Sunday, June 27, 2010

Indies, Yotsuya Outbreak: Count the WTF

Yesterday's indies show was so bizarre, messed up, and strange, that today we're going to play a game called Count the WTF. It's a very simple game. If something totally WTF happens, the show gets a point. Let's see how many points the show can get, shall we?

Anyways, Ashley and I weren't originally planning on going to this show. We have three huge shows in a row starting Monday, not to mention we both caught colds, so we were planning on just lazing around all weekend. However, Eru, formally of the band VAJRA, was continually dropping hints on his blog that he would be playing at the Saturday show. Of course, that makes no sense because he's not in the band anymore, but he described it as a "friendship reunion" type thing. Anyways, I kind of wanted to go just because it would be Eru's last time in VAJRA (or so he says... unless they keep sneaking him through loopholes). Ashley, on the other hand, didn't seem very interested because we were both really tired. The morning of the show, I made it pretty clear that I wanted to go and, eventually, Ashley gave in. Let's just say... we're both really glad we went.

Yesterday's show was at Yotsuya Outbreak so Ashley and I met up and bought some bagels before heading over to the venue. The show was being hosted by
α:Vout because it was their last concert before breaking up. We'd seen them a few times before and Ashley and I never much cared for them... so we left the show before they played. I'll just post their picture real quick.

Here's α:Vout, who has broken up:

Anyways, inside the venue it wasn't particularly crowded. Ashley and I took some spots off on the side for when boredom ensued. About ten minutes later (while sharing some candy), Ashley nudged me and said, "look! Look who's here!"

Well, of course, this is a familiar equation. Anything + Eru = Nesting Girl! Nesting Girl wandered dizzily into the venue with her posse of equally goofy friends. And, like old times, Nesting Girl was dressed exclusively in men's clothing.

Also, Yotsuya Outbreak has this stupid set-up where the stage door is next to the stage, meaning the bands have to walk through the entire audience just to get backstage. While we were sitting there waiting around, Nobro and Eru walked in together and managed to sneak through the audience. Then again, they suck at sneaking since everyone recognized Eru's leopard-print sunglasses, lol.

Now, Ashley and I had been hoping to leave as soon as VAJRA was done, only to discover that VAJRA would be going second-to-last. Damnit. So we were in it for the long haul. Plus, a lot of these bands were so new that the internet and all my usual sources simply had no knowledge of their existence or, if they did, no photos. This was all a recipe for a lot of absurdity. But that kind of made it fun.

I think the first band up was Catastrophia.

They've only been around a month or so, I think. Musically, they were the usual. They were so new that they only played about three songs, all three of which they handed to us for free after the show on a CD, along with their pamphlet. They basically had no fans. There was one or two girls on the barrier and the rest of the audience was ignoring them. Nesting Girl and her friends started to do some furi while sitting facing away from the band, but this was probably more to mock the band than anything else.

Next band up is Marble, but I was simply unable to find a picture of them or any information. And now begins our little game. The band's fanbase consisted of two girls in matching lolita costumes who were holding cameras and filming the performance. They also had a girl with a video camera, and a few miscellaneous people who, rather than taking barrier, formed a semi-circle in the middle of the audience area and left an empty circle of land in front of the stage.

WTF Moment #1

The band itself was rather spastic. They weren't visual-kei or anything, which may have turned off some of the audience members. Marble played one song that was a total rip-off of a MERRY song, and that's not saying much because they only played three songs. This time, some of the girls mocked the band for real. During the vocalist's MC, a group of girls started loudly singing the chorus of one his songs and laughing. Whoa, ouch. I felt so embarrassed for the band I could hardly look at them. The most amusing part of this act was that, in the semi-circle of fans there was one young man who was dancing and spazzing and jerking around in a way that looked like he'd been possessed by a demon. I couldn't figure out what it looked like until Ashley leaned over and whispered "he looks like a raptor." Oh my god. He was literally holding up his arms and bobbing his head like a raptor, I kid you not.

WTF Moment #2

Eventually, the vocalist got fed up with the girls mocking him and jumped off the stage and started shouting something angrily in the faces of some of the girls. Except, I think he attacked some girls who weren't actually involved in the mocking. Oops.  Still, I can't say I blame the guy. I would've been pissed too. That's okay, he has Raptor-Man to keep him company at future shows.

Some time between this band and the next band, Nesting Girl and a friend of hers changed outfits. Nesting Girl came out of the bathroom wearing a pajama-costume of the squeeze toy aliens from Toy Story:

And her friend was dressed up in a pajama-costume of the Japanese kid's show character Gachapin:

Um... wow. I have no words.

WTF Moment #3

Next band up... SiCrow:

The vocalist came out on stage wearing a bag on his head with one hole punched out for an eye.

