Written with photos by Tufng for Hanoi Grapevine
Rec Returns taking place on 16 June 2018 was just a small rest stop in Rec Room’s tour across the country, which has been on-going and with a lot more to come. Yet for anyone who stopped by, it turned out to be truly mind-blowing! Rec Vietnam Road Tour 2018 shouldn’t have held one of their shows here, because they almost blew the roof off Dao Anh Khanh Tree House!
Rec Vietnam Road Tour 2018 is an extended project by Rec Room – a music space gathering every Hanoian youth who loves this kind of liberating music. After touring from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, all the way to Hue, Danang, Hoi An and lastly Nam Dinh from 27 May to 16 June in the first two phases of the biggest cross-country live music tour in Vietnam, more than 20 distinctive artists and music band decided to take a break at Dao Anh Khanh Tree House before hitting the road again from 22 June to 02 July. The music night gathered plenty of well-known artists on Vietnamese indie and experimental music scene such as HUB or LinhHafornow and several foreigner artists & bands.
The quiet atmosphere of a tree house seemed unfitted for this kind of young, liberating and weirdly mesmerizing music played by the artists that night. It was the iconic gypsy music by HUB. It was the strong blend of hardcore punk, drum, bass by the half-Vietnamese, half-Western band MXM that shook everyone who had yet to danced their hearts out. Beatbox duo Loopernatural’s addicting beats took the audience on a journey of their life with sounds from lo-fi, trap, to drum and heavy bass. And if there was someone who was to take the tree house back to its nature, there was only one – LinhHafornow. Her naturally haunting voice with a mix of folk and religious aura brought us an near-supernatural experience. Throughout the whole show, we were just afraid that this liberal atmosphere combined with the full-force energy of these music enthusiasts might blow the roof off this quiet place!
But all in all, we have to say that Dao Anh Khanh Tree House gave Rec Returns such a unique music performance space that could not be found anywhere in Hanoi: on a tree! With three fortified steel frames supporting the structure, that night this tree house broke the concept of a conventional stage and the performer-audience relation that comes with it. Here, the artists played music on the tree, on the floor, amidst the crowd, roared with their bass guitar, all for the music. And as for the audience, if they wanted to they could climb the branch and sit next to the musicians, enjoying the thundering beats from the drum set. Each artist performed in a different area of the tree house, each with a different instrument, yet all followed the same melody, all blended together to create a bonanza of sounds, which was anything but soft nor mellow, yet surprisingly captivating! It was an experiment not only in music but also in the location, creating and liberate a whole other idea for “performance venue” which was long thought of as a cold, harsh piece of rectangle called stage.
After this break, Rec Vietnam Road Tour 2018 will resume on 22 June with its third phase with shows in Quang Ninh – Yen Bai – Tuyen Quang – Sapa and finally end in Hanoi at HUB Café. If you want to see with your own eyes the music party happening at Dao Anh Khanh Tree House that night one more time, don’t forget to join Hanoi Grapevine on 02 July!
Translated by Hanoi Grapevine