For as long as I can remember, MAO Livehouse has been the go to place for live music in Shanghai, pulling in numerous bands and independent artists in to that big open hall. It’s practically a landmark for the arts and music scene of China. After a long wait, they’ve finally opened MAO Livehouse Hangzhou. Everything that we love about MAO has been kept the same, mainly its dedication to the music. Located in the new Lixing Mall on Zhongshan South Road, the design inside is raw and simple, a stage, main floor, and a small bar area. The acoustics, audio and lighting systems are all top quality, and can’t be faulted in the slightest.
The range of artists that play at MAO is in no way restricted to one genre. The week we went there had a post rock band on Sunday, Taiwanese rapper on Monday, and a Japanese rock band on Thursday. Whatever music you’re in to, MAO will bring them to the Hangzhou stage. From the first weeks opening lineup we chose to go watch pg.lost, a Swedish post rock band. If you’re not in to post rock you mightn’t have heard of them before, but as we found out that night, Hangzhou has a huge following. For a newly opened venue to be packed to the brim with hundreds of fans is an impressive feat.
From the moment the band started playing, the quality of the venue really came through. As the lights dimmed solely on the band, and the audience took the opportunity to get a photo, I couldn’t help but feel more engaged in the music. The band played on for about two hours and were called out for an encore after their initial set. It’s not just the band that makes a music venue great, but the eager fans and audience. MAO’s reputation as a leading music venue in China brings in large audiences and music lovers from across the city.
As for drinks, they have a limited selection including Carlsberg (20RMB), Hoegaarden (40RMB), and a range of soft drinks. MAO tends to have around three or four events a week, and tickets vary in price. The evening we went was 80RMB presale, and tickets had sold out fast. For full listings and purchase information of their upcoming events, follow their official Wechat account (MAOLivehouseHZ). Smoking permitted. Parking Available.