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[SH Weekender]: Your Curated Guide to This Weekend's Best Events

Our top event picks in Arts, Stage, Live Music and Clubbing.
2024-04-24 12:00:00

Stage & Dance

This live show creates a new era in Irish entertainment, containing a wealth of Irish talent, featuring World and Irish champion dancers, some of the finest Traditional musicians and singers who are a big hit everywhere. Combining traditional dance and music with the most up-to-date stage technology, this dance and music extravaganza takes the audiences on an energy-packed time trip through the ages. Now the 25-anniversary edition will tour in Shanghai from April 24 to 28 at Shanghai Center Theatre.

"Transition" is a dance performance exploring the limits of the body, conceptualized and choreographed by Gu Jiani, performed by the Untitled Group. The show delves into the theme of migration, interpreting the instinct of "transition" in humans and nature through innovative dance language. Scheduled for April 25 to 27 at the Shanghai International Dance Center Grand Theater, the performance runs for 60 minutes with ticket prices ranging from 180 to 380 rmb. This work reflects on the constant movement within life and history, offering audiences a profound artistic experience.

The new immersive cabaret, Women Who Kill, will answer this question: did she really do it? Inspired by the hit web series Why Women Kill and created by the artistic duo Ksenia Geddes and Trenton Schneiders, the show transports the audience into a world of mystery and memories where fact blends with fiction. Here, you'll get the chance to don your detective hat and find out exactly why these women kill.


Jazz at Lincoln Center will be hosting the Danny Zanker Quartet as the band performs classics from the Beatles. Two nights from April 24 to 25.

The beginning of the 90s was awash in heavy metal bands, however, there was a growing scene coming out of Seattle that was about to dominate the music world. Known as the “grunge” scene and led by Nirvana, scores of Seattle based bands made flannel shirts, ripped jeans and combat boots popular. The Smells Like Teen Spirit concert will take the music of the grunge scene and deliver it loud and supercharged by the Pearl’s very own Red Stars band. Expect cuts by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains just to name a few. Bust out your best flannel shirt and come on down to the Pearl to have your ear drums massaged by these rockers.

The concertmaster Li Pei will cooperate with pianist Zhou Xiaona in the Shanghai Symphony Chamber Hall to perform Beethoven's classic works. In the second half, Richard Strauss’ Sonata for violin and piano in E-flat major will be presented. This is a wonderful and moving work that integrates emotions as Strauss was in love with his future wife Paulina when he created this piece. Meanwhile it is also very challenging in terms of skills, and it is the selected piece for Heifetz's last performance.

Dominic Miller, wider known as Sting’s trusty side-kick guitarist, and co-created the hit song "Shape Of My Heart", is also a very successful solo artist, having released 12 albums under his own name. For two nights only, Dominic Miller will bring his new album tour“Vagabond” at JZ Club Shanghai, with the pianist Jason Rebello, drummer Ziv Ravitz and bassist Nicolas Fiszman.

Art Exhibitions

Daily except Mon until Aug 4

Cooper & Gorfer: Sirens

Cooper & Gorfer is comprised of artists Sarah Cooper (US, 1974) and Nina Gorfer(AT, 1971). Their work revolves around themes of illusion, memory, and displacement, using layered image collages of women's experiences to illustrate the malleability of identity. Inspired by the female body and traditional rituals, Cooper & Gorfer have fabricated a tribe composed of women undergoing various transformative states.

This exhibition, the largest-scale event held by the Museo Nacional del Prado in China, is custom-tailored for the Museum of Art Pudong, making it the only stop worldwide. Featuring 70 authentic oil paintings from the Prado's collection, all crafted by world-renowned masters, the exhibition showcases a specially curated thematic unit focusing on one of the museum's most historically significant works—the Prado's "Mona Lisa". Ten thematic units delve into various aspects such as court celebrations, dynastic regimes, mythological stories, and everyday life, offering an in-depth analysis of the historical, social, and political evolution of Spain from the reign of Charles V to the early 20th century, spanning nearly five centuries.

Live Music

Hangzhou-based hip-hop singer DBZ emerged as a force to be reckoned with over the past decade, receiving accolades from just about everyone (including a Chinese Golden Melody Award nomination) - as she pushed her sound and lyricism into new shapes - crafting dreamscapes full of hip-hop swag, trip-hop pulp, and art pop ambition. The shape-shifting artist will be showcasing her latest incarnation - ‘Kitsune Fox’ - tonight at SYSTEM alongside an assortment of singers, live acts, and producers. Special guests include sultry garage dance rock Beijing duo Heat Mark, Shanghai techno mainstay MHP, singer-songwriter/producer Lei Yuxin, and bunbunG - the pairing of DBZ and Shanghai electronic producer Limbo Limbs. 

