Beijing - Day 6: First night singing with Anna

It’s Thursday and officially my 6th day here in Beijing. I was still nervous about only practicing with Anna once for an hour before our gig tonight so I spent a good portion of the day going through the songs again and practicing. I even took some time to learn the music to another Chinese song called “The Moon Represents My Heart” because I knew that she would know it.

Anna and I - our first night singing together.

Anna and I - our first night singing together.

I arrived at China Bar around 9pm, and Anna was already there setting up. Katniss, my handler and interpreter that works for the booking agency showed up soon after. Another representative from the booking agency was there too to help so I asked him to set up the sound system tonight because the sound still needed some tweaks. But I realized soon that he didn’t know what he was doing, and made it worse. So, the first set was a little rocky because of the sound, Anna and I not practicing enough, plus the language barrier between us. As the night progressed, and the sound was left alone, Anna and I were more comfortable with each other. But I also noticed that a packed bar I had the two nights before, had shifted into an almost empty bar by the time we finished for the night. That’s a frustrating feeling I have when the crowd doesn’t feel like they are entertained enough to stay. Anna and I were switching back and forth between songs: she would sing a song and then I would sing one, but in between there was no continuity of energy between the songs, and no reading the room to see what songs the crowd wanted… except when I went on my break and talk to some people in the crowd and they asked for some Sting and Stairway to Heaven which we played right away after the break. This is going to be a learning 4 months here in China, but I feel good about bringing my approached to live entertainment here.

Daniel Park