Two bands featuring the erhu, a traditional Chinese two-stringed musical instrument, took to the stage of the Emerge Live House in Taichung last night. The Hsu-nami (海嘯樂團) came all the way from the USA and Sun Of Morning (晨曦光廊) are a Taiwanese band. Many music fans will already be familiar with Taiwanese metal band ChthoniC’s use of the erhu. These two bands add a new dimension to the genre of erhu rock.
The Sun of Morning were first on stage. Their brand of post rock has a distinct groove and is supplemented by samples and the erhu.
Xiao Ye (小曄) is the erhu player of Sun of Morning. She also plays keyboard in the band.
Jack Hsu was born in Taiwan and moved to the USA at the age of 12. He is a great front man and extracts a wide range of sounds from the erhu ranging from haunting to music you can dance to. The Hsu-nami are currently on their first tour of Taiwan with shows at Spring Scream and in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung. With six band members on the stage The Hsu-nami have a full and dynamic sound. There was also plenty of great guitar work by guitarists Brent Bergholm and Tony Aichele to complement the erhu.
At the end of the show Xiao Ye of Sun of Morning joined The Hsu-nami on stage for a jam. It was a fitting finale to the show by two bands pioneering the erhu rock genre.
While many people in Taichung might be disappointed by the demise of 89k Taichung’s live music scene is still alive and well. Emerge Live House, Sound Live House and IGOO all host regular gigs featuring an array of bands from Taiwan and abroad. Retro Cafe and Forro Cafe also have occasional shows. I have compiled a list of live music venues in Taichung at Taiwanderful with more details.
*More photos in the erhu rock set at flickr.
Update: The Hsunami have posted a video from the evening on YouTube: First Ever Erhu Rock Epic Battle.