WTF Moment #4

Still, the band was actually kind of fun. The rhythm section had a dance-like quality to it and it seemed like something you could kind of rock out to... while dancing. Sounds great, right? Yeah, except my research has uncovered that the band is going to break up next month. Goddamnit, indies pisses me off soooo much sometimes. Anyways, the MC was pretty amusing. The vocalist was trying to encourage everyone to fill out a survey about the band (why, I have no idea. If you're breaking up, then what do you care?). Anyways, he was bribing the audience with gum. He was like "if you fill out the survey, you get a piece of gum!" This one girl yelled out "I want a cat!" so he was like "if you fill out the survey, you can also get a cat! Really, I'm not lying! People who want gum or cats, fill out the survey!"

WTF Moment #5

He also tried to encourage people to move up, but no one would. Nesting Girl looked around, then inched up a few steps. Everyone started giggling. The vocalist was like "yeah! Move up!" so she scooted forward a few more steps, still looking around like "should I do it?" She's such a spazz.

Anyways, next band up... I was unable to find a picture because they're so new. Sorry. They were called ORVAL. The had kind of a Renaissance theme to their costumes. Their drummer had absolutely enormous blond hair that stuck out a good foot in every direction. They also had a female guitarist who played keyboard occasionally. Something was wrong with the rhythm section, though. I felt like the drummer kept getting off-beat somehow. Anyways, I was never able to figure out what the music was like because I was too busy staring at the vocalist and going WTF. The vocalist was just standing there, one hand on his chest, this glassy-eyed, distant look on his face, while he sang like a dying cat. Seriously, his singing voice was so utterly horrible and off-key and painful that I caught some girls wincing and giggling at one of his notes. But they had more fans than anything else that had been onstage so I was like "how could this band have any fans with a vocalist like that?"

WTF Moment #6

But then they did an MC and the vocalist explained that he'd caught a cold and wasn't feeling very good and, thus, he apologized. Aaaaaw, well now I just felt bad. He really shouldn't have been onstage. It looked like he couldn't breathe through his nose because his mouth was always open and his eyes were all glazed over. Not to mention he would try to rock out, then stop just as quickly and look miserable. I mean, he looked sick. That guy needed to get off the stage and go to bed.

Well, actually, after their performance, he opted to wander the audience chatting with people instead of going to bed.  This foreign girl was talking to us and the band remembered her from another show, so the sick vocalist and the guitarist came over to say hi. I couldn't find a band photo but I did find a picture of those two. The guitarist is on the left, the sick vocalist is on the right.

Much to our surprise, the sick vocalist spoke really good English. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised, because he announced their song Disparity almost perfectly during the show. He asked where we were from and then explained to us that he lived in New York for four years. Aha. He was still kind of dazed and none of us knew what to say, so it was kind of awkward. The guitarist tried to speak English and then do translation through the vocalist. It only occurred to me after they walked away that Ashley and I could've just spoken to the guitarist in Japanese. Uh, duh. Sometimes I forget I speak Japanese, lol. If we see them again, we'll use Japanese and make it a lot less awkward. And hopefully the vocalist won't be sick and miserable. But he seems like a sweet kid.

Next up... Falaris:

This is when things got really weird. Well, first of all, what appeared to be a family had come in around this time. There was a young boy with pink hair and what I assumed was his little sister. There was also an older man and an older woman, and even some old people. Actually, more and more people had been coming into the venue as the show went on, and it got so crowded that the venue made an announcement saying people were no longer allowed to sit - everyone had to stand. Geez. I guess we didn't have a choice - or room. Anyways, Nesting Girl's posse was talking about the little girl because they couldn't believe someone so young was in there. Eventually they just asked her how old she was and she said she was a middle-school student. Wow. For Falaris, the whole family took over the saizen. The pink-haired boy and the 40-somethings took the right and the little middle schooler took a spot on the left.

WTF Moment #7

And then there were the drunk girls..........

The sick vocalist from ORVAL was nearby and we told him we were pretty sure the girls on the barrier were drunk. And boy were they drunk. There were three girls and one of them literally chugged two cans of beer while on the barrier (Japanese beer cans are twice the size of American beer cans, so this was more like her chugging four cans of beer in under five minutes). Her friends had beer too. And they were obviously drunk before the show even started. I'm going to give that a...

