What's On in Shanghai: May 2017

By Erica Martin, May 2, 2017

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That's Shanghai takes a look at the best of the month:


May 3: Belanova

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Celebrated Mexican pop trio Belanova comes to Shanghai for a show at MAO Livehouse. With lead singer Denisse Guerrero’s impressive vocals, the band won a Latin Grammy for Best Pop Album in 2008 and has released five acclaimed albums of catchy electropop. Want to meet the band in person? They'll also be making an appearance at El Santo in Found 158 from 5pm on Tuesday night, May 2.May 3, 9pm, RMB150  presale, RMB180 door. MAO Livehouse, see event listing.


May 4: Lescop

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Acclaimed French musician and vocalist Lescop, who’s been called a “new icon of cold wave,” brings his moody electropop to Shanghai. Local electronic noise band Nonplus of Color joins him as opening act.
May 4, 8pm-late, presale 80, door 120. Bandai Namco Shanghai Base, see event listing.


May 5: Outlook Festival Launch with Stray

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Major European electronic music festival Outlook is conducting an expansive  worldwide tour of “launch parties” to promote their event in Croatia. Shanghai’s party takes place at Dada with a headline set by London drum & bass producer Stray. A strong supporting line-up features Conrank, Arkaik, Siesta and Oshi.
May 5, 10pm-late. Dada.


May 5-22: Modern Drama Valley Festival

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One of the most influential theater festivals in China, Modern Drama Valley descends on Shanghai for nearly the entire month of May. A selection of 18 national and international plays split into categories like  Chinese drama, pop theatre, masterpiece adaption and small theater classics will be performed at venues around Jing’an.  
May 5-22, times and locations vary, prices vary: RMB380 or less. (www.moderndramavalley.com/en)


May 6: Shanghai Hot Sauce Festival

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The first annual Shanghai Hot Sauce festival offers spice lovers a bevy of  fiery delights, with a focus on hot sauces that are either sold in Shanghai or homemade by Shanghai chefs. There will also be an open bar, a mariachi band, and a spicy eating contest.
May 6, 2-6pm, Jalapeno, see event listing.


May 6: M Talks China: China and Black Internationalism in the Early 20th Century 

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Aaliyah Bilal, a China-based writer and graduate of the School of Oriental and  African Studies at the University of London, leads this talk on black internationalism in the early 20th Century. Head to Glam for insight on the way China connects to the concept, and what black intellectuals in the 30’s and 40’s thought about the founding of the People’s Republic.
May 6, 4pm-6pm, RMB80. Glam, see event listing.


May 6-7: Feast Food Festival

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This foodie-focused weekend returns for its third year in style at The Place with a ’20s lawn party theme and specialized menus from Shanghai’s most notable chefs. Expect a live cooking competition, a jazz band, dancing, and lots and lots of food.
May 6-7, RMB50-90, The Place, see event listing.


May 7: Totorro

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French band Totorro visits Shanghai for a show at Mao Livehouse as part of the album tour for their sophomore release, Come to Mexico. Expect catchy post-rock and math rock from the instrumental foursome.
May 7, 8pm, RMB100 presale, RMB150 door. Mao Livehouse, see event listing.


May 11: The Laboratory

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Anna Fur Laxis and Ennis F. W. of Shanghai’s leading burlesque troupe Qi-POW! offer up a Thursday night of sizzling cabaret with a mad scientist theme. Expect a creative display of burlesque, drag, comedy,  song and dance.
May 11, 8pm, RMB50. The Pearl, see event listing.


May 12: Megadeth

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The US thrash metal legends return to Shanghai for their second show in three years. This time, they'll play at the relatively intimate stage at Bandai Namco Shanghai Base, giving Shanghai's metalheads a chance to mosh with them up close and personal. Megadeth have released 15 acclaimed albums and won their first Grammy earlier this year for the song "Dystopia."
May 12, 8pm, RMB980 (VIP RMB1,880). Bandai Namco Shangahai Base.


May 12: Gregor Salto

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A regular performer at clubs throughout Ibiza and a collaborator with Pitbull, Gregor Salto takes his house music “with a tropical twist” to Shanghai for a set at Unico. Expect a dance-floor-friendly mix of Latin  house, soul and African beats.
May 12, 10pm-late, no cover for  women, RMB100 for men. Unico Shanghai, see event listing.


May 12: DJ Marky

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Party promoters Antidote and Wonky Kong team up to bring over DJ Marky, a DJ and producer from Brazil who’s considered one of the world’s best purveyors of drum & bass. Catch him igniting the dance floor at  Dada.
May 12, 10pm-late. Dada.


May 12: Inga Mauer

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Longstanding local techno promoters Asian Vibes invite Russian DJ and producer Inga  Mauer to Shanghai for a set at Elevator. She spans industrial techno, EBM, new wave and disco in her dark and atmospheric sets.
May 12, 10pm-late, RMB80. Elevator.


