2010 May 07 Best Unplugged Show Ever: Looking Back on Midi's Last Day
Most of us had to shuffle back to work last Tuesday, but those lucky enough to rock on through Midi's final day were treated to a cold shower and a warm fuzzy glow as the bands took up their acoustic guitars under spring storm clouds. James Tiscione looks back on Midi unplugged.
A curtain of rain and lightning fell on the final day of the Midi Festival around 7pm last Tuesday (May 4), yet all it did was scare away the part-time hipsters and leave about 1,500 hardcore rock fans congregated at the Tang main stage. “Where there is oppression, there is resistance!” chanted the crowd as they jokingly played “revolutionaries without a cause.”
Midi School of Music headmaster Zhang Fan was thinking less rock and more shock, unwilling to risk running electricity through a gigantic stage made entirely of metal while lightning flashed across the sky.
“The lights are too dangerous to turn on while its raining,” he said through a bullhorn. “We’re afraid of electrocuting you.”
“We’re not afraid of electrocution!” they answered, followed by half an hour of crowd surfing sans music, sharing cigarettes with neighbors and singing rounds of the “Internationale.”
Even vendors got caught up in the touchy-feely togetherness as they passed out unsold glow sticks, light-up swords and devil horns.
“Nobody uses umbrellas at Midi! Everybody get wet and crowd together!” roared the audience.
After Xiao Rong from Brain Failure and Gao Hu from Miserable Faith took the stage with acoustic guitars and bullhorns for a few songs each, the rain began to lighten up and Zhang once again ascended the stage.
“Because of the circuits, we think the PA is safe to turn on, so we’re bringing back some of the bands for an acoustic set” – an announcement met by screams and a ceremonial flinging of glow sticks.
Miserable Faith closed out the evening with a 30-minute performance, with the crowd en masse singing along to “Goodbye Jack” and “Let Me Sing a Song for You.”
“Thanks for making Midi’s last day one of the best unplugged shows ever,” said Zhang, as the sun set (behind the clouds) on Midi’s final day for 2010.