Summer’s here, and that means summer concerts. This year, Taiwan — which in terms of internationally touring bands generally means north Taiwan, i.e. Taipei — will see some big names like Radiohead, Jason Mraz, Megadeth and The Cardigans. These should satisfy indie rock fans, 30-something office ladies, aging metalheads and couples who got married at the end of the 1990s, respectively. When it comes to festivals, Formoz is unfortunately still dead. The organizers tried to bring it back last year with a mini-revival, but a weekend of freakish downpours squelched both that particular concert and the hope of truly bringing it back to life. For now. However, Hohaiyan (海洋音樂祭) will still happen at the beach (for free!), and there is talk of a second edition of Beastie Rock (巨獸搖滾音樂祭), which was fun last year, crappy sound systems and all. Live Wire will keep you updated, but for now, here is a quick summer calendar.
Tonight we have Crossfaith and New Breed, two hard-thrashing Japanese bands that will most likely dress in monochrome and get you feeling all hardcore and emo-y. Most people won’t be wearing black lipstick, but it certainly won’t be frowned upon.
■ 7pm tonight at The Wall, B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd, Sec 4, Taipei (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Admission is NT$1,200 at the door
On Sunday, Australian indie rockers The Jezabels return to Taipei for the second time in half a year, though this time playing a slightly more intimate venue — The Wall as opposed to Legacy Taipei. If you like haunting female vocals and hard-driving rock atmospherics, or maybe just Australian bands in general, this is definitely for you. The group has emerged as a huge hit on Australia’s answer to college rock radio, the government-run station Tripple-J, and it’s also been honing its delivery through non-stop touring in Europe and the US.
■ 7pm on Sunday at The Wall. Admission is NT$700 in advance, NT$900 at the door
On June 26, Jason Mraz will play Taipei Arena. He might be a pop sensation, and he might vanish from the media’s radar five years from now, but he’s at least something of a real singer-songwriter with a real band behind him. I might not be tempted to buy a ticket, but I’d still take him over Bruno Mars any day.
■ 7pm on June 26 at Taipei Arena (台北小巨蛋), 2, Nanjing East Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市南京東路四段2號). Admission is from NT$800 to NT$4,000. Tickets available at www.walkieticket.com
On July 1, the 1980s metal band Anvil will headline Celebration Canada, which is apparently what they’re now calling Canada Day. Back in 1984 or so, Anvil was touring with Bon Jovi and Whitesnake and on the cusp of hair-metal stardom. Twenty years later, they were playing for crowds that numbered in the dozens in local beer joints in their hometown of Toronto, Canada. Then a 2008 documentary portrayed them as a real-life Spinal Tap, and now — they’re coming to Taipei? This should at the very least be interesting. The gig happens at Legacy Taipei in the midst of Celebration Canada, and Urban Nomad Film Fest will screen their documentary with a question-and-answer session with the band.
■ 8pm on July 1 at Legacy Taipei, Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914), Center Five Hall (中五館), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號). Admission is NT$1,200 advance, tickets available at www.walkieticket.com; film info at www.urbannomad.tw