SXSW Live Shot: Taiwan Music Night

Japan Nite, two Korean showcases, and finally...

K-Pop this is not. Inhabiting the fringes of SXSW for multiple years, Taiwan Nite possessed its Rainey Street headquarters Saturday night, Icenhauer’s, each act exposing another of the island’s many musical kinks.

A bridge between American and Taiwanese cultures, Brooklynite Tanya Lam opened with smoky, bilingual jazz. Taipei quartet Sign of Human look like the Asian Beatles, but their Gothic psych marks them as heirs to the Cure. Native speakers probably couldn’t make out the frontman’s mournful drawl, but feedback remains a universal language.

OVDS (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Electro-rage purveyors OVDS called forth the crowd from its roost on Icenhauer’s patio, sparking a pint-sized mosh pit with the pulsating beats of last year’s Heartbreak Resistance. Maybe it wasn’t the right scene for true rowdiness, but the sextet’s exuberance didn’t go wasted. Bidding goodbye with, “No One Can Stop Us,” OVDS swore we’d see them next year.

Toffee (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Taipei fourpiece Toffee could’ve headlined with the exquisite clash of Guzhengist Kaye’s nimble plucking and MC GaWeed’s staccato verse. Struck by the ensemble’s collective beauty and matching jackets, the audience couldn’t decide who to look at first. “You’re all so pretty,” yelled a guy with a balloon protruding from his collar.

Waiting in the wings, Taiwanese hip-hop statesman Dwagie seemed content to let three associates reduce his turntable to ashes. Stepping up to deliver barbs from 2014’s Refuse to Listen, the MC kept his eyes screwed shut – keeping out the demons as he exorcises them.

Dwagie (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

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Taiwan Music Night, SXSW Music 2015, Tanya Lam, Sign of Human, OVDS, Toffee, Dwagie

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