Saturday was something of a washout in Taichung. Heavy rains for most of the afternoon limited my attendance at the first day of Rock in Taichung (搖滾台中樂團節) to just one performance. Although the rain kept the crowds down there were still plenty of young people out enjoying the free festival in Taichung’s Wenxin Park.
I saw Panai and her husband Nabu, two indigenous musicians from Taitung, perform a great set on one of the festival’s smaller stages. During the set Panai spoke out against the plans for a nuclear waste dump in Taitung County. Many music festivals shy away from musicians with a political message. It was good that people like Panai had a chance to speak out about important issues.
Sunday turned out to be a perfect day weather-wise and I went along in the late afternoon to see some bands playing on the big stage of the Yuanman Amphitheatre. Most bands in Taiwan just play in small venues with audiences of a few hundred people. So it must have been quite an experience for these bands to get the chance to play on a big stage in front of thousands. The festival also included a number of overseas acts from Japan and Korea.
My favorite performance of the day was My Skin Against Your Skin (MSAYS). Andrea took full advantage of the big stage, moving around energetically with some creative dance moves to accompany the rocking sounds of her band. MSAYS were recently featured in the Taipei Times. They formed out of an the band Rabbit is Rich and have plans for recording an album. I am sure they will go on to more success.