111 Gulou Dongdajie
HOURS: Open for performances
COST: No cover charge
METRO: Guloudajie (Line 2)
Beijing’s rock music scene is the strongest in China, and MAO Livehouse is where all the top bands play. It’s a mid-sized converted warehouse behind an unassuming frontage on East Gulou Avenue, and its logo is the forehead of the eponymous Chairman.
The Livehouse is backed by a Japanese record label called Bad News, which manages famous Beijing punk outfit Brain Failure. MAO’s sound system is one of the best in town and the musical equipment comes from Yamaha, Marshall, and Zildjian.
The industrial vibe is a perfect backdrop to the music. MAO Livehouse is a raw, unpretentious venue that is well worth a look if there’s an event that takes your fancy. Check the website for the schedule.