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Rock with Mao
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Since opening in January 2007, popular nightspot Mao Livehouse has become a steppingstone for China's underground acts. Compared to their Western counterparts, the local rockers who grace Mao's stage must struggle harder to be heard over the mainstream chorus of pop, electronic and hip-hop that dominate the country's music scene.

Among the capital's rock spots, Mao features the grandest stage, most ear-splitting sound system and flashiest lighting rig. It features about 80 percent local bands, according to Li.

Mao's bar and show area are located in different rooms, so punters can rest their legs and eardrums in the quieter front when they're not dancing. Nearly every available surface has been painted with abstract murals or etched with multilingual graffiti.

Shows run almost every day.

Address: 111 Gulou Dongdajie, Dongcheng district

Tel: 010-6402-5080

(China Daily August 10, 2008)

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