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Shanghai Weekender: The Best in Live Music, Arts, Clubbing and Community Events

As usual, here's our curated list of the most interesting events around town this weekend. Make yer plans Shanghai...
2023-11-30 12:00:00

Live Music

One of the acts that has been blowing doors off hinges left and right is Changzhou's Serious Desperado - an unruly, guns-a-blazing emo noise band that gets down and dirty. There's a raw quality to their performance - one that captures the messiness of their emo afflictions while allowing them to show off their rock and roll chops: emo with a grunge attitude that comes charging at you full steam ahead. The band will give a special unplugged performance at Yuyintang Park alongside another exciting new entry to the Shanghai scene - Yepusa - who have built quite the fanbase themselves while honing their eclectic collection of songs that touch on everything from tender noise punk to nimble post-punk. 8:30 PM. RMB 79/99.

After expanding into a quartet and bringing in a new percussionist last year (adding a hefty dose of jazzy hijinks to their arsenal in the process), Shanghai’s Poetry in Shorts went on a year's sabbatical (due to half of the team relocating or studying abroad). But they're back! And kicking off a nationwide tour! Rustic, poppy rock and roll infused with high-wire, 'busting at the seams' melodies brush up against a softer anthemic blues magnetism; their music is both instrumentally and lyrically rich. Supporting them at Yuyintang Park are Yangpu’s heroes Sunken Square - whose genre-bending indie rock tunes will surely keep you on your toes. 8:30 PM. RMB 90.

Modernsky Lab continues to shine a light on Shanghai's emerging talent - even going out of its way to invite up-and-coming acts from the surrounding regions - giving each a taste of the big stage - and giving folks here this an affordable and rollicking good time. To close out the month, they've stacked three volumes in a row with night three featuring a wicked trifecta of acts. Post-punk vivid in its shades and devilish appeal - Tianjin's Division Control aka D.C. reminds listeners of the fun to be had in the genre. Meanwhile, Shanghai's Domino Trigger - the twisty, surgical, and atmospheric art rock concoction that dabbles in everything from post-punk to psych rock, triumphantly taps into a sound that's simultaneously both brooding and riotous. Rounding out the bill is synth-filled new wave outfit SHOT, led by singer-songwriter Wu Jianjing. 8 PM. RMB 60/80.

Sun, Dec 3, 2023


Alt indie pop outfit Quark, from Xi'an, has been floating around since 2010, steadily building their fanbase with their tuneful, heartwarming, Beatles-esque indie pop that never dips too far into shtick or schmaltz. In fact, it’s brimming with the kind of kinetic magnetism often reserved for emo rockers, and its deft instrumentation packs a punch not often heard in acts of its ilk. Simply put, Quark is one of the indie pop scene’s unsung heroes. They finally released their debut earlier this year and are getting the good word out. Catch them at Yuyintang Park tonight. 8:30 PM. RMB 120/150/199.


The 1990s Chicago streets come to Shanghai this Friday with the sound of Ghetto house meets hip-hop at Heim. Full of vitality and rhythmic power, RP Boo is an OG of the 160 bpm tempo that, as one can imagine, motivates dancers to do some serious footwork and stepping. Thirty years of development of Chicago’s electronic scene is going to be worth a check this Friday.

Probably one of the biggest names in the progressive house techno scene in the world. Rafael Cerato has been specially invited this Friday to give Shanghai the gift of uplifting melodies and electronic grooves. Personally sampling his tracks, Cerato is a sure bet in world-class quality of music. Check for tickets in case this top act sells out.

South Korean multi-disciplinary artist Ha Kyoon, based in Paris, France, is a force of nature - consistently pushing the envelope and venturing into uncharted sonic waters, leaving a lasting impression on the electronic scene abroad. FINDER, the cutting-edge collective of artists, bands, and creatives who have been keeping Shanghai twisted and weird for over four years, has invited the electric act to present HARD TECHNO LIVE - a spatial live set that will combine snare drum, vocals, and other instrumental music with hard-hitting techno. Joining him will be a collection of other experimental creators including cold wave post-punk crew The Third Toe, fire dance duo MAYA and Qin Ran, visual artist Yifei, and DJs Nikita K., Extreme John, ZHUO, and Feiyi. 10 PM. RMB 100/130.

Shanghai's finest in melodic techno and minimal come through to represent at Club Roza this Saturday. Bringing in six DJs to provide a one-year anniversary boogie party, the night is sure to be full of melodic rhythm and vibes. Come support your local heroes in the minimal scene and find a new favorite.

Concerts & Stage

"Mozart L'Opéra Rock," the sensational French musical with music by Dove Attia, is set to dazzle Shanghai Grand Theater audiences in a Chinese-language edition. Produced by Sevenages and original producers Dove Attia and Albert Cohen, this show is an electrifying dramatization of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life, from his prodigious beginnings at 17 to his untimely death at 35. It's a contemporary retelling of the classical genius's story, uniquely blending original pop-rock compositions with classical masterpieces by Mozart and others, including Antonio Salieri. With ticket prices ranging from 180 to 1,180 RMB, this is your chance to experience a modern twist on the life and music of one of history's greatest composers. The show runs from December 1 to December 3 – a must-see for music and theatre lovers alike!

From Dec 7 until Dec 10

Musical: Once

"Once," the enchanting musical adaptation of John Carney's 2007 film, is set to sweep Shanghai off its feet. This heartwarming show, featuring the Academy Award-winning song "Falling Slowly," is a testament to the transformative power of music. Bringing the magic from London's West End, the Shanghai stage will come alive with Arthur Darvill and Ines De Clercq portraying the captivating duo, Guy and Girl. Get ready to be immersed in a musical experience that's both deeply affecting and beautifully crafted. Catch this unmissable show at Shanghai Culture Square from December 7 to 10 – a perfect blend of cinema and stage, where music weaves its own story.

Dining / Deals

Sat, Dec 2, 2023

So Mezze Wine Tasting

For those unfamiliar with mezze, it's a delightful array of small dishes or appetizers, frequently featured in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. If the rich and varied flavors of countries like Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon appeal to you, you're in for a treat. Mezze is typically known for its healthfulness (Mediterranean diet) without sacrificing taste. This event centers on wine tastings, thoughtfully paired with mezze dishes, presented by local wine shop, The Good Food People. Experience a selection of 5 wines for 128 RMB, or elevate your tasting with 5 wines accompanied by 2 mezze dishes for 168 RMB. For a more indulgent experience, opt for the 5 wine tastings (2 sets) plus a cheese plate designed for sharing between 2 people, all for 348 RMB. This offers a great value and a culinary journey not to be missed – especially the mezze, which is a highlight in itself.

From November 15 to December 30, 5 pm to 10 pm, enjoy this festive snack deal for 2 persons at 1515 Michael Bar for 458 RMB, presented by Jing An Shangri-La. The selection includes Traditional Eggnog, Christmas Toffee Malt, Beef Burger Sliders, and more.