Taipei has seen its fair share of blockbuster music acts this summer, with shows in the past several weeks by the Chemical Brothers, Tricky and The Cranberries, and more to come in the next month, including James Blunt’s concert next week and Beady Eye (Oasis minus Noel Gallagher).
But the local indie scene is eager to make some noise, too. The Beastie Rock Festival (巨獸搖滾音樂祭) is making its debut by hosting more than 100 bands on four stages tomorrow and Sunday at Tamsui Farm (淡水休閒農場). A large swath of Taiwanese indie rock bands and a handful of groups from overseas populate this weekend’s lineup.
One band of note is Apollo 18, a South Korean post-rock band that has been making waves at international rock festivals. The group appeared at South By Southwest in the US earlier this year, and most recently at the Fuji Rock Festival last month.
The trio, which formed in 2008, has garnered mainstream acclaim in their home country, having won the “Rookie of the Year” title at last year’s Korean Music Awards. Post-rock fans will appreciate Apollo 18’s shoe-gazer rock grooves, but their sound also has an unusual twist.
The band has a hardcore metal edge, with guitarist Hyunseok Choi prone to breaking out into screamo-style vocals, as he does on the intense track Iridescent Clouds (view the video at tinyurl.com/3nt7bt7), one of the band’s more impressive songs. Apollo 18 is scheduled to perform tomorrow afternoon.
There are also several Japanese acts worth catching. Watch out for Mugen Hoso, a wild and energetic guitar-and-drums rock duo, on Sunday. Takayukidan, a polished rock and nu-metal band, is one of the headline acts tomorrow night.
What: Beastie Rock Festival
When: Tomorrow and Sunday from 1:30pm to 10pm
Where: Tamsui Farm (淡水休閒農場), 1, Ln 12-3, Mincyuan Rd, Tamsui Dist, New Taipei City (新北市淡水區民權路12-3巷1號)
Getting There: Tamsui Farm is located a short walk from Zhuwei MRT Station (捷運竹圍站). For a detailed map, go to beastierock.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
Tickets: NT$1,400 for a two-day pass, NT$800 for a single-day pass. Camping space is available for NT$100 per night if you bring your own tent; four-person tents are available for NT$800 for one night or NT$900 for two nights. Space is limited, so booking is required. Write to email@example.com for more information
Web site: beastierock.blogspot.com (in Chinese only)
And of course, Taiwan’s indie scene will be out in full force, with headlining performers including nakashi-punk pioneers Loh Tsui Kweh Commune (濁水溪公社, LTK), garage rockers 88 Balaz (88十八顆芭樂籽) and punk band Wayne’s So Sad (傷心欲絕). Visit the festival’s Web site for a full schedule.
Although Tamsui Farms is easily accessible by MRT — the site is a short walk from Zhuwei MRT Station (捷運竹圍站) — organizers are hoping the riverside setting and rural surroundings will entice some festivalgoers to stay after the final shows and camp. The site has camping facilities and tents will be available for rent.
Here’s a small sample of the 100 acts performing this weekend at Beastie Rock. A full schedule can be found at beastierock.blogspot.com.
Queen Suitcase (皇后皮箱)
Retro-rock and indie-pop from the winner of last year’s battle of the bands competition at the Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival (貢寮國際海洋音樂祭).
2:40pm, Passion Avenue Stage (情緒大道)
Post-rock/post-hardcore band from South Korea fresh from an appearance at Japan’s Fuji Rock. The band also represented its country at the US festival South By Southwest.
5:20pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)
Inhuman Species (非人物種)
Taipei punks with a penchant for grunge and ska-flavored jams.
6pm, Neon Stage (霓虹燈下)
Double Cheese (大波起司)
Standout post-rock band from Taichung.
6:40pm, Little Corner Stage (小角落)
Unfamiliar Friends Party (不熟的朋友派對)
This laptop-wielding electronica group played at South By Southwest earlier this year.
6:40pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)
Long-running expat trio from Taichung that plays funk rock with an occasionally dark and often zany twist.
7:20pm, Neon Stage (霓虹燈下)