed one of the promoters. I'm not sure whether I got any special treatment as a result of this, but security didn't bother me at all and I was inside in a flash. At around 11pm, the party was just getting started, and to my amazement--even though there was a perfectly capable set playing--nobody was on the dance floor. They were all crowded around a television drinking and watching the World Cup.

    And what a venue to watch the World Cup in, or anything for that matter! The Yen crew went all out. The Dynacord sound system that dominated the aircraft carrier (or one just like it) was back. Is it possible to have too much bass? Possibly, but I love the way this system punches. I didn't hear a lot of midrange, guessing it turned to mud given the terrible acoustics of the venue and the louvered shape of the ceiling. A high quality and professional lighting rig was installed, although it was heavy on the bright lights and ridiculous with strobes (I'm assuming this was the designer's intent). The crew built a full-sized stage, setting the DJs and the band back from the crowd. I normally don't like to see an arrangement like this, preferring the DJ being able to be intimate with the crowd, but since there was a band involved I understood the need for this. Pioneer was even on site with a pair of CDJ-400s and a DJM-400 (an entry level bedroom DJ setup), presumably because they were an event sponsor, and there was some salon company selling random hair products. The sponsor areas were unobtrusive and I think well-done overall. Best of all, behind the stage there was--literally--a Jumbotron display. This gave tremendous flexibility to the visuals designer. A pity that he mostly just used stock visuals along with the DJ's name bouncing around on the screen, because this would have been an incredible canvas for video.

    The VIP area was all the way in the back, disconnected from the dance floor, and there didn't seem to be much mingling between the crowd and the folks who paid extra to be there. They got their own bar, and if the drinks cost less it was probably good value. Drink prices had been promised to be reasonable, but were very high and you had to buy drink tickets 50 kuai at a time. 30 kuai for mixed drinks and Carlsberg beer. They could have charged the same for Tsingtao so kudos to the promoters for giving us decent beer. I just wish they'd sold the tickets one at a time so you only had to buy as many as you needed.

    I'm a DJ myself and never want to see an empty dance floor, so I went right to the front--someone needed to get the party started! The DJ was pretty good, laying down a very capable progressive set. Progressive usually isn't my thing but missing the Pacific Northwest festival season, I needed to dance and would gladly have danced to anything.

    The dance floor was eventually packed, snowballing into a frenzy, and then DJ Kamikaze came on. He must be something of a local celebrity because his set felt like a string of cliches and inside jokes, none of which I understood, jarringly bouncing in and out of tracks (mostly mainstream, even some hip hop) every 30 seconds or so f
  • Yuki Inés
    Yuki Inés wrote:
    I have 2 ticket...but did not go last night...

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