Scare the Children
November, 6, 2021, The Lotus Club, Tianjin
Halloween isn’t over yet. Scare the Children, the Beijing-based band with a taste for the theatrical, made Samhain last just a little bit longer as they materialized at the Lotus Club in Tianjin as part of their 2021 China tour – The Second Chapter. This show was supposed to see both Titan and Megadragon as support, but circumstances prevented both of these bands from attending the scary ceremony in Tianjin. Nonetheless, the show must go on.
Openers for this concert were Coiviealda (生命之树, Tree of Life), a group of youngsters in warpaint who play a folkish style of metal which sounds at times like it would be on Captain Jack Sparrow’s playlist. The crowd at the club took a little while to warm up to the band, though by the last handful of songs, they had the full support of the audience, who were stoked for Scare the Children.
As there were less bands than promoted, an announcement was made that free cola and beer would be available for the people in attendance. As Scare the Children’s stage was set up, many took this opportunity to guzzle down a few brews before the spooky ceremony began.
The costumed band members slowly emerged from the upstairs green room – custom, stitched up and grotesque masks suited for each character the band member represents in the ongoing lore of Scare the Children. While the first album, Odyssey, is about a cursed doll named Betsy, their next will focus more on all the different character in the band, including the keyboard/electronics player dressed much like an Onryō, or vengeful spirit, who playfully toyed with the audience members before the members got into position and then exploded into “The Seduction of Little Timmy.”
The band is much like a horror manga coming to life. While they are in fact, scary, like a Junji Ito comic, it’s hard to look away once the show has started, as the band captivates with every shocking, amusing, and horrific panel. You don’t need to study up on the backstory to enjoy a live show by this band, however. Songs like “The Amazing Circus of Betsy & Clown” raged as hard as any other band you’d see in China, proving that the 2021 version of Scare the Children is not just out to amuse, but to destroy.
The band may be called Scare the Children, but they certainly amuse and exhilarate the adults with their colorfully vivid costumes, grim humor and explosive energy.