May 12: The Notwist

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Rock promoters New Noise bring over one of Germany’s most essential indie  bands for a 4-city China tour. Since their formation in 1999, The Notwist has carved out a reputation for haunting, emotive songs that span folk, rock, pop, post-hardcore and electronica. Their 2002 album Neon Golden is regularly cited as one of the best indie rock albums of all time. Catch their energetic live set at Mao Livehouse.
May 12, 9pm, RMB120 presale, RMB150 door. MAO Livehouse, see event listing.


May 12: Wali Collins

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Kung Fu Komedy takes American comedian Wali Collins on a 5-city China tour. Based out of New York, he’s won praise by Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock and once performed at an event for Michelle Obama. Catch him live at Kung Fu Komedy Club.
May 12, 9pm, RMB170 pre-sale, RMB200 door. Kung Fu Komedy Club.


May 13: Crystal Castles

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Hugely popular electronic music duo Crystal Castles bring their searing, lo-fi electro-punk to Shanghai. Though celebrated vocalist and frontwoman Alice Glass left the band amid some controversy in 2014, founder Ethan Kath's replacement, an unknown singer from Iowa named Edith Frances, has received mostly positive reviews. Catch their live show at Bandai Namco.
May 13, 8.30pm, RMB220 presale, RMB280 at door. Bandai Namco Shangahai Base.


May 13: Acid Arab

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French production duo Acid Arab have made a name for themselves by  incorporating elements of Middle Eastern and North African music into their house and techno. They regularly collaborate with artists from the region like Algerian singer-producer Sofiane Saidi, and released their debut LP Musique De France last year.
May 13, 10pm-late. Bar Rouge.


May 14: MEW

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Danish indie rock/dream pop band MEW return to Shanghai as part of their world tour in promotion of their new album, Visuals, which just dropped days ago. It's their first release since guitarist Bo Madsen left the band in 2015.
May 14, 8.30pm, RMB220 presale, RMB280 at door. Bandai Namco Shangahai Base.


May 14: Insomnium

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Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium embarks on an Asia tour to promote  their seventh studio album, Winter’s Gate. They’ll perform at Mao Livehouse with special guests Orpheus Omega, a fellow death metal band from Australia, as the opening act.
May 14, 8.30pm, RMB200  presale, RMB260 door. MAO Livehouse, see event listing.


May 15-16: Theo Croker New York Quintet

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Jazz trumpeter, singer, and bandleader Theo Croker brings his jazz quintet back to Shanghai, where he lived for seven years before relocating in 2013, for two nights of shows at JZ Club. The Oberlin College  Conservatory grad mixes elements of hip-hop and R&B into his jazz  compositions.
May 15-16, 9pm-late, RMB100. JZ Club.


May 16: Tom Keneally: The Story Behind Schindler’s List

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Esteemed Australian novelist Tom Keneally, whose works include the book that inspired the Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List, comes to Shanghai as part of Australian Writers Week. His talk at Shanghai Library will cover the back-story behind the novel, including his exceptional friendship with Holocaust survivor Poldek Pfefferberg.
May 16, 7-8.30pm, No cover. Shanghai Library.


May 17: Nathan Fake

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Much-acclaimed UK electronic musician Nathan Fake specializes in both frenetic techno and more ambient bedroom-y tracks. Check out “Outhouse” and “The Sky is Pink” for an example of each, and then head to his show at Dada from Antidote.  
May 17, 10pm-late. Dada.


May 18: LMT Connection

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American-Canadian funk and soul trio LMT Connection blend R&B, funk and jazz for a sound they describe as “universal soul.” The group comprises lead vocalist and guitarist Leroy Emmanuel, “Hard Hittin’” Mark Rogers and  bass player “Big Bad” John Irvine, who has recorded with Deadmau5. Catch  them at JZ Club.
May 18, 9.30pm-late, RMB100. JZ Club.


May 18: Megaherz

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Active since 1995, German industrial metal band Megaherz is known for their dark aesthetic and creepy, black-and-white clown makeup. They released their latest album, Querschnitt, last year. Check them out at Mao Livehouse.
May 18, 8.30pm, RMB280-600. MAO Livehouse.


May 19: Soda Plains + Dis Fig

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Wooozy Offline’s latest show at Dada showcases producer Soda Plains. Born in Hong Kong and now based out of London and Berlin, he has an expansive, experimental take on electronic music. A strong supporting line-up features Dis Fig, a Brooklyn and Berlin-based purveyor of grime and Jersey club, plus Dirty K, Naaah, Scintii and Sleepless.
May 19, 10pm-late, Dada, see event listing.


