Another obstacle is the culture surrounding the club. Saliba said that about half of the people coming to their shows are foreigners, not Chinese locals, because going to clubs on a nightly basis is engrained in European and American youth, not in Chinese culture. He added that the Chinese are more study and work driven, which makes it hard for the bands to be seen and spread around.
The D-22 club is located in an area of Beijing that is in close proximity to 25 universities. Though the possibility of luring the college students from their studies sounds easy to us in the states, but it can be much more difficult in China. The club and the bands are helping to change that.
"If you're at [a] university in China, their culture has caused you to become a studying machine at a very young age," Saliba said at a pre-show question and answer sessions with students. "Now it's evolving. Wednesday night is college night and it has turned into our most popular night of the week at the club."
Mark Katz, associate professor of ethnomusicology at University of North Carolina, commented on the magnitude of the three bands coming to the U.S.
"It says a lot that these bands even exist when you hear about how they have defied the different demographic, economical and cultural odds," Katz said. "Just listening to their culture and how they don't go out to bars like college students do here, suggests how hard it was for these bands to break through. It's a real treat for the people here and flattering that they came to Chapel Hill."
During the Q & A, students asked the bands if they had any political messages or tended to speak out against the Chinese government in their music.
"We are musicians. Our job is to write songs and recording," Song said. "We shouldn't be affected by politics. The most important thing is to be honest to yourself."
"Many people have a very limited view of China," Wang said. "Bands in America see politics as a fashionable thing. Our job is music not making people think we're doing special Chinese stuff."
As for the remainder of the U.S. tour, Saliba is optimistic about how the bands will be received and said the main goal for this tour was to expose the Beijing music scene to America.
"We need to expose them and build an audience," Saliba said. "Once the exposure is there, the music sells itself. It's international. Everyone can enjoy it."
The Chapel Hill show marked the fourth stop of the first U.S. tour, which started in New York and has three more stops scheduled: one in Waterville, Maine, and two more in New York City.