I never thought I would perform in China but this past Saturday night, March 28, 2015 I (The Horrorist) did exactly that. Shanghai holds the record for the most populated city with over 20 million people living there. As the taxi took me from Pudong Airport to Hilton in the city center I got to see how big the city really is. Imagine a city like Newark or Charlotte, North Carolina. Imagine the cluster of tall buildings in each center of those cities. Now imagine about 20 cities that large all clustered together. Put a river in the middle and across the river put some amazing skyscrapers that tower over the cluster of other cities and your getting a close idea of how big Shanghai is.
Americans have a pre-conception (brainwashing?) that all of China is poor, full of military, the food is tainted with chemicals and the cars are made of cardboard. None of that is really true. I saw my share of Ferraris, Bentleys, most cabs were VWs and in a way that the world should follow most people got around by a brand new subway system or fully electric scooters. I had several great meals of organic vegetarian dishes. I was able to use Facebook and Twitter and had no issues going in and out of the country. I’m not saying there may not be oppression or problems but in Shanghai I didn’t see any of it. I went to the Bund area where you walk along the water front at look at the Pearl Tower, World Financial Center and the amazingly tall Shanghai Tower. One thing I found interesting was most of the Chinese tourists were totally focused on those tall modern towers while the classic beautiful old Chinese waterfront buildings and the poor statue of Mao was left quiet. The only complaint about the city itself is the pollution is very noticeable. Some people wear masks as they walk the streets. I noticed a change in my breathing. That’s saying something considering I live in NYC. I read that living in Shanghai is the equivalent to smoking a half a cigarette a day.
Enter the void. I performed in a WWII shelter (the Japanese were doing the bombing). The club is of course called The Shelter and it’s known as THE place to perform in Shanghai. The night was run by 3 expats. Vincent from Paris, Camy from Edinburgh and Ilsa from Moscow. You walk down into the club through a stone tunnel into a stone and steel room (don’t fall and hit your head!). The owner doesn’t allow any lighting during the night. Since I bring my own strobes and 500W lamps I knew I had a nice surprise in store for the regulars of the Void. The club filled up with a mix of Shanghai natives and more ex-pats. I particularly enjoyed playing my more political songs. I didn’t get past me for a minute where I was. Playing “The World will Know Us” in China was a thrill I won’t forget. The reaction on some of the faces was great. It was a mix of surprise, smiles and hell yeah lets dance! The same night in Shangai I heard A Guy Called Gerald and Nigel Richards were also performing. After my set I met a promoter from Beijing. If you’re a DJ or electronic musician don’t be surprised when China calls you too. I know I will be going back. Thanks to everyone who came out and the new friends I made there. Wings over the world! To see the full set of photos: click here
“NYC-based experimental EBM musician The Horrorist comes to Shelter. His brand of pitch black industrial techno, most famously the track “One Night in NYC,” weaves together a playful, creepy overlay of lyrics about the evils of city living with abrasive, danceable beats. For this live set, expect an array of costume changes, crowd interaction and manic energy.” – cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai