Friday, January 1, 2010

Beat Shuffle Live Side ~D.N.A.~ 12/29/09

Hey everybody! Long time, no post! My friends Hannah and Melissa are in Tokyo right now, so I've been really busy every day and haven't had a chance to post. I will post about all our adventures in a separate post, but for now, since this IS kind of a J-Rock-fan-in-Japan-blog, let's talk about the Beat Shuffle concert! My friends and I attended Beat Shuffle Live Side ~D.N.A.~ in Omiya! Bands that attended: LM.C, D'espairsRay, Penicillin, Nightmare, and Creature Creature!

This post might be a little short and lacking in detail, however. I've already seen over half these bands live and posted about them on this blog, so I don't want to repeat myself too much or anything. So I'll just post the general stuff and amusing highlights. Enjoy!

So I'd never been to Omiya, which is actually in Saitama prefecture (I'd never been to Saitama either!) but I knew of a way to get there pretty damn easily. As always, I knew I was going to the right place based on train passengers. There were a couple of girls sitting on the train together and one was very gothy looking and clutching a D'espairsray bag, lol. Doors were to open at 4:00 but we got to Omiya around 2:30. Once again, it's a game of Follow the Goths to figure out where you're going. We saw cosplayers running amok immediately. There was an ENTIRE group of cosplayers dressed as Maya from L.MC (picture of Maya below) complete with the ugly blond bob and the devil horns. We saw Nightmare cosplayers, too. Lots of lolitas. Not hard to figure out what's going on, lol.

Anyways, the most bizarre thing was going on near the venue's sky-scraper-like building (Omiya Sonic City). The windows of the building went from floor to ceiling and they were like mirrors. Anyways, down at the bottom of the stairs in this sort of cement lot, there was a guy who had set up traffic cones and he was just... dancing. All by himself. Hip-hop dancing, actually... in front of the mirrors. We thought this was hilarious and watched this crazy guy hip-hop dancing in short sleeves (it was cold out!) and checking himself out for some time. We figured he was a dancer at the venue, since it's a music hall.

Anyways, we were bored, and nothing much was going on other than smirking at the people in crazy clothing and piercings and watching weirdo dancers, so we explored around Omiya a bit and looked at funny buildings and shops. We also went into a 100 yen Lawson and we all bought chocolate! After that we came back to Omiya Sonic City only to find... that guy was still dancing by himself in the lot! Sniggering, Hannah and Melissa and I sat down on the steps to eat chocolate and watch him dance. He seemed professional, though. Well, anyways, he stops and makes a phone call at one point. Not much later, a second guy shows up!  The thing is, though, he was wearing jeans. So we had to wonder... would he dance in jeans? Alluva sudden, HE STARTS UNDOING HIS BELT! Right in front of us, with no shame at all, the new dancer drops his pants, rips off his shirt, and just stands there in the cold in his boxer briefs! His friend was looking around for him and saw us, yet did nothing. And we just sat there, gaping in awe as this guy strips off all his clothes right in front of us! Well, he quickly switched into sweatpants and a shirt, of course, but still... FREE STRIP TEASE!!!

Eventually we found a way to go inside (as it was cold) and we went to the bathroom and hovered around. Then I spotted my friend Elena and ran outside to greet her. Well, of course, our first thought was that we just HAD to take Elena over to the stairs to see the dancers! By the time we got her over to the lot, there were now FIVE dancers! The original two were stretching on one side, the others were checking themselves out in the mirror-windows on the other side of the lot! They were so ridiculous!!! Well, anyways, it was approaching 4:00 and we wanted to line up to potentially get good merchandise, so we joined the massive, bristling crowd hovering near the doorway.

We waited around a bit before everyone was ushered in. We had to hand in our cameras (stupid rules) and then we checked out the merchandise. I, once again, got nothing. I was very frustrated. I knew I didn't want merch for anyone but D'espairsRay, but I keep on meaning to get D'espairsray merch... and then I don't. They just didn't have anything I wanted! After checking out merch, we went upstairs to get our seats. My friends and I were first floor, row 30, as far on the right as possible. It was a BIG venue, though. There were maybe... 3000 seats including balcony, and almost all seats were filled. So we sat down and just enjoyed all the ridiculous hair and clothing around us. Oh, and there were NO men. We saw maybe... four guys in the whole place. The entire venue was just crazy-looking girls in frilly dresses and piercings. I blame L.MC, hahaha.

