Monday, August 08, 2005

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So Typhoon Matsa was supposed to hit Shanghai sometime in the last couple of days. Being the optimist that I am (or consciously choosing to be oblivious, choose one), I ignored common sense on Saturday night and went to the metal concert at Harley's.

The concert was great. I got there about 30 minutes late, but still in time to catch the last couple songs by Xuanwumen (玄武门). Their new singer is an awful match for the band; whereas one of the things makes Xuanwumen great is the nonchalance with which they project their musical genius, this guy is a total showsman. Still, great progressive rock, killer guitar and drum solos. Next up was legendary metal band Mortal Sin (死罪). I'm not a big fan, but they got the crowd worked up and had me nodding my head. After them was Epitaph (墓志铭), who came out all painted up in white and black. By this time, Chris had gone back to the bar to have a drink, but I was in the front row head-banging and occasionally moshing along with the rowdiest of them. More good metal. They were followed Xiao Yu's band, the much anticipated Blood Horror (血惊), probably the highlight of the evening. Afterwards came an anti-climactic Qiying (麒缨), actually the organizers of the show. But by then I had had enough, so I grabbed Chris and we headed out the door.

The show was marred by sound problems; typical Harley's. But I was relieved to see that the place was relatively uncrowded, such that actual cool air could make it into the stage area!

Who was there: Xiao Yu, the Yuyintang lady, Liu Yi, the Xuanwumen keyboardist, Chris, me, and a bunch of metal-heads.

When Chris and I hit the street, it was raining lightly, so we ran to the next-door Xinianlai for a late night snack—for me, a 粽子 (bamboo-leaf steamed rice, peanuts, and pork) and a cup of cold soy milk. Since we were having a good time chewing the fat, we decided to move down to the Bifengtang on Tianyaoqiao Rd. Little did we realize that the above-mentioned typhoon Matsa was about to make her full appearance. We had to brave typhoon-scale winds and horizontal rain to make the one block trek, and my poor umbrella was absolutely useless: we were soaked by the time we made it, Chris was wringing his sweatshirt to get the water out. We stayed at Bifengtang talking till about 2:30 in the morning, and at that time it was still pouring (and I mean pouring) down rain. Chris headed to the bus station, and I tried to find a cab. By the time I got back to Harley's where the cabs were, I had walked through 4-inch-deep water (no way around it!) and flipped my umbrella back the right way multiple times. The cab I finally caught had to navigate blocks and blocks of flooded streets, including my own Ningxia Rd, before finally making it to my apartment complex, where it couldn't make it to the front door of my building because some tree branches were blocking the lane.

Crazy night. And I'm not the only Shanghai weblogger to have been caught in the storm.

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