“Passport to Taiwan” Festival at NYC Review

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Hey everyone, I just wanted to share my thoughts about a free concert event I checked out this past Sunday at Union Square. They had a festival called “Passport to Taiwan” . It’s basically a celebration of Taiwan and has been running since 2002. P2TW is also the largest outdoor Taiwanese festival in the U.S. Funny how I never heard of this event until now (even though I am Chinese). I decided to go to the event to check out two groups in particular: the Hsu-Nami & the Notorious MSG.

I’ve heard a lot about the Hsu-nami from a variety of people. They made a appearance at J-Summit in Webster Hall back in early May. I spoke to a few people regarding who they liked the best that day and they said “Hsu-nami”. After watching them live, I can see why. Jack Hsu (frontman/erhu player) was amazing with the Chinese fiddle. I was surprised to see how well it went with loud guitars, keyboards, and drums. Hsu-nami’s music is a great example of how progressive rock can kick so much ass. Hell, you don’t always need vocals to show how awesome your music is. I think of Hsu-nami as one of the more original bands out there. You seriously need to listen to Hsu-nami. It’s pure fusion-rock goodness.

I got to see another interesting band called Exit Clov. They are a band from Washington, DC and they were known for doing a fundraising video on YouTube for the victims of the Taiwan’s Typhoon Morakot. The vocalists, Emily & Susan Hsu, are both twin sisters who play a variety of instruments. They played the violins, cowbell, keyboards, synthesizers, guitars, etc. Their music was actually pretty catchy, though a little bit poppy for me.

I also got to see Ayesha Amado, an American singer who’s been doing a lot of music work in Taiwan and the U.S. She sang acapella for the audience. Ayesha has a nice voice.

And then came the Notorious MSG. If you don’t know who they are, then you’re missing out on probably one of the funniest groups out there. The group had a crazy, charismatic, & awesomely filthy performance. They even serenaded a young girl from the audience and gave her a “Dim Sum Girl” tanktop! Their music reminded me of the Canto-rap group, LMF. You can also say they are an Asian version of the Beastie Boys as well. They played some really funny & awesome songs, like “Dim Sum Girl”, “Chinatown Hustler”, & “Pimp It”. Kids were even dancing to them too! The Notorious MSG represent the lovable wackiness of NYC-based music groups. If you’re Chinese and been through the struggles of being Chinese, you will love them.

The event was a blast to attend. A lot of people came and they really enjoyed themselves. The performances were off-the-chart. It was great to see the NYC Taiwanese community come together for a big event. Much props to Jack Hsu of the Hsu-nami for organizing the concerts!

If you want to see more photos from the event, you can check them out at our Facebook fan page here.

– Tony

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