Chinese Rock Comes To Philadelphia's Hard Rock Cafe On #UselessRockUSA Tour

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Beijing Rockers Second Hand Rose's live shows that have something in common with the tongue-in-cheek provocation of bands like the New York Dolls

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Beijing-based Second Hand Rose, one of mainland China's biggest rock bands, will be performing at Philadelphia's Hard Rock Cafe on October 15th as part of their debut #UselessRockUSA tour. The 2-week Northeast tour will follow their performance at the Modern Sky Festival in Central Park on October 5th and introduce audiences to one of the most unique brands of rock & roll to come out of the Middle Kingdom. Advance tickets to the Hard Rock Cafe show can be purchased at


  • Tuesday, October 7 at Cafe 939, Boston, MA
  • Thursday, October 9 "Useless Rock: Youth Culture in the PRC" lecture at the China Institute
  • Friday, October 10 at Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington, DC
  • Wednesday, October 15 at Hard Rock Cafe, 1113-31 Market St, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sunday, October 19 at Webster Hall (Marlin Room)

To fund their travels, the band set up a crowdfunding campaign through PledgeMusic ( Fans can pre-purchase tickets to any of the club shows or pick up items from the band's clothing line, Red & Green. The patterns are designed by Liang Long and based the classic floral prints of northeastern China, instantly recognizable throughout the country for the red-and-green color combinations. Additional clothing created in collaboration with Hip Hop USA and featuring Second Hand Rose's signature motifs will be unveiled at an event on October 12.

Back in 2000, singer Liang Long and suona (a wind instrument) player Wu Zekun burst onto Beijing's underground music scene with a performance style that's part cabaret, part Chinese theater, and part rock 'n' roll dance party. The band eventually filled out to a six-piece and set itself apart from its peers with live shows that have something in common with the tongue-in-cheek provocation of bands like the New York Dolls and the Japanese style of Visual Kei. Liang is known to perform in partial drag, at times a nod to the Shanghai glamour girls of the 1930s or taking on aspects of a People’s Liberation Army general in lipstick, while guitarist Yao Lan regularly strips down to his underwear before taking the stage.

The shows also feature elements of Peking Opera, folk tunes, and especially a stage tradition from China's northeast called Two Taking Turns. A playful, sexually charged form of verbal sparring between a male jester and female beauty, Liang Long takes on both male and female roles on stage.

The name Second Hand Rose comes from the notion that rock in China is a secondhand and imported endeavor—as such, the band's song "Leading a Dabbling Life" devolves into a Chinese sing-along version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." After more than a decade of winning over new fans around the country, earlier this year, Second Hand Rose played for a crowd of over 30,000 at the Strawberry Music Festival in Beijing, and last year they headlined a concert in Beijing's state-owned Workers' Gymnasium, one of the most prestigious venues in the country.

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For more information, please contact Jennifer Conrad

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