Neo Bar - the legendary live music venue deep in the heart of Yangpu’s university district - has been giving solace to the young corruptible souls and raising some of Shanghai’s most beloved music acts for a whopping twelve years (across three different locations)! The bright red lights; the dueling movie screenings; the fridge full of Asahi bottles; and its motley crew of rabble-rousers keeping the place afloat - it’s iconic! As expected, the team will be celebrating the only way they know how - with two nights of music - with some of our favorite acts that have graced the stage over the years. Night one features Shanghai rock and roll renegades Dirty Fingers alongside fellow patrons Sunken Square, and one of 2023’s most talked about acts - the explosive young emo noise rockers Serious Desperado who have risen from the dead for the occasion. Night two features two of Xinxiang’s most feverish live acts - punk stalwarts Pumpkins and Colombian Col, who have turned their madcap, visceral, and just-about irrelevant noise rock into the sermon - developing cult-like status in just under a year. Joining them are Beijing rap-rock outfit Cypher T and Shanghai’s own psych blues rockers Poetry in Shorts. A symphony of debauchery. 

Fri, Apr 26, 2024

Guzz, Cai Lanbing

Hainan-born electronic producer Guzz, known for his dreamlike pastiche of traditional Asian sounds spliced with contemporary electronica is simply put, one of the finest in the scene - a visionary whose ability to create lush, fantastical worlds of sound never ceases to amaze me. Over the past decade, he has produced some of my favorite albums - including 2019’s Walking in a Boundless Dream 走不出的梦境 and 2023’s Fantasia in the Wind 风中的幻想曲 - the latter of which found the artist terraforming electronic sounds into traditional instruments and notes - essentially commissioning an electronic orchestra of his own making. He’ll be presenting a special live set this evening - an audial adventure through his many works - as well as some Hainan Li folk songs and a saxophone solo. Support from Cai Lanbing of kirakiro and Jimaoda.

Shanghai legend Torturing Nurse has cemented his status as analogue harbinger of noise and audial chaos here in China. Since 2004, dude has clocked in well over three hundred performances across the world and has been published in over five hundred recordings in just about every format. His sets often last anywhere from five minutes to, if the stars align, twenty minutes - depending on how long it takes for the table before him to collapse under the weight of the world and all the madness within it. He even became a viral sensation (and the greatest honor - memeified) at one point clocking in over 3 million views on Facebook. A beacon for the experimental and noise scene in China, Torturing Nurse celebrates twenty years with a new cassette tape release and (of course) a one-man show at his place of residence these days - trigger!

Swaying between the laid-back indie pop vibes of southern China and a more electrified chaotic heart that feels less at ease, Forgetting Curve, out of Guangzhou, is a most welcome addition to the indie scene down south. They hit big with their debut earlier this year - allowing its woozy city pop-infused melodies to draw you in. But where the band stands apart is how they give themselves over to the reverb, not afraid to turn it up a notch and let the guitar distortion bleed into its sun-scorched sobriety. The band is on tour courtesy of Luuv Label who have a special guest in tow - Japanese indie outfit downt - fresh off their latest LP - full of the band’s silky smooth ethereal melodies. 

Renowned pianist Fumio Itabashi - whose dazzling technique - both energetic and serene - became the stuff of legend on his 1982 release Watarase - a release that ignited the contemporary jazz scene in Japan and gained cult status among international jazz connoisseurs, thanks to Itabashi's inventive piano playing and its lyrical and spiritual compositions. Compared by many to Pharoah Sanders who likewise "possessed a similar open-hearted blend of spiritualism, passionate intensity, and melodic beauty,” the much-honored performer will be at Blue Note this Saturday. 


Friday is showcasing real Afro dance instructors from Shanghai’s legendary dance studio, Afro Giants, at Stardust’s rooftop spot and is set to showcase some serious moves. Your very own DJ Kub is mixing up from 8-12am providing the best in global and afro vibes (Burna boy, Rema, Wiz Kid, etc). Entrance is free from 8-11 with the performance set for 11pm. Come through before for Afro Burn.

Som real groovy underground techno night is set for Celia this Friday as DJ Deen from Austria comes with his house, soulful Techno style in collaboration with Klaytron’s worldly vinyl house collection. The two bring a wide set of energy to Celi’s underground and local DJs, Stefano DVT supporting on vinyl, and Lina K for Deen. Go team!

Fri, Apr 26, 2024

Clear Vizionn

Looking for that classic dark heavy pumping techno beat Abyss is known to have? Friday has got that fix. Listening to the tracks one can be instantly taken to a 90s German rave warehouse. With a caption like “Trance like Techno”, it’s clear Vizionn and Floor Force One will bring that old school heavy hard techno sound to Shanghai.

Another Friday event? Ah, guess everyone got the memo Sunday is a national work day. That being said, if your Friday wasn’t decided, UK break master Mele is in town and is quite a well-known name within the tribal house community. The warm DJs for Mele can be forgiven to see as OG Ian G will be in a small room next door crushing his Vinyl set. Switch between rooms for maximum fun.

Kids & Family

An entirely interactive musical experience where the audience is the show. The Canadian performance troupe "Samajam" presents a show for families, creating musical happenings with the help of their young audiences. After a successful tour last year, they're back in China, taking their audience on a journey through the culture and music of South America. Lively show leaders on stage will teach the audience basic music theory and lead parents and kids in percussive group performances with instruments provided. Tickets range from 180rmb to 380rmb.