About the stage itself: they had six massive, white, Ancient Rome-like pillars set up on stage. And the pillars had lights in them so that they could flash and change different colors during a band's set. It was pretty awesome looking!

Anyways, the show started around 5:00 and the first band up was... L.MC! Here's an image of L.MC in their current outfits (they were dressed like this for the show, as were half their fans):

I talked about them in my V-Rock Festival post. Musically, they are absolutely not my thing, but they do put on a good show and I go along with the para-para and stuff because of it. The audience gets crazy into these guys and everybody's jumping up and down like lunatics to the beat and doing crazy para-para hand gestures and stuff. They opened with that weird "We Will Rock You"-like song and they had the whole team up on stage with them, including the crazy guy on bouncy-stilts with the mask that makes him look like he's from Donnie Darko. He just hops around the stage and hits the cymbals and stuff, lol. They played that stupid "Oh My Juliet" song, but they appeased me by ending with "Rock the L.MC" which is the only song I like, lol. And during that song they blew up the gigantic L.MC bunny balloon on stage and made it rock out to the song. I personally only enjoy L.MC from a performance standpoint.

After L.MC, we had the band I mostly came to see: D'espairsray! Third time's the charm! Here they are again:

They were enjoyable as always! These girls in front of us during the show were so funny and you could tell they were there for D'espairsray before D'espairsray even showed up. They were wearing the t-shirts and giggling and yelling and practicing furi and it was really funny. During D'espairsray, these girls finally went nuts! And they'd obviously been around since indies D'espairsray because, during one part of an older song they played, these girls did that old live-house thing where they all suddenly dropped to the floor, crouched down in a huddle and head-banged together in a frenzy. I really like D'espairsray for all the fun head-banging and stuff that you get to do! They actually only played one song off their Redeemer CD (they played Kouhaku), which was strange, but... I don't care much for that CD so I was fine with that, haha! And they looked goooood! More Visual-kei than usual, actually. Karyu had these great, super-tight red pants on! And Zero was HYPER. He was bouncing around the stage and running around like a lunatic! Also, I'm happy to say that Hizumi's voice sounded sooooo much better! His voice was a bit rough during the first song, but it cleared up and sounded lovely! He also almost fell right on his ass again like he did at C.C. Lemon Hall. When he stepped backwards off his crate, he didn't realize the crate ended. But a stealthy roadie whipped the mic-cord at him in warning and he caught himself. That boy seriously needs back-up warning lights!

Anyways, after D'espairsray was Penicillin. I saw these guys at V-Rock Festival:

Anyways, they were fun as always but... Hakuei seemed really bleah for some reason. I don't think he was feeling good. He was wearing his usual massive, over-sized leopard-print fur coat, but... he didn't take it off till the last song. And he wasn't just guzzling down liquid between songs, he would actually stop in the middle of a song and start drinking and the guitarist and bassist would run to the front and cover for him. But he was trying his damndest to be into it! Unfortunately, he was clearly tired and not feeling good. When he DID take off his coat, though... DAAAAAMN. He was wearing this skin-tight leather corset-type thing that was completely open in the back except for some straps. And his thighs were exposed as usual. He has this amazing ability, even when sick, to both pose and move simultaneously. It's really funny. Even when he was grabbing a drink, he'd put a leg up on the drum platform to show off his thigh. The boy knows he's hot, that's for sure!

Well, after Pencillin, we had Nightmare. This was clearly the band everyone had come to see:

People absolutely flipped for them! See, I don't understand it, because I think they are reeeeally boring, musically, but they do put on a great show. I don't know the furi or anything, so I just sorta stood and watched the crowd lose their fucking minds. All around us people were grabbing the seats in front of them and headbanging and tossing their hair everywhere in a frenzy. The big thing with Nightmare was holding your arms out in a "Y" shape as wide as possible. People would turn sideways to do this, just to show their appreciation for the band. This girl in front of us had fucking springs in her feet. She jumped up and down like a jack-rabbit for these guys. You never saw girls with as much energy as people had for Nightmare.  The band itself definitely put on a good show! They had a great ability to sorta dance around the stage and get the audience riled up. While I think they're boring as hell on CD, they do a great show!

