Like Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve this year both falls on that most dreaded of days — Monday — so this four-day weekend starts off today with a hugely heartfelt TGIF! After many had to work last Saturday to make up for the holiday, and most of us little elves also worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this past week, it’s time for some much deserved R&R for live music aficionados — not rest and relaxation, but rock ‘n’ roll.
Indie sensation Forests (森林合唱樂團) performs at both The Wall and Revolver Monday night, with a host of other great bands at each show. Guitarist and vocalist Jon Du (杜澤威) is a riot to watch, and he, along with bassist Tseng Kuo-hung (曾國宏) and drummer Lo Zun-long (羅尊龍) form a tight trio with a very loud, lo-fi, distorted sound. Though off-stage they appear quite low key and preppy, on stage they are more lit up than a Christmas tree.
The vocals come across as an extra instrument than as a vehicle for meaning, though they are catchy enough to have people attempting to sing along, even if it’s with a series of grunts and whoa, whoa, whoas rather than discernible words. The band takes the audience on a joyride through both the deep dark shadows and the sunny meadows of their Forests and have a high energy, ramped-up stage presence that is sure to rile up the thrashers on the dance floor as well as the rock and rollers.
Forests will be joined at the Wall by a coven of 13 other bands playing alternative, indie, ska and punk, and includes White Eyes, Sleaze, Macbeth, Mary Bites Kelly and Sunset Rollercoaster for a night of live music that is a steal at NT$500. There will also be DJs playing until dawn with DJ Sonia, DJ Sandoz Fan, DJ Zo, and DJ BunjiBeat.
* Doors open at 7:30pm with bands from 8pm Monday at The Wall (這牆), B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Admission is NT$500.
Forests will also play at Revolver, one of this year’s best live music houses in Taipei, on New Year’s Eve. The club will continue its weekly Wednesday and Thursday band nights in addition to weekend music events and the monthly Sit Down and Shut the Fuck Up semi-open-mic. (The first one of the new year arrives on Thursday; bands and solo artists have to sign up in advance to play.) Forests recorded its first live album in Revolver because the musicians were allowed to play as loud as they wanted. Joining them are popular Ween tribute group Skycruiser, reformed and playing gigs while lead singer Toby Garrod is in town for the holidays, with an expanded retinue of Ween classics that are sure to get the dance floor hoppin.
Roxymoron, a band with a rock-and-roll alternative sound given a kick in the dancepants by the underlying disco beat that provides the backbone for many of the group’s songs, will also play. Funky Brothers and DJs @llenblow and Shorty round out the entertainment that will surely continue well into the New Year as many nights here end up going hard til dawn.
* Bands take the stage from 10pm, Revolver, 1-2, Roosevelt Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路一段1-2號). Admission is NT$500 and includes two drinks.
Taichung has a New Year’s Eve concert at Taiwan Architecture, Design and Art Center (設計與建築展演中心, TADA) with Taiwan indie veterans Tizzy Bac along with a line up of bands that includes Inhuman Band, Tomodachi, BB Bomb and Trash for a night that will range from punk and alternative to indie pop with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included in the ticket price. Guests will receive a drink cup at the door upon entry — but don’t lose it as it can’t be replaced.
* From 2pm tomorrow at Taiwan Architecture, Design and Art Center (設計與建築展演中心, TADA), B11 Auditorium, 362, Fuhsing Rd Sec 3, Taichung City (台中市復興路三段362號). Tickets are NT$1,020 and are available at 7-11 iBon machines or online at: www.walkieticket.com.
On Jan. 5, Squids will play their final Taipei show at Underground with electro-rockers Kid Millionaire. Squids began as a duo around four years ago with Campbell Burns on vocals, guitar and percussion, and Eddie Chow on keys and samples, but has grown to include Simon Wallace on bass and Angus Cruikshank on drums. The group plays catchy electro-indie-rock: “Live drums, synths, dirty bass and vocals was the blueprint,” Burns said. He added that fronting the band has left him with “permanent damage to my right ear, shredded hands, a lot of fun shows and a few decent hangovers,” he said.
With Cruikshank leaving to travel, the band will go on hiatus. “At the moment he seems pretty irreplaceable but we’ll see,” Burns said. “If there are any kick ass drummers reading this then hook me up!”
* 9pm at Underworld (地下社會), B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1). Admission is NT$300 and includes one drink.