The Stones concert Saturday night was totally awesome, just the absolute standard for what a rock and roll show is supposed to be. They came out with “Start Me Up” and went through dozens of classics, including “Can’t Always Get What You Want”, “Happy”, “Gimme Shelter” and so many others I’ve forgotten. They also threw in a few of their new songs, but usually kept those to the universally popular, like “Love is Strong”. They did “Wild Horses” with Cui Jian, the Godfather of Chinese Rock, who was on the first cover of Chinese Rolling Stone. And they did two encores, the first of which I forgot, and the second of which was “Satisfaction”. We had about 20 friends at the show, we were all sitting together and we rented a bus to take us to and from the concert! That bus turned out to be a great call, because after the show, most people were fighting for cabs in the rain, while we continued the party on the tour bus! Above photo by Charlie Xia.
My group, the Georgia Sam Blues Band, was back swinging it Wednesday night at a new club called Shuffle. It was the first time we had played since New Year’s Eve, and featured some new players. The core group remains Knut on drums, Nate on bass, and myself on guitar and singing. Eli used to be our lead guitarist but he moved to Beijing a few months ago, leaving us without a go-to guy during the solo spots. That post was filled by Giles, a keyboard man who can play like Stevie Wonder – he’s amazing. Unfortunately for us, he’s moving back to England next week. He joined us for the Shuffle jam and brought his friend Tony, who is a blazing guitarist. Since Tony will be sticking around indefinitely, we’re trying to recruit him to the cause.
Shuffle is a relatively new and undiscovered territory, down the street from the former Tang Hui pub, where Georgia Sam used to hold court every Wednesday night until it closed in November. The bar is big yet intimate, comfortable and low-key, and they have fantastic musical equipment and acoustics. But nobody knows about it. Last Saturday Nate and Knut were checking the place out and they said that, despite having a live band playing, there were barely five people in the bar. Hence the reason they agreed to give us a gig without even hearing us play. We got a few of our friends to come down and support us, and we all had a fun time rocking and dancing around all night. The manager asked us to come back every Wednesday. Could be a good time.
Ben Franklin turned 300 this January and so we decided to pull out all the stops for the man who showed Europeans that Americans are smart, too. We honored the man with many a kegstand.
We celebrated the New Year at the Ferrari store in Xintiandi, a strange place to party, but the band had a gig there and we made it work. There was a fireworks display across the street, and the crowd seemed to be having a good old time. They made us wear Ferrari shirts, but it wasn’t so bad…