WTF Moment #8

Then Falaris themselves came out. Do not let the above picture fool you. That picture is a fine piece of air-brushing and photoshopping. These guys were seriously in their forties. But besides that, those drunk girls, my gawd. Just as I was wondering how they were even standing up, one of them collapsed to the floor. Of course, she got right back up again. Can't keep a drunk girl down. They continued to rock out (they obviously knew the music really well) but actually stopped to drink more beer every few minutes. During guitar solos, the really drunk girl would drop to her knees and hold up her beer can towards the band. Geez. These girls could barely stand up... it was so embarrassing. Plus, I kept waiting for one of them to throw up. I was going to seriously kick them in the ribs if one of them dared to throw up.

Anyways, the family left when the set was over. My guess is that the older woman was the wife of one of the band members and the older man was a brother. The two children were probably the children of one of the band members as well. They were definitely old enough to have kids that age.

Anyways, next band up was... ah, yeah, we've seen them before. SevIIens:

Well, we'd seen them before, so Ashley and I stood up and even did a little bit of furi for them. The vocalist is named Magaku which, according to some Romanization, is meant to be Magack... which I think is hilarious. But they're not that terrible or anything, and I don't really mind them. Magack tried to do that thing I mentioned last time we saw them where he hangs upside-down on the barrier, does sit-ups, and then pulls himself back up onstage without using his arms. Impressive, but this time it didn't work out so well. He kind of got his foot stuck under the crate when he did it, so he was unable to get back up. No one seemed to notice, either. He kept singing (albeit with a rather strangled voice) until some girl in the audience finally noticed the problem and put her hands under his back and helped haul him back onto the stage. I suppose he's lucky he didn't break his ankle.

After their show, Magack took to standing on a chair at the merch table holding up merchandise signs. He looked kind of pitiful standing up there... like a hobo or something, lol.  I wonder if it guilted anyone into buying stuff.

After SevIIens was another band we've seen before: Velgat:

Their little vocalist... although his name is aine, I prefer to call him Rufflebutt because of the giant, ruffly skirt thing he wears in the back. He even turned around and wiggled the ruffle at us all, so I know he knows he's ruffly. Nothing much to say about them. Rufflebutt is very hyper. He tried to talk about the World Cup but no one cared, lol.

Next band up... SCAPEGOAT:

I dunno............ whatever. Kinda like SevIIens, I'm not really for or against SCAPEGOAT. Their fans are total assholes, though. During slam-dancing, they knocked over some girl's bag and knocked all the stuff out of it. They didn't even apologize. Then, when the girl crouched down to start putting her stuff back in the bag, they just slam-danced right into her. One girl even barrel-rolled right over her. They could've killed her. Once again, the girls didn't even apologize, just fled the scene and kept on going. Just when I thought the fans couldn't get any meaner... this one girl somehow hurt her head during the performance and was rubbing her head and crying. Her "friend" was rubbing her back to comfort her, but the moment a bottle flew by, she abandoned the girl and dove after it. When she came back with the bottle, I thought maybe she'd give it to her friend. Instead, she just bragged about it, and then gave the bottle to a different friend right in front of the injured girl. What a bitch. The crying girl just walked away. Wow, SCAPEGOAT fans. You have no souls.

Anyways, yeah, the music was okay. I probably wouldn't listen to it on my own time, but it's alright.

Next band up is GremlinS:

I'm shocked I found a picture of these guys. They're pretty new. I dunno... I wasn't too enthused with them either. They were pretty hard, but it didn't stand out in any way. We just dubbed the vocalist Kefka because the ruff around his neck makes him look like Kefka from Final Fantasy VI, lol.

At this point, Ashley and I just moved up to second row as fast as possible for VAJRA. So, once again, I welcome VAJRA onto the blog:

So, Eru said on his blog that he would be playing with VAJRA at this one show despite having "quit" the band and despite being totally wiped off their official website. He said he would be spending one more show as 『L.』. I give that alone a...

WTF Moment #9

Yotsuya Outbreak is also lacking in a curtain. It only has a projector screen that goes up and down, so you can see the bands setting up behind it. Thanks to that, we could catch some glimpses of VAJRA and see that... the band was wearing completely normal clothing and virtually no make-up.

WTF Moment #10

When the screen went up and we got a better look at them... sure enough, pants and t-shirts. Drummer Rohan was even wearing a cowboy hat. Nobro was wearing genie pants. 『L.』 had no make-up and his normally pink hair was short and sandy colored. I must say, they are so totally adorable in normal clothing. Seriously. Weeeeell, except Nobro was still wearing white-out contacts, hahaha. Oh, and he was brunette at their one-man, blond last week, and now he's brunette again. And he came on stage smoking a cigarette.

WTF Moment #11...?

Well, we had Nesting Girl right up in front of 『L.』, and she was still wearing her alien costume with the hood pulled up and everything... Club Leader up front in the middle... and tons of guys were in the back. The band's male audience came out of hiding for this show and we had nearly twenty boys in the back moving up for VAJRA.

