Saturday, March 13, 2010

Indies Bands - Double Post

I'm back with a lovely dose of indies. And by "dose" I mean "heaping hordes." I went to a live a few days ago at Takadanobaba AREA, but never blogged about it because I had a slight cold that always seemed to result in me having a headache any time I got near a computer. Then I went to a live at Shinjuku HOLIDAY (long time no see for that venue) and that added to the colossal pile of "things left unblogged." So today is a double-post of two indies shows. However, because that's a lot, and because some of these are repeat bands or, frankly, really shitty bands, I'll keep this post extremely brief for any band except the few I think are worth talking about.

We started out at Takadanobaba AREA with Geri and Ashley. The venue was pretty damn crowded. We start off the show with a band that I last saw headline, rather than open: ReivieЯ:

I was a little surprised at first because this band wasn't listed on the ticket, but there's usually at least one band per AREA show that simply isn't listed. Starting out with them meant starting out the show with a big crowd of people up and excited. Well, they still kind of looked like hosts (especially the vocalist), but I must say... the two times I've seen them, they've been pretty good. The vocalist keeps surprising me because he'll just growl and scream a lot, and suddenly he'll belt out this crystal clear singing voice. It's rare to find vocalists in indies who can truly sing, but this guy really can. Also, their bassist is the tiniest little dude I've ever seen, and they made him MC again even though he's too nervous. He visibly shook a lot, but he did a lot better this time. Anyways, yeah, they're pretty good, honestly.

Next up, coming in at #2 once again: exist†trace:

They were dressed exactly like the above picture at our show. They're really enjoyable live. They played mostly new songs, but they also played an older song called Liquid, which was really cool. They were going for a different style at this show with a very gothic atmosphere. Jyou's MCs consisted of murmuring poems while standing under the light. Still, they rocked out like crazy. I've noticed both times I've seen them that the audience doesn't particularly do furi for exist†trace. I think furi exists, but people prefer to just stand and stare at them. It's kind of nice to just stand and watch them because they put on such a good show with such great atmospherics. It wasn't like they didn't have fans - the whole venue was on its feet watching, but... everyone mostly stood still and watched, including the girls on the barrier. But the band really does rock out, so it's really fun.

Next up is a bunch of crap. I don't know if I'm going in order. Here's spiv states:

What does that look like to you? Like an elephant shat a rainbow? Yeah, that's what it looks like to me. MOVING ON.


Yyyyynnnnnooooo..... MOVING ON.

Here's V-last:

You know what sucks...? I was counting on these guys to bring up the mood a little. They didn't look that bad in pictures. But still, no. MOVING ON.

Ah, here's something to talk about.  Kaya:

Yes, it's a he. And Kaya is not an entirely unfamiliar face. If you all remember my old, old, old Tokyo Decadance post, Kaya appeared there as well, back in October.  He's a drag queen, and his music is basically just dance music.

For our show, we had a couple of Kaya cosplayers in our audience dressed up just like him. Once again, we have women dressed as men dressed as women, lol. Kaya came out dressed very goth for this show, very much like the picture I posted above. He puts on an act like he's far too good for his audience, batting his eyelashes flirtatiously at everyone. He performed with plenty of hip shaking and dramatic poses, always remembering to flash a big, cheesy smile at everyone. When he did his MC, he spoke in an overly high, fake female voice, laughing like an insane person at his own jokes. But still, he never lets us forget that he's a drag queen. At one point, someone in the audience yelled something, and Kaya dropped his female voice and screamed "shut up!" in his lowest male voice possible, then put his fingers to his lips and started giggling like a little girl. It's all part of his shtick. Kaya's just meant to be fun. His music is dance music, and everyone just has a good time. At one point, Kaya and the people in the audience whipped out pink feather fans and waved them around just because, well... it's fun, lol.

After Kaya, I decided to check out his merch just for fun. Ne, MelJay, I got you a present! Lookie, I got you one of the pink, fuzzy fans (you probably figured as much, right, haha?)!

The keychain on the fan is Kaya's name in purple:

If you get the chance to see him live, you can wave that around, lol! Happy almost half birthday or something, lol! I also bought something for myself. Kaya had the most badass cell phone strap I've ever seen, so I had to have it:

Anyways, after Kaya, there was another band called Virgil that was headlining but... frankly my friends and I didn't really care, so we left and went to McDonald's instead, lol.

On to the next indies concert at Shinjuku HOLIDAY! This time, I went with Geri, Ashley, and Caroline. I hadn't been to Shinjuku HOLIDAY in awhile, and it was just as creepy and dingy as I remembered it being, and it's right down a host and hostess street full of very sketchy people. This particular show was being hosted by a familiar face: Navir. Anyways, I'll be quick with this one again because it was a major bore-fest up until the end.

First up, but in no particular order, to be honest... Destin de Lien:

Boooooooring. Only thing worth mentioning is that two of their fans were wearing matching Dragon Ball Z orange jumpsuits. Next up, Velgat:

Still really boring. And seriously, VK bands, enough with the token female member. Seriously. It is getting seriously fucking old. At least this band's vocalist was kind of amusing, though. A bit more charisma than the totally dead first band. But, for the most part, we were so bored that Ashley and I were sitting there making funny faces at each other. I noticed Japanese girls behind us starting to make funny faces at each other too, so... at least we gave them all a good cure for boredom.

