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Second Hand Rose in 2016 - Bringing Chinese Rock Into the Mainstream
Iconic Chinese rock band Second Hand Rose struck to break down the 'glass ceilings' that had prevented rock bands from reaching broader audiences and China's mainstream
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2016-12-26
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China's biggest rock band Second Hand Rose (二手玫瑰) had a pivotal year in their nearly two-decade career. After a 3-year collaboration with Modern Sky, China's biggest indie record label that also organizes the Strawberry Festivals across the country, the band struck out on its own to break down the 'glass ceilings' that had prevented rock bands from reaching broader audiences and hampered rock 'n roll's on its journey to China's mainstream. As such, 2016 represents the band's leap into 'mainstream' outlets, from China's top comedy show to the country's booming film industry, including movies "A Busy Night" (情况不妙), "Father and Son" (父子魂斗罗) and "For A Few Bullets" (快手枪手快枪手).

At the same time, Second Hand Rose frontman Liang Long continued his experiments in exploring the synergies of music, art and technology with the "Allow Some Artists To Get Rich First" exhibition. Renowned as one of the mainland's best live acts, the band kickoffed 2016 in New Zealand for Lantern Festivals in Aukland & Christchurch and regular series of major festivals and live shows. They will kickoff the 2017 Chinese New Year with their first major concert in Beijing since Worker's Stadium in 2014, the already sold-out "Lover" Concert (千年等一回) at Beijing Exhibition Center Theater (北京展览馆) on Valentine's Day.

February:
Second Hand Rose was the only Chinese band invited to the Lantern Festival in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand. Invited by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, they brought their unique brand of combining traditional Chinese folk's self-mockery with modern Western rock's rebellion flawlessly.

March:
In March, Second Hand Rose performed as the guest star of China's most-viewed comedy reality show "Top Funny Comedian" (欢乐喜剧人), broadcasted by Shanghai Dragon Television. The appearance caused a media uproar among fans and China's rock scene as they were the first rock band to appear on the iconic show and break the boundaries between celebrity comedy and Rock 'n' Roll.

January - April:
Second Hand Rose frontman Liang Long and his team launched a 100-day exhibition combining art, music, and technology at his Asian Art Works gallery in Beijing's 798 art district called "Allow Some Artists To Get Rich First." This exhibition showcased more than 50 collections, attracted more than 10,000 visitors, gained up to 2 million click rates, and hosted 4 forums. Liang Long co-curated the exhibtion with Beijing-based artist Zheng Lu (郑路) and collaboration with tech-startup Between Art Lab (艺术实验室). The exhibition featured 24 young contemporary artists across China that interpreted an individual line from Second Hand Rose's song "Allow Some Artists to Get Rich First." Utilizing drawings, photographs, videos and devices, the artists display an in-depth cross-industry creative experience conveying their personal perspectives towards Second Hand Rose musical theory and creation.

May:
At the beginning of May, Liang Long was invited to popular web-based talk show "Liang Huang Talk Show". During this show, Liang Long's speech about the Taiwanese rock band May Day and his previous relationship with the Chinese singer/songwriter Faye Wong raised a controversy and caused an uproar on the Chinese social media and popular Wechat app.

June:
Second Hand Rose's classic song "Faith" (命运) was selected as the soundtrack for Chinese comedy film directed by Wang Li "A Busy Night" (情况不妙). All the band members made a notable appeareance in the film's promotional music video.

July:
Liang Long collaborated with leading 80's Chinese actress Liu Xiaoqing (刘晓庆) in rearranging the soundtrack "A Place Faraway" for the movie "For A Few Bullets" (快手枪手快枪手), a Chinese comedy western film directed by Peter Pan Anzi and starring Lin Gengxin, Zhang Jingchu and Liu Xiaoqing.

August:
Second Hand Rose was invited to China's first dialect singing competition show, the web-based programming "1.3 Billion Db", produced by one of China's largest video site in China, iQiyi. Born in Northeast of China and heavily influenced by its culture, Liang Long took the guest role in episode 14 as the mentor for the Northeastern section of the competition. The episode had over 10 million views on iQiyi.com.

October:
Liang Long played a role in the comedy movie "Father and Son" (父子魂斗罗), produced by billion-Yuan blockbuster (187 million USD) directer Dong Chengpeng (董成鹏), starring some of China's most famous comedians such as Fan Wei, Dong Chengpeng, Qiao Shan and many more.

November:
On November 1st, Second Hand Rose held a press conference to announce their first major concert held in Beijing since performing Workers Gymnasium in 2014. The already sold-out "Lover" Concert (千年等一回) will take place on Valentine's Day 2017 in one of Beijing's most prestigious landmarks, Beijing Exhibition Center Theater (北京展览馆).

Second Hand Rose has become one of China's biggest rock band since their founding in 2000. Signed to Modern Sky, they were the first rock band to perform at Beijing's Worker's Gymnasium in 2014. Their unique combination of Chinese and western sounds and their hyperbolic visual spectacles have earned them a reputation as the best live band of the People's Republic, confirmed by over a dozen awards for "Best Band", "Best Album" and "Best Live Act" over the past decade. They regularly headline China's major festivals and made their US debut in 2014 headlining Modern Sky Festival's in Central Park, followed by a Northeast US tour. They have since performed in 2015 at Switzerland's Paleo Festival Nyon, Ulsan Word Music Festival in Korea, THIS World Music Fest @ Formosa and Lantern Festivals concerts in New Zealand.


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