So most VK bands are formed through random connections, head-hunting, or even just being stuck together strategically based on what the label wants. Sure, some of them are friends, but usually the members are all interchangeable and once they're gone, they're gone. So, to have a case like this where a band member is gone but feels the need to return and do a show anyways... it's weird.  『L.』 and his band mates blog about each other as if he's still in the band, even when he's not.

Anyways, yeah, the audience was really excited. When they started up the song Heito - the slam-dancing song - everyone was jumping up and down clapping their hands with excitement. And boy were they rough. Everyone was slamming and toppling over each other and we even got some of the boys to join in on it with us. Hell yeah! Ashley and I finally got to do some booty-bumping too. Third row wasn't interested, so Ashley and I just picked a few asses and slammed them the whole time.

I must say, the change in Nobro is amazing when 『L.』 is around. 『L.』 ran over to annoy Nobro within the first song, but rather than outwardly bugging him, he just threw an arm around around him and gave him a squeeze. Normally, Nobro would've looked pissed, but instead he tried to hide a huge, toothy smile behind the microphone. When 『L.』 saw Nobro's smile, he gave him a cute pout and another squeeze and they stayed like that with 『L.』's arm around Nobro for awhile. D'aaaaaaaw. They even did one of their usual bantering MCs. 『L.』 would be drawling on and on like "weeeeeeeell I know I quit buuuuuuut" and Nobro would just smirk at him and tease him. I missed their team. Those two work so well together. Nobro was all smiles during the MC. The only problem was, Nobro got a new piercing and for some reason he decided to pierce the corner of his mouth. I think the new piercing was still bothering him because, every time Nobro smiled, he would start twitching and pulling one side of his face more than the other. It would start off like a smile, then turn into something that resembled having a stroke. The audience was kind of laughing at it, but I don't think Nobro even cared.

Kiyuki, still getting braver, does lots of stare-downs with the audience. I got into a stare-down with him and we gazed at each other for awhile until, finally, he stuck his tongue out at me, lol. 『L.』 caught me staring and gave me a squinty-eyed smile too. I'd love to catch Yuuri's eye but he's always off in his own world. Eventually, Nobro started fish-hooking. It looked like he didn't really get that much blood going but then I looked away for one second. When I looked back, he had globs of bloody spit all over his face. Ew, Nobro. He dripped it all over his white shirt, too! Idiot! I couldn't help but notice 『L.』 watching Nobro with that same weird look on his face like he did at the one-man. I don't even know what that face means, but it's not a happy one.

Eventually, 『L.』 started throwing water at the crowd. He took one bottle and pretty much dumped it all over Nesting Girl's head, hahaha. Then he whipped out a green, dragon-shaped watering can and started watering the audience, lol. I guess that's...

WTF Moment #12

While 『L.』 watered the crowd , Nobro thought it would be smart to take swigs of water and spit it at us. Except, um, he fish-hooked. Wow, way to spit bloody water everywhere, Nobro. Club Leader and the girl next to her actually bailed on saizen and ran away while he did that in order to avoid catching some NTDs (Nobro Transmitted Diseases).

When the show ended, the band all held up their instruments and they were all like "whoo!" They only played four songs, but they definitely made the most of it. The only thing was, remember how I mentioned at the one-man that Nobro has low blood pressure problems and he totally fainted at the show? Yeah, well, while he was holding up his arms and throwing the horns, he got the same, glassy, dizzy look on his face, and he stumbled a little. A deep breath seemed to fix the problem but seriously... four songs. It only took four songs for Nobro to get dizzy again. I dunno how they ever expect him to do more one-mans like that, lol.

Aaand that was basically the show.

At this point, Ashley and I decided to bail. The show had gone on way too long and we just weren't in the mood for the last act. We went to the drink bar to get some liquid and, while we were there, guess who else was there? Why, the really drunk girl, buying ten dollars worth of more alcohol! Because that's really what she needed!

On the way out, we headed up the stairs and nearly ran head-first into Rohan, who was wearing his cowboy hat again. He almost hit the ceiling. I guess he thought he'd found a quiet hallway to escape into. Whoops.

Well, anyways, that was the show. 12 WTF moments and I'm sure there were even more than that. Boy, what a show. A whole lot of stupid. But at least it was funny.

Well, stay-tuned for the next blog, which will be Heretic Sound Music's last event featuring Valluna, ALSDEAD, Navir, Ha;qch, and Odoburu/O_DBLE (VAJRA's old band). It's gonna be sweet!

And the day after that is DIR EN GREY FAN CLUB ONLY. Definitely stay tuned for that!

See you soon!

1 comment:

  1. yep, while reading my face was total w t f o_O