May 19: Years & Years

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Fresh-faced electropop trio Years & Years have shot to superstardom in a very short time. Their single “King” reached the top of the UK Singles Chart and their debut album, Communion, was the fastest-selling record of 2015. Experience the band behind the hype as they make their China debut at Bandai Namco.
May 19, 9pm, RMB320 presale, RMB400 door. Bandai Namco Shangahai Base.


May 19: Shanghai Restoration Project + Zhang Le

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The same night that Years & Years plays the main stage, Bandai Namco's Future House (the smaller room formerly called Q House) hosts Shanghai Restoration Project, a New York-based electronic music group founded by musician Dave Liang. For this tour in promotion of his new album, Life Elsewhere, he'll perform with jazz vocalist Zhang Le.
May 19, 8.30pm, RMB120 presale, RMB150 door. Future House at Bandai Namco Shangahai Base.


May 19: Rabit

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Shanghai’s celebrated local bass music collective Genome hosts Houston producer, composer, DJ, and record label owner Rabit. He’s known for both his industrial, hip-hop-inflected sound and for cultivating an underground dance community that promotes inclusivity of all races, genders and sexualities.
May 19, 10pm-late, RMB80. Elevator.


May 19: Cold Cave

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Since he’ll already be in China thanks to a slot in Beijing’ much anticipated Douban Wetware Music Festival, Cold Cave will bring his dark, angsty synthpop to Shanghai. The moniker of LA singer and musician Wesley Eisold, Cold Cave is known for sounding like a modern version of celebrated ‘80s synthpop acts like Joy Division.
May 19, 8.30pm, MAO Livehouse.


May 20: Low

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Split Works brings Minnesota-based band Low to Shanghai for a night of “subterranean pop with a spectral spark.” Active since 1993, they’ve released 12 albums and are known for their minimalist arrangements, dreamy aesthetic and the haunting vocal harmonies of founding members Parker and Sparhawk.
May 20, 8.30pm, RMB180 presale, RMB220 door. Future House at Bandai Namco Shangahai Base, see event listing.


May 20: Developer

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Beijing art and music collective Shadowplay hosts Developer, an LA-based techno producer and founder of Modularz record label. He has been active since the ‘90s and found acclaim for being able to play 40 to 60 records per hour on 3 turntables during his sets.
May 20, 10pm-late, Elevator.


May 20: ShanghaiPRIDE 2017 Rainbow Bike Ride

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For  this annual event, six groups of bikers sporting the same color set off  at different areas of the city and convene to form a human rainbow at  Xuhui Binjiang Green Space. Registration is limited, and the fee  includes a T-shirt, a goody bag, snacks and drinks. All proceeds go to  LGBTQ Groups Open Day.
May 20, 9am-12pm. RMB100, Xuhui Binjiang Green Space, see event listing.


May 21: High Tone

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One of France’s leading dub bands since their formation in 1997, High Tone is known for performing live onstage with instruments rather than with electronic equipment. They’re touring China as part of an artist  residency in Chengdu, where they’ll collaborate with Chinese musicians for their next album.
May 21, 8.30pm, RMB100 presale, RMB120 door. MAO Livehouse.


May 21: Clean Bandit

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British band Clean Bandit first found fame in 2014 for their massive hit “Rather Be” with Jess Glynne, which won a Grammy Award for Best Dance  Recording. They’ve released several hit singles since, and are currently working on a second album of their unique classical-electronica hybrid sound.  
May 21, 9pm-late, RMB280 presale, RMB360 door. Bandai Namco Shangahai Base.


May 25-26: Tao Dance Theater: 6, 7, 8

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Tao Dance Theater’s founder Tao Ye has wowed critics and redefined modern Chinese dance with his experimental, minimalist choreography. The latest pieces in his “Straight Line Trilogy” are 6, 7, and 8, which further his exploration of movement with a dance devoted to the spine and live music accompaniment by folk-rock composer Xiao He.
May 25-26, 7.30pm, RMB80-680. Shanghai Culture Square, see event listing.


May 26-27: Anna Karenina

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The Lithuania Ballet brings their rendition of Anna Karenina to Shanghai. Renowned choreographer Anželika Cholina worked on the production, which brings a modern dance sensibility to the classic tale of romance and tragedy.
May 26-27, 7.15pm, RMB80-880. Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, see event listing.


May 27: Immanu El

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Swedish post-rock band Immanu El comes to Shanghai as part of a China tour from New Noise. Expect an atmospheric evening of brooding guitar and emotive lyrics from the Gothenburg-based group.
May 27, 9pm, RMB120  presale, RMB150 door. MAO Livehouse.


May 31: Cinderella

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The Russian National Ballet Theater takes this classic fairy tale to the stage for one night only in Shanghai. Expect an enchanting dance performance with sumptuous costumes and stage design.
May 31, 7.15pm, RMB80-880. Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, see event listing.


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