I never knew how much I needed to hear “Dancing Queen” in Japanese. But on the last day of South by Southwest, pop group Chai knew just how to soothe the soul.
It became apparent this year at SXSW that crowds go wild for Asian pop-rock bands. That fact was made even clearer by they backed-up badge line outside Hotel Vegas on the last night of the festival. Nearly no one exited the venue as Chai took the stage and the crowd yelled in excitement. Anyone who got in line at least 45 minutes before the show couldn’t get inside.
I was one of those people. Through a sliver in the fence while dancing with the line of outcasts, I watched Chai — made up of twin sisters Mana and Kana and Yuna and Yuki — thrill the full house with bubbly yet edgy tracks. The audience danced in full surrender as the sun went down and the quartet from Nagoya, Japan, rang in the night.
Saturday marked the fifth official SXSW Chai performance; the group that fuses all things pop, punk, rock, electronic and hip-hop played at Mohawk, Container Bar, Cheer Up Charlie’s and Native Hostel through the week.
From what I could tell from the outside looking in, the funky, colorful, feel-good group was everything you could want from a SXSW performance.
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