Guest blogger Julie Hwang is head of the Asian Film Festival of Dallas.
I consider myself lucky to have been at the Chinese Invasion Tour show on Sunday night at the Double Wide. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to and will stick in my memory for a long time to come. There was a wonderful sense of welcome and joy to the entire night, from the Chinese greeting “NI HAO” taped on the back of one of the front stage monitors to the exchange of Carsick Cars lead singer Zhang Shouwang’s “I [expletive] love Texas!” with several shouts of “Texas loves you!” from the packed house.
And the music, of course, was amazing. Each of the bands performing had something different to offer, and they all delivered with energy and amazing commitment. AV Okubo, from Wuhan, China, was the first band on stage. Their raucous and cool electronic tinged sound caught everyone’s attention and set a great tone for the night. Next up was Carsick Cars, less flashy but penetrating and mesmerizing. Intelligent rock. The band was able to create some amazing sounds that built up a powerful slow burn before launching into driving melodies that had everyone bopping.
The main act of the evening was the venerable P.K. 14, one of the first rock bands formed on the burgeoning scene and a clear inspiration to the other musicians on the bill. They took the stage shortly after midnight, and if anyone in the audience was feeling tired, they were soon spurred into jumping and dancing by the raw energy of the band and the whirling performance of lead singer Yang Hai Song.
Toward the end of the long night, P.K. 14 lead singer Yang Hai Song declared “You are beautiful” to the audience and thanked all the people in Dallas, including the show’s sponsor, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, for making the show possible. I talked to him briefly before the show about his time in Texas and the United States. “It’s like two different countries” he joked, comparing Texas to New York, where the band played late last year. He told me the bands had had a great time shopping at Good Records and at Bill’s earlier in the day. They loved all the vinyl, which isn’t easily available in China. They’re feeling lucky to get to see the real America, instead of the America they see back home in the media or on TV. We’re incredibly lucky too, to see them, live in person, and not on the media or TV.
The Chinese Invasion Tour is headed up to Denton Wednesday night to play at Hailey’s, and trust me, it will be well worth your time.