The last band of the night was Creature Creature. That's these guys:

Now... the thing is... no one was particularly there to see Creature Creature. It's not really their kind of venue. But the vocalist is the sempai (sort of like a... mentor? Sorry, impossible to translate; it's a Japanese relationship that doesn't exist in the U.S.) to a lot of bands, so Creature Creature wins in the "seniority" department and the "high status" department and gets to headline. Also, their bassist is Tetsu from L'arc en Ciel, which is a super, super, super famous Japanese band, so... yeah, they went on last. Actually, they were very, very good and the singer had a great voice, but they weren't very into it or enthusiastic, and neither was the crowd. Some people were, but many others were exhausted from Nightmare and just sat down and watched. Not many people were rude and left (as many Americans would have), but many people did sit. But the band really needed to be more enthusiastic. I'm not gonna lie... Hannah fell asleep in her chair during Creature Creature, hahaha.

Anyways, after Creature Creature was done, they brought all the bands onto the stage and they were all holding baskets filled with colored balls. Then the band members would each take the balls and throw them into the crowd for fans to try and catch them. Most of them were throwing like pussies and barely making it past ten rows. But then Hakuei... wow. He may have been sick and/or exhausted, but he threw like a champ. He was getting balls all the way towards the back of the venue, pitching them baseball style. The fans would go "oooooooh!" every time he threw one! Very impressive!

And then the show was over around 9:00! And we were tired so we all went home. Ta da! That's my live report for Beat Shuffle! Hope you enjoyed!

Stay tuned for the many adventures of the girls and I in Tokyo over Winter Break - including staying out all night for New Years! I'll post about it later, so keep checking!


  1. Woooo! Sounds like a lot of fun.

    Yeah, Morrie totally like owns the whole scene. He's epic as hell. CC just doesn't seem like the type of band for that kind of event though, so I don't blame the crowd not catching on much. Morrie is also vocalist of DEAD END which was around for countless years starting around when X Japan did. DEAD END kind of gets bypassed by a lot of modern fans, but if anyone cared to dig deeper they'd undoubtedly find that DE was just as influential. Morrie lives in NY now though, and he was at the Dir en grey concert :D

  2. But DEAD END did just revive and released a full album, not a best of but completely new material. It's epic as hell.

    Here's an official PV sample of their single off the album.

  3. Yeah, I would never say that Creature Creature was a bad band, it just wasn't the place for them. Fans were there for guys in stupid outfits jumping up and down, not serious rock, lol (well, I prefer serious rock, but that wasn't what the event was about). I imagine at their own concerts with their own fans, Creature Creature does a great job and everyone's into it. Frankly, it wasn't Penicillin's venue either. People weren't nearly as into them here as they were at V-Rock Festival when we had a lot of die-hards (and male fans). Picky, picky, VK fans. I blame L.MC as always, hahahaha XD

  4. Well, yeah. LM.C do attract quite a different dynamic of the populace. Due to their eclectic style I'm not at all surprised at the less than enthusiastic response to the other bands on behalf of the LM.C fans' part, but really there's got to be some sort of crossover, even if largely overshadowed. Hell, I love all three, LM.C, Penicillin, and Creature Creature... Others are just less inclined to transcend the style diversities... I totally want to see Rock the LM.C live :O

  5. Oh, no no no, there was definitely crossover. L.MC fans all rocked out for D'espairsray and Nightmare hardcore (especially Nightmare). It was Penicillin and Creature Creature they weren't so into. On the other hand, many D'espairsray fans refused to do much of anything during L.MC, lol (understandable, haha). A lot of people were just standing there with their arms cross looking annoyed, lol. Again... I understand XD

  6. I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers strip-teasing on my taskbar.