With the popularity of “Gangnam Style,” K-Pop has been gaining a lot of attention with listeners who do not exactly understand what is being said in the songs. Taiwan Music in its showcase had a clear plan in mind: to show those attending CMJ that C-Pop is also worth the attention. With the line for the showcase wrapping around the block for a venue that could only fit about 200 people, those of Taiwan Music may be on to the next big thing.
The opening band for the night was 831, who is said to be the “Asian Simple Plan” but whose music is more like Blink-182, with people in the crowd also comparing it to Maroon 5. In its set, 831 mixed hints of different genres into songs and even threw in two ballads. Most in the crowd spoke Chinese, so 831 and the rest of the performers spoke to the crowd in Chinese and engaged the fans with lots of singing, clapping and jumping.
Chemical Monkeys followed with a punk-rock, almost metal sound that favored heavy drumming and cutting guitar riffs. Chemical Monkeys also incorporated hints of sounds that varied from electronic to rap making their sound reminiscent of old-school Gorillaz mixed with Nirvana, one of their claimed musical heroes.
The biggest surprise of the night besides the huge crowd was hip-hop group Da Mouth. Its music was a complete departure from the rock of the previous two bands, with the opening song being C-Pop mixed with Moombahton and rap. Da Mouth is often compared to the Black Eyed Peas, a comparison that only fits in the fact that its music is entrancing and catchy. However, with no auto-tune or tune copying, Da Mouth seems to be as unique as the skeleton inspired costumes it wore.
Photos by Clayton Carr