At last year’s Olympics Opening Ceremony, 9-year-old Lin Miaoke sang her way into China’s heart with her rendition of “Ode to the Motherland.” But when news broke that China’s sweetest young voice was actually that of 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, a debate about the merits of lip-synching swept the globe. The furor was music to the ears of the Beijing rockers joining forces on August 8 at Yugong Yishan to mark the seven-year anniversary of a concert organized by Chinese rock godfather Cui Jian, who rallied thousands to sign a petition against lip-synching. This year’s event, held on the one-year anniversary of Lin Miaoke’s Olympic charade, includes 100 percent live performances from true Beijing rockers Buyi, Nan Wu, Liquid Oxygen Can and Last Successor.
“Lip-synching is absolutely nothing ... True talents can do everything live,” says Liu Miao, drummer of local band Nuclear Fusion-G and proprietor of 2 Kolegas, one of Beijing’s prime underground concert venues. Liu Miao participated in Cui Jian’s first 2002 event, signing his name alongside his musical peers in support of the budding anti-lip-synching movement.
Thanks in part to the efforts of Cui Jian, Liu Miao and other devotees to the cause, the Chinese government soon revisited its Regulations for Commercial Public Performances Law and declared that lip-synching during concerts advertised as “live” was strictly forbidden.
The Chinese phrase for lip-syncing–jiachang–literally translates to “fake singing,” and is viewed as reprehensible by Beijing’s serious live musicians. Zhang Wei, guitarist of Buyi, one of the bands slated to perform at the Yugong Yishan concert, rails, “At its highest level, fake singing is still just that … fake. Who would want to cheat himself like that?”
Fans itching to see the concert on August 8 do not have to worry about encountering any lip-synching at this venue. DJ Ouyang, who helped organize the show at Yugong Yishan, sets our minds at peace by saying, “Never! Who would ever come back to another show here if that sort of deception went on?”
So relax, check out some of Beijing’s best bands live on August 8, and feel free to lip synch along.
By Kimberly Gemme
What: Concert to Honor the Movement to Stop Lip-Synching
When: Saturday, August 8, 9pm
Where: Yugong Yishan
How Much: ¥70 (door)
“True talent lies in doing everything live”