Monsters of rock

More than 100 bands will congregate in Tamsui this weekend for the debut of the Beastie Rock Festival

By David Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Fri, Aug 12, 2011 - Page 13

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, 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.

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.

Festival highlights

Here’s a small sample of the 100 acts performing this weekend at Beastie Rock. A full schedule can be found at


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)

Apollo 18

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)

Point 22

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)

My Skin Against Your Skin

Post-punk music driven by the alluring voice of Andrea Huang (黃盈誼).

8pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)

88 Balaz (88顆芭樂籽)

The indie scene’s favorite guitar-rumbling garage band.

8pm, Neon Stage (霓虹燈下)

Hang in the Air (盪在空中)

Reggae and dub meets Taiwanese folk rock.

8:40pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)


Japanese four-piece group that wears matching racecar driver suits and plays nu-metal flavored rock.

8:40pm, Neon Stage (霓虹燈下)


Black Summer Days

Taipei four-piece band that plays solid, straightforward rock ’n’ roll sung in Mandarin.

2pm, Passion Avenue Stage (情緒大道)

Mugen Hosen (無限放送)

Wild and energetic Japanese guitar-and-drums duo.

7:20pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)

Celluloid (賽璐璐)

Beloved indie-rock veterans who play garage rock and blues.

8pm, Neon Stage (霓虹燈下)

Skip Skip Ben Ben

A band led by one of the more talented songwriters in the Taiwanese indie scene, Ben Ben (斑斑).

8pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)


This trio of expats plays stoner-indie rock with disco beats.

8pm, Passion Avenue Stage (情緒大道)

The Girl and the Robots (女孩與機器人)

Electronica and indie-pop bordering on MTV-friendliness.

8:40pm, Neon Stage (霓虹燈下)

Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤)

Hip-hop rhymed in Hakka and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), with a strong dose of socially conscious lyrics.

8:40pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)

DingDing and ShiShi (丁丁與西西)

Feel-good, bossa nova-flavored acoustic rock.

8:40pm, Little Corner Stage (小角落)

Loh Tsui Kweh Commune (濁水溪公社)

Taiwan’s favorite nakashi punks and pioneers of cheesy karoke-inspired rock ’n’ roll. Watch out for flying objects during their set.

9:20pm, Neon Stage (霓虹燈下)

Wayne’s So Sad (傷心欲絕)

Raw, old-fashioned punk from a relatively new band to the scene.

9:20pm, Starfire Stage (星火舞台)