Next up, el-Ethnic Legist:

Um... I don't really know what these guys are supposed to be. They appear to be "Egypt-themed" but I think if Egypt had been what these guys are depicting, the rise of the great civilizations would have been stunted for another thousand years. Musically, they were just a big X Japan ripoff. Laaaaaaame. After their set, their vocalist attacked us with a survey about the band. Usually they ask nicely, but this guy was just like "fill out my survey! Okay? FILL IT OUT!" and threw a piece of paper at us and ran away.

Next up... I believe the band Nemesis played, but I was unable to find a single picture of them or any proof that they exist. They must not be very special. Frankly, I don't remember a thing.

Next up, lam.:

I guess Ashley and Caroline remembered these guys being pretty good, and all that was left was bands we enjoy, so we stood up and joined the crowd to headbang and what have you. They were pretty enjoyable.  The vocalist was definitely doing his best impersonation of a rabid cat, complete with tearing at the hair, violent head shaking, vicious cat faces, and overall insanity.  I liked his and the bassist's sparkly coats, lol. I was finding it kind of hard to get into the whole thing, though. I'd been sick for a few days and had started off the day with a pretty impressive headache, so I knew I needed a more familiar band to pull me out of my funk.

Familiar came next, with a very, very familiar face performing as the special guest: ALSDEAD. I updated the picture I use to match their current look:

Anyways, ALSDEAD was enjoyable as always, with their usual rabid fanbase. They don't quite tickle my fancy the way some other indies bands do, but they're fun.

Anyways! The night ended with, obviously, Navir, who is a very familiar face at this point:

Navir pulled me out of my funk pretty well, because they're familiar and I know the furi, and they're somehow easier to rock out to than ALSDEAD (for me, at least). I expected a lot of people to leave after ALSDEAD was done, but it seemed most people actually did stay for Navir. It was a lot of fun, with lots of jumping and headbanging. I hadn't seriously headbanged indies-style in awhile, so I woke up the next morning with a very sore back and neck, lol. But I don't mind, it's part of the fun. Navir had a new look, but vocalist Maya was having some wardrobe malfunctions that kept exposing his nipples. This seemed to bother him, but I don't know why, because a lot of indies bands go around nearly shirtless. Some Japanese artists like Kyo from Dir en grey don't even seem to know how to wear a shirt. But yeah, we had fun, and the band got really into it. Maya even jumped up and grabbed the pipes along the ceiling and swung like a monkey. The band also announced that their drummer is now officially, well... official. The drummer responded by hitting his cymbals happily. So yeah, we rocked out, had an encore, rocked out some more. Maya tried to get me to go up to the barrier, but I chickened out. He kept gesturing at me and pointing at a space on the barrier... he even broke a line in the chorus and patted his thighs at me imploringly, but... I just blushed and smiled shyly and stuck to second row. He probably remembers the time I actually did do barrier during Navir. But... I was too embarrassed this time, lol.

After the show was over, we used our drink tickets, mingled around, and eventually Navir came out behind the merch booth and we said hi. The drummer was surprised we spoke Japanese and asked if we were living in Japan. They thanked us a lot and smiled. Maya was standing behind the band, drinking, and didn't really come forward. Instead he waved over his band mates' heads at us. I kept thinking "don't guilt me about the barrier... don't guilt me about the barrier..." and then I looked up and Maya smiled and nodded at me. Aaaaaw, instant guilt, damnit.

And then my friends and I left to go get something very necessary after an indies live: doughnuts. But really, the show went for almost five hours, I think we deserved doughnuts.

So yup, that's my indies adventure! Next up on the list... I'm seeing a full-scale major concert tomorrow! I'll be seeing D on White Day! That should be pretty wild! I'm also going to Okinawa the day after that, so if the D blog doesn't happen immediately, be patient and I'll write it up the moment I get back from Okinawa!



  1. Great post. haha

    It's funny because I've been too busy to keep up on some of the younger bands for a while now, so I'm seeing a lot of new faces, and you're the one introducing them to me of all people. I trust your judgement on the quality of the band for the most part (however, I'm pretty sure I'll like spiv states... because Jun us great... it's the two former guitarists of Phantasmagoria, but better).


    I'm glad you enjoyed Kaya! I know he puts on a good show... I've seen DVDs before, lol. But, it sounds like he didn't have his dancers or drag queens with, ne? That's a shame. One of his dancers is gorgeous and his other drag queens are obnoxiously awesome! Did he costume change at all? Usually he'll come out as boy!Kaya for a while, lol.

    The rest of your post was good too! But you know me.. Kaya! Waah! Awesome! Hahahaha.

  3. To Evan: Yeah, the bands were really young. Kaya even made a joke like "wow, there's so many young bands here today!" But um... having Spiv States consist of members of Phantasmagoria only solidifies why I didn't like then. Ugh... Kisaki... I really didn't like them at all, they were a really stupid act.

    To Melissa: No, Kaya had a short setlist of only a half an hour, so he didn't bother with drag queens or dancers. I think that's for bigger concerts, maybe. He didn't costume change, either. It's just a short Indies show. Anyways, glad you like the fan! It seemed very you ^_^