wechat sharing

The Beat: 2 Kolegas Will Live Forever

In a perfect world, there would never be a need to leave 2 Kolegas. My first night in China’s capital, this is where I began a torrid eight-year affair with Beijing underground music, and I’ve considered it the best live club on the planet ever since.

My Beijing music education kicked off with a spellbinding set by brilliant, forgotten post-rock geniuses Lonely China Day. Soon after, I began writing about Beijing music for the local mags. So, when it came time to write this, my last City Weekend Beat column, I came to the grimiest, most perfect spot in China’s capital.

“Everything can be chaotic and broken as long as the sound is good,” Liu Miao, owner of 2 Kolegas, tells me. “That’s just who I am. Beijing has opened so many upscale places over the past few years, but there I only feel uncomfortable.”

The author with Liu Miao

No one feels uncomfortable at 2 Kolegas—at least no one outside the bathroom. In fact, 2 Kolegas reminds me more of my hometown in Kentucky than anywhere else I’ve been, including other towns in Kentucky.

That’s no easy feat in China’s hyper-populated capital. But walking into the colored lights of the Maple Drive-In Movie Theater tunnel on Liangmaqiao Lu is like bending space-time. On the other side, a winding forested road leads to a backyard filled with inebriated people talking of nothing but underground music.

“The first time I came here, it felt so far away and there was this great intimacy,” says former Beat columnist Liz Tung. “It never had that cool kid culture. I was able to connect with music in a way I hadn’t since high school.”

During a lull in the live rock, local DJ Morgan Short puts on White Riot. Fellow music editor Kipp Whittaker and I start talking about starting a band; a perennial subject of conversation at 2 Kolegas. “Whoa,” Morgan jokes, “I’m witnessing a historic moment.” Then, Residence A kicks off a loud set of post-pop that absolutely kills on 2 Kolegas’ sound system. Dressed in drag by the door, Chronmaster nods his head, mentally preparing for his own set.

2 Kolegas looks the same as it did on my first visit in 2006; I can’t say that for anywhere else in Beijing. 2 Kolegas can remodel and fix its bathroom a million times, but it’s always the same, and the sound system is the best in town.

“When there are more people, there’s a better vibe,” Liu Miao says on my way out. Fortunately, there is a huge crowd tonight. A stranger starts talking to me about how incredible Residence A was as we walk into the colored lights of the tunnel. Outside, black cabs line up to deliver us back to reality.


TAG Beijing

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

IMG 8380 opt

By: Servethepets -

Adopt a Pet: Momma Zoe and Puppies
The puppy power is strong this month with not one or two, but five little pups awaiting a kind and loving family. Their mother Zoe was rescued from the streets about two months ago, massively...
Read More
Slowboat

By: YanMina -

Readers' Choice 2017: Beijing's Favorite Restaurants
At our recent City Weekend Readers' Choice Awards, we celebrated Beijing's favorite dining hotspots. Here's who won!  Outstanding American Slow Boat BreweryJudged based on its finger lickin’ good...
Read More
Spittoon

By: Robbinsadam -

Lit Launch: Round 2 with Spittoon
Back in the days before bricks locked our liquored memories behind new walls, a poetry night cried out its birth song in Baochao Hutong. Two years later, Beijing is a richer place for the the works...
Read More
Sri 20Lanka 20Food 20Promotion 20at 20Kerry 203

By: Cityweekend -

Hurry to Kerry Kitchen for a Taste of the Tropics
The weather in Beijing is tropical this week—why not eat that way? Kerry's Kitchen, at the lobby level of the beautiful Kerry Hotel, offers the tastes of Sri Lanka (and the chance to win a holiday...
Read More

Comments

Download App Now
Select your device platform and get download started
Add & Promote an Event
Tell everybody what's going on. FREE.

You've reached the limit of allowed deals. For more information

Contact us

You've reached the limit of allowed housing listing. For more information

Contact us