A free music festival called Freak Out Beast (吵年獸) was held over the weekend in Ximending. The event took place on two stages next to the Red House Theatre (西門紅樓). The north stage featured guitar based bands while the south stage hosted DJs mixing and scratching hip hop sounds.
The name of the festival refers to a “monster” who supposedly comes out at the new year. The monster is scared away by red things and the sound of firecrackers. The stages were adorned with red strips of calligraphy and red lanterns. However, loud music substituted for the noise of firecrackers.
I didn’t manage to catch all of the bands playing over the first few days, but I’ll just mention some of my favorites. The first day featured a great line up of indie bands beginning with The Tic Tac. They were followed by the garage rock sounds of White Eyes (白目) pictured above.
Three piece Sorry Youth (拍謝少年) continued with their guitar sounds.
Rabbit is Rich (兔子很有錢), like White Eyes, features an energetic woman out the front, although the photo here catches vocalist Andrea in one of her quieter moments.
SEN (仙樂隊) were the headlining band on the first night. Their goth/new wave sound was reminiscent of Joy Division.
On the second day I caught Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤). They describe themselves as “traditional Taiwan music style” and play hip hop with a unique Taiwanese flavour. The group includes a horn player and they sample Taiwanese temple music.
The second night was headlined by 88 Balaz (八十八顆芭樂籽) with an energetic performance in their unique rockabilly punk style.
I have included a link to all the bands’ MySpace pages so you can listen to some of their songs. If you like the sounds they all play regularly at some of the live venues in Taipei. Check GigGuideTW or the listings in the Taipei Times every Friday for details.
*More photos in the Freak Out Beast set at flickr.