LIVE REPORTRED MARQUEE7/27 SAT
Another universe of music awaits!
Starting the day off with some Bossa nova!
A 10:20AM festival slot is something that few can pull off though Taiwan’s Sunset Rollercoaster made the most of this opportunity and thoroughly entertained an immense audience that filled most of the Red Marquee. Some hard core fans even danced on the concrete just outside the venues. Such is the drawing power of this up and coming bossanova band who have already headlined major festivals such as Playtime in Chinese-language countries.
While their music draws upon Bossa nova which is a Brazilian musical style popularized in the 1950s and 1960s, the band have added their own jazzy updates, making them much more accessible and danceable. Back home in Taipei, they have been the indie rock darlings for nigh on 5 years now, fully embraced by a LBGTQ friendly country which has just passed a marriage equality act. In fact, rainbow colored flag with Taiwan in the center could be spotted hoisted by a fan at the venue. Modern day Taipei, where the band hail from, is a heady blend of culture tinged with politics and gender.
After warm up music which included “Clampdown” by the Clash, the band opened with “Vanilla” whose easy tempo and rhythm spilled easily over to the audience reaching all the way to the back row. It was a refreshing riff, not heard elsewhere at this festival which seemingly forgotten Bossa nova as a genre of music. The background visuals were a mixture of fruit and milk, rocks, space stations, and other celestial bodies.
Then it was “Summum Bonum” and “Almost Mature ’87” which was an impressive synthesizer beat which enraptured the Red Marquee in nostalgia. Strangely this Taiwanese band was dipping into an international consciousness which transcended country specific boundaries and languages. This may be due to band frontman Kuo who produces much of the tracks with long time guitarist Lo Tsun. His singular mark on the music, as well as alter-ego bands, which were well known in the Taiwanese underground scene, has helped the band appeal to larger audiences.
This led me to consider if there was an alternate universe for music, maybe potentially the Chinese Diaspora of fans who may appreciate different melodies not based on traditional blues scales. Sunset Rollercoaster hint at this with their space theme background imagery and other flourishes. “Burgundy Red” was a favorite for its easy melody and rhythm which could be enjoyed by any music lover regards of age or sexual affiliation. Like it’s namesake, it is a richly warm experience that could fill the whole body with a feeling of warmth.
To round out the set, the band performed “Greedy” and their hit “Mr. Jinji” which was a fitting closing number for a band that is rapidly rising in international acclaim and fan support far beyond the island of Taiwan. And at the end of the performance, the band thanked the audience in both English and Mandarin Chinese, which elicited a huge applause for a crowd who eagerly got up earl to enjoy this very special start for the second day of Fuji Rock.
